DAY 2--SHIPS THAT PASS ON THE 405
I didn't get to bed until about 2:30 last night. I woke just 4 hours later to the sound of heavy construction equipment outside. They were paving the road outside the house the noise literally shook the house I'm in. Tomorrow is sleep in day, no matter what.
But enough of this gay banter, on to tonight's films:
This Film is Not Yet Rated
A documentary/expose about the motion picture ratings board. Funny and thought provoking in spots. However, I was of two minds on the subject matter. I do agree that the current ratings system is a joke and there really should be something better. But hearing a director argue that a violent and profanity-laden documentary on the Iraq War should be rated PG-13 just rubbed me the wrong way. Do I think kids of a certain age (teenagers, really) should see gritty and realistic documentaries on war? Yes. The way things are going, too many of them may be required to fight in a war in the future. But if you're going to willingly expose kids to this material, why not let the parents be there too? Parents can take their 10-year-old to an "R" rated film if they want. (Its not a good idea, but the current rating system doesn't prohibit it.) Perhaps the most controversial part of the movie involved the director hiring a private investigator to track down members of the ratings board. Membership is a closely guarded secret of the MPAA. The director's point is that the secrecy means there is no accountability for the decisions they make. And he's right. The fact that their decisions seem inconsistent only underline this. The sequences of the PI tracking down the board members are very funny. But the director includes full names, license plate numbers, ages, and other personal details about the members as a part of the film. I only remember bits and pieces from my Broadcast Law class from school, but I'm pretty sure those people have decent grounds for an invasion of privacy lawsuit. Thought provoking film, however.
A stream of consciousness stroll through the neighborhoods of Kabul. Viewers are taken to open air currency markets, a hill where children participate in kite fighting, and the NATO army base on the outskirts of town. The documentary has a very organic feel to it, there's no narrator, and no sense of story or even agenda. It just is what it is. Pretty cool, actually. I came away with a sense of despair, however. Kabul comes off as a city teeming with trash, with no basic services, no sewers, and very little police protection. The city is home to millions, but appears to be un-developing before our eyes. Years of war have left the city in ruins. Once you see it, you get the sinking feeling it will never truly be rebuilt.
Famous Person I Saw
That one guy who played the gay friend in Sex and The City. I forget his name.
Alaskan King Crab at Empire Seafood Company.
And What Does This Post's Title Mean?
I had planned to meet up with a friend at tonight's screening of "This Film..." He's an animator at Disney, and perhaps one of the nicest people I've ever met in my live. He once drove all the way from Burbank to Anaheim just let me and my family into Disneyland for free. Then he drove back to Burbank. That's about a 120 mile round trip on some of the nation's most congested hunks of freeway. So I had an extra ticket to this movie, and I thought I'd offer it to him, just to say "thanks." But an hour before the screening, he called and said he'd be in a work session and would arrive too late to see the film.
It was a high demand screening, so I went to the "will call" line filled with people hoping to snatch up unclaimed seats moments before the film started. I motioned to the guy who was first in line and said, "I've got an extra comp (in "the industry" we call them "comps"), you want it?" He said "yes" and I handed the ticket to him and motioned him towards the door, trying to pretend I was a big shot.
The screening started about 25 minutes late, so I had to sneak out the back door a minute or two before the film ended. I had another screening in Hollywood, and that can be tough in traffic. Just before, I walked into the theater, my phone rings, "Hey, this is Mark. Because the film started so late, they let me in and I watched it from the balcony! So I'm outside the theater in Westwood. Where are you?"
Oh well, we'll try it again on Saturday.
Now it's time to get some rest and prepare for Friday and the big event: Radiohead at the Greek Theater. I am a lucky man, indeed.