September 4th, 2006

msauvage purple


Holy shit--I'm just now home from dinner, ice cream, and two movies, and I'm checking my email when I see this: Steve Irwin dead from a stingray barb to the heart.

ETA: CNN seems to be confirming it.

I never watched his show(s?) or anything; I only knew about him in a very vague pop-culture way. I guess what makes it so sad is that it's so painfully, logically inevitable, but at the same time, he was obviously a guy who had a lot of love and joy and enthusiasm for what he did.

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Marsha Marsha Marshmallow, in case you were wondering

Lamictal, Day Three: Feeling pretty good. It makes me feel very "awake," but not caffeinated, and I have no trouble sleeping at all. Rather the reverse, actually--I'm not sleepy at all during the day (which is quite a feat, given how slugabed I've been recently), and I sleep really soundly at night. Of course, I'm only on 25 mg for the next two weeks. No side effects at all so far--and recall here that I've actually cut my Wellbutrin dosage in half to accomodate the new med--although I'm sure there's plenty of time for something to rear its chemical head. I do have a pretty fierce headache right now, but I was out until one in the morning last night, didn't get a lot of sleep, and haven't had lunch yet.

So, last night: first we went to Sol Azteca and had Mexican. Then we saw Talladega Nights, which was supposed to be the point of our going out in the first place, and... it was okay. I think I would have liked it more if I had seen it with a large, opening-weekend audience--you know, the kind where the crowd is rowdy and laughter is infectious. There wasn't really anything I didn't like about it; it was just kind of... there.

So then, Em and Brett the Vet are all like, "Hey, let's make this a double feature, when's the next showing of The Illusionist?" Which is what I had really wanted to see. I've often gone to a movie with someone and we've talked about maybe making it a twofer, but then we never actually do. But never underestimate the power of bored friends on a three-day weekend. So, now that we had about forty-five minutes to kill, we went to the Publix around the block on the lower level and bought little cartons of Ben and Jerry's and made ourselves sick on really rich ice cream.

Between two movies' worth of trailers, I ended up seeing previews for All the King's Men (it's like Sean Penn purposely put a lot of actors I like in the movie because he knew I'd never sit and watch him for two hours otherwise), Catch a Fire (interesting accent on Tim Robbins there. I mean that in a good way), Jackass 2 (waste of my time), Haven (in which Orlando Bloom attempts to use a gun and looks very, very silly doing it. Now, if he had tried to shoot up that bank or whatever it was with a bow, I would have believed it) and The Grudge 2. I am very unhappy about being forced to sit through that last trailer, because it was basically all the screaming jump scares in the entire movie packed into two minutes, and if I wanted to see that, I would have actually, you know, bought a ticket to do so. I paid for pretty sepia-toned Vienna and Edward Norton being all spooky-hot-intense, not that goddamn little blue dead boy jumping out from under desks. That's pretty much all I saw, though, because I actually covered my eyes through the rest of it and just flinched every time the trailer jump-screamed at us. You know those things people will send you, and they'll say, "This is so cool, you have to see it, but first get real close to the monitor and turn the sound up real loud" and then you end up wetting yourself? It's a whole trailer full of that. I'm sure you can find it at Apple's trailer page if you really want to see it.

So, on to The Illusionist. I really, really liked it. I'm conscious that it was probably a flawed movie, but the four main performances--Norton, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell, and yes, Jessica Biel. No, I can't believe it, either--are really, really good. And it was fun knowing that Norton performed all of the non-effects magic himself. The atmosphere and the score and the cinematography are lovely and sepia-toned, and I'm a sucker for that period in general. I had actually planned to set part of a future installment of Black Ribbon in Vienna a very few years before the actual period of the movie--maybe ten--so I got really excited when I realized that's where the movie was set. (I hadn't read much about it beforehand--I'd thought it was set in Germany, for some reason.)

That, and it dovetailed right into my wanting a good Empress Elisabeth biography recommendation. The real Crown Prince of Austria was, in fact, her son, and had a mysterious end himself. The fictional prince (the Rufus Sewell character) has a different name, for reasons that will become obvious if you see the movie, but that whole plot element retains a lot of the weirdness and misfortune surrounding that family.

Anyway, I'm going to try to track down a Steven Millhauser collection with the original short story in it if I can. This anthology may have it (it looks interesting on its own), and I'm not sure if Millhauser's The Knife Thrower includes it.

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