Before I got out of bed this morning, I felt like creating something. This often happens on Saturday mornings. I open my eyes and I have a craving to write something beautiful and insightful in a way that challenges things I previously held true to my heart. I want to edit old manuscripts. I want to turn all of my literary lists into lilting essays with just the right blend of story and musing.
So what do I do? I get out of bed. I make coffee. I make breakfast. I take my computer to the patio. I decide to see what’s going on in the blogosphere where I read and comment on twenty different blogs. Then I become distracted and end up not even touching my blog, my manuscripts, my literary lists, or a blank document.
I wanted to avoid distraction this morning, so I just reheated coffee from yesterday morning (classy, I know), made myself a bowl of oatmeal, and got back into bed. So far it’s going quite well. I’ve written three new paragraphs.
Last night I went to a double feature with my friend Leo, who is an aspiring movie critic (check out his blog here). We saw The Master and Sleepwalk with Me. Both movies were great in their own right. The Master was a two-hour epic that was apparently an allegory for Scientology. I wasn’t aware of that while watching it. I saw that it was about a man returning from WWII, struggling with post-traumatic stress, alcoholism, and a tendency to drink paint thinner, who meets a charismatic man who with an adoring and wife (played by Amy Adams) and cultish following. He also enjoys making the vet walk back and forth touching a wall and window (didn’t really understand that part). It was a fascinating movie and I kept watching, waiting for some crumb of insight to fall, something that would enlighten me and give me direction and a new mantra. But it never happened. It was a great movie. But I wasn’t really sure why.
Yes. The music was great (the incidental violin solos throughout the movie made me want to pick my own up and regain my vibrato). The shots were beautiful and often breathtaking. The characters were compelling (though I was often distracted by the way Joaquin Phoenix made his skeleton look like it was made from wire clothes hangers). The story was twisted and combined with just enough dramatic tension and sexual undertones to keep me engaged. All of these combined to make a fantastic film. But at the end, I was still left thinking “What the fuck was that?”
I don’t know a ton about movies, but I’m pretty sure all the movies that critics rave about are the same films that leave me scratching my head, wondering what I just spent the last two hours watching.
But I’m not a movie watcher, and I admit that freely. Most of my ex-boyfriends will vouch that I can barely make it through any movie without falling asleep, so the fact that I saw two movies in a single night is absurd. But we traveled about two hours to Madison to the Sundance theater, a place that would probably make even a Madagascar movie seem charmingly pretentious. It was a great experience.
I loved Sleepwalk with Me. It was charming. It was endearing. It was just what I had hoped for when I saw the previews weeks earlier. I have a very special place in my heart for Mike Birbiglia. He’s my favorite comedian. I have an adoring sort of possession over anything he does because I’ve watched his comedy progress, deepen, and become more honest from Two Drink Mike to Sleepwalk with Me.
Sleepwalk with Me is the story of the disintegration of a romantic relationship, a burgeoning comedy career (which, incidentally, made me sort of want to be a comedian), and a sleep disorder. It was sad and beautiful in a way that made me feel like he was a close friend who kept knowingly making bad choices. The movie is based on Mike’s story that aired on This American Life and The Moth (both excellent podcasts, subscribe NOW), was developed into a full comedy album and book. I’m sure he’s sick of the story, but it doesn’t make it any less compelling.
I’m not really sure what else to say about it other than you should really go watch the movie. If it’s not playing in your city, it’s worth a two-hour drive to the nearest independent theater. Also, how could you not love a guy who wrestles with Ira Glass?
Anyway, I’m going to get to work on some serious writing. I apologize that my posts have been somewhat lacking in the last week or two. My life has been uneventful, uninspiring, and underwhelming. Just know that I’m working on it.