(I'm also looking forward so much to my psych appointment next week. I had my last appointment on March 1st, and on Saturday, March 3rd, my mother got that wild hair on to get those puppies she'd seen at the vet. "So, did you make any headway on the things we talked about, like finishing some of your ongoing projects?" "No, we got puppies instead. But they're really, really cute.")
Anyway. I started thinking more about horror. I really like horror, actually, but I'm much more into psychological horror. Stephen King's short story "1408," for example (coming soon to a theater near you): the whole thing goes to hell for me as soon as the main character steps into that room. It's the hotel manager telling all the stories of what previously happened in that room and just why, exactly, Mike Enslin shouldn't go inside that makes the story for me. That first half is absolutely terrific, particularly because the hotel manager starts with the most mundane excuses and starts working his way up--he holds out as long as he can. "Are you sure?" "Cigar?" "You still don't think I can talk you out of this?" "Well, I was reading your previous books..." "What's in 1408 isn't like those ghosts you don't actually believe in..." "I'm begging you not to do this." There's eleven or twelve pages before Olin even starts talking about what's so hinky with Room 1408, and another twelve or so before they even get to the room itself. And it's not even that what King then puts into 1408 can't live up to what you've been imagining, not at all--I don't know that I was able to imagine something awful enough to match Olin's fear-mongering. That's almost what's so delicious about it. Given a half-open door and what's in the room itself, the door will always be scarier than anything that could be in the room, yes, but I almost think that the most awful-wonderful part of horror is the idea that there's something so terrible back there that you can't even comprehend it. Maybe that's what makes Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos tick--the cities with their unimaginable non-Euclidean geometry, the mad ancient texts too horrible to translate, the horrors that cannot be named. In the best Lovecraft stories, he gives you enough to understand that there's things out there too awful to imagine--too awful to see, even, because the people who do go mad.
And maybe that's why I'm so against the Hostel movies, because they're all about showing the very worst they can imagine, and what they imagine doesn't leave you lying awake at night wondering how many corners of the world, like Room 1408, are bigger and more awful than you can know; they imagine small, cruel, sleazy things and show you all of it.
So... that's my soapbox for the evening. Linkspam:
mustang_bex1126: Why some victims of domestic violence are too scared to leave.
Red Hair: Blessing Or Curse? Whoa, people still get persecuted in Europe over this?
jennnk: "Because Alabama is the center of the universe: Three men involved in medieval brawl; battle-axe, sword, and crossbow among weapons recovered." Trufax: We really do have a large Renaissance Faire.
("They pulled up in the truck, rolled the window down, said a few words that weren't very polite to me, 'you want something come get it', all that and spun the tires started taking off. I busted the passenger side window with the golf club, I admit that. They went up probably up past that pole, they both jumped out, one had an ax, it's an ax with a spike on the other end which is what he chopped me in the arm with." Only in Alabama, y'all.)
More Idiotic Panic About the Online World, or John Scalzi on "Andrew Keen, whose book The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture takes the position that, well, the internet is killing culture, apparently because it lets anyone say anything, and then anyone can listen to them, instead of listening to the experts (provided to us, presumably, by a gracious and disinterested traditional media, which seeks only truth and knowledge)."
LOL'80s: A Picture Thread ("Oh hi, we upgraded your WHAM!"). Helps to be familiar with the lolcat tropes at I Can Has Cheezburger ("I has a flavor," "Noooo not mah bucket!," "I made you a cookie but I eated it," "Let me show you my Pokemans," etc.). Keep going and keep an eye out for "Would sir desire to push it?" and "Noooo they be stealin my perogative!"
From lilynia: Some of the Golden Compass production footage screened at Cannes.
drpeprfan gives us the full lyrics to "Hoist the Colors," which are much more involved in terms of the POTC movies' mythology.
Peter O'Toole will play Pope Paul III on The Tudors.
Thundercats Headed for the Big Screen.
Ridley Scott's 'American Gangster' Gets a Trailer.
Shoot 'Em Up Trailer! Paul Giamatti's a hitman with weird verbal flourishes! Clive Owen's protecting another woman and baby, only it's a lot more fun this time! Also, he was recruited by Black Ops when he was, like, ten. Or something. GUNNNNNNNNNS! (Wait, that was Monica Bellucci?) Note: I will piss and moan about Hostel until the cows come home, but I will be at the theater watching this with bells on. C'est la vie.
Brian De Palma's 'Dressed to Kill' To Be Remade. Well, it's not like it could hurt: "Both Caine and De Palma even managed to earn Golden Raspberry nominations, and believe me, there was some pretty tough competition that year."
Wong Kar-Wai to Direct Eva Green in 'Midnight Poison.' Well, if nothing else, it'll be gorgeous.
Spike Lee Will Direct World War II Drama Set in Italy. "Lee, who announced the project while in Italy, informed a newspaper there that he had 'met a black veteran who fought at Iwo Jima, and he told me how disappointed he was that there was not even one Afro-American (soldier) in Clint Eastwood's two films.' "
'Last Chance' for Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson.
D.J. Caruso In Talks To Direct 'Wolverine,' Source Says. Hey, "the guy who directed Disturbia" works a lot better for me than "the guy who does the Rush Hour movies."
Warner Acquires Shannara Rights.
Premiere Magazine: The 20 Most Overrated Movies of All Time. Okay, I like American Beauty and I've got to admit that it's overrated. But the thing about overrating is, it depends on the "rating" itself--if everyone goes nuts about a certain movie for months at a time, particularly an Oscar contender, reactions can definitely be overblown. I thought it was a great movie when I saw it, particularly because that's basically the world I grew up in and it resonated with me, but even I can say, "Okay, the critical freakout that followed was really too much."
And now, I go to wash my hair before dinner, because tomorrow the carpet cleaners will be here bright and early to dedogstinkify the house.