Out of pure shame, I must write a blog entry about the various events of the past few weeks. There’s nothing terribly significant, but there is stuff that I’ve meant to write about and didn’t.
Movie: The Exorcism of Emily Rose
I found it very scary. Of course, my threshhold for scary movies isn’t exactly high, but there was genuine tenseness and overall creepiness all throughout it. Laura Linney did a phenominal job playing Emily Rose. The movie didn’t rely on a lot of special effects for its shock scenes, so Laura’s performance was critical. She had me convinced that she was possessed. Tom Wilkinson as the priest came across as being caring, honest and likeable, which was also critical to the success of the film. You wanted to believe him, which makes it easier to set aside skepticism. Knowing that it was based on a true story, but not knowing the details of the true story made it even more frightening. I did some research on the subject after coming home from the movie, mainly to help me sleep better. I’m convinced that in the real case, there was no possession. It was just a case of plain old religious nutbar-ism.
Movie: A History of Violence
I really enjoyed this one. It was about a small town man whose coffee shop is robbed by a couple of thugs. He becomes a hero by saving the lives of the people in the coffee shop by killing the robbers. However, his heroism comes at the cost of attracting attention to himself that he doesn’t want, and the rest of the movie is spent discovering who he really is.
I think what struck me most about this film was its economy of storytelling. By that I mean that there was no hesitation in the movement of the plot. It sprang immediately into violence, sex, emotion, action whenever was necessary, and did it so suddenly that the pace itself was often what was most shocking. So, it was economical. A lot happened in very little time, and we are able to see massive transformation in the characters and relationships.
I particularly enjoyed the performances of the bad guys in this movie. Both Ed Harris and William Hurt were terrifyingly real gangsters. They both managed to convey viciousness and twistedness in a very quiet and believable way that made them seem even more dangerous. The performance of those two actors was something really delicious to savour.
Viggo Mortensen played his character very stoically, almost coldly, which was perfect for the role. I found Maria Bello’s performance as his wife to be rather abrupt at times, especially in anger or anguish. I wasn’t always convinced by her emotional outbursts. Ashton Holmes played the son. He hasn’t got a lot of experience under his belt, but he was brilliant. I think he’ll go far.
I love the exercise ball and the chinup bar. I’m using them both daily. I use the ball mainly to stretch my back, and I sit on it sometimes to use the computer. The chinup bar is excellent though. When I first started last week, I was able to do about 3 before feeling tired. Only a few days later I’m able to do 5 or 6 easily. My goal is to get to 10 by next week.
It’s good to be playing again. We’ve been doing shows at Clinton’s Tavern in Toronto. So far I’ve had two shows with my new Harold team Plastic Jesus. I haven’t played with many of these people before, and we haven’t had a chance to rehearse together yet, but there was already a big improvement between our first show a couple of weeks ago and our second one tonight. I think we have a lot of potential once we get more comfortable with each other.
Tonight’s show was a lot of fun. Our organic opening was based on the suggestion “potato” and turned out to be a lot of beatboxing with different restaurant and food preparation sounds. The set was very playful. I enjoyed playing a diplomat from the Embassy of Cool, who drove a Camero and was surrounded by a “Cam-Aura.” Next Sunday I’m at Clinton’s again with Jackrabbit Slim.
I’m in a bit of a phase of shooting inanimate objects. In the past couple of weeks I’ve had to shoot a lot of pairs of eyeglass frames (about 150), more painted glassware from Patti Overgaard, and some leather photo albums. Product photography isn’t always the most exciting thing in the world. I much prefer shooting people. However, it’s not difficult, and it’s sometimes fun to come up with clever ways to light and present these ordinary objects.
Live Music: OK Go
I went with Hesi to see them on Friday night. They’re part of the Edge’s “Next Big Thing” series of concerts. It was fun to see this band in a small venue like El Mocambo, which has a very illustrious history. The Rolling Stones recorded a few songs there at the height of their popularity. Anyway, OK Go didn’t draw too many people: about 300 fewer than the Rolling Stones did in this venue that holds 350. It was a shame since the music was a lot of fun and the band was energetic and entertaining. The best part of the night was the live performance of their trademark dance, which you can see here.