Los Angeles, CA
"Did you sit around without pants?"
"Actually... no. I wore the same jeans every day except the night I went to play poker at commerce."
Nicky assumed that I sat around in my boxers when she went to Brazil for a week-long work assignment. Although I settled into my own world, I wore pants. I crushed Nicky's vision of what I did when she wasn't around. It wasn't as weird as she thought. I spent lots of time working at my desk or at the living room table. One of the benefits of being alone, is that I'm able to accommodate insomnia thereby allowing myself to live out 30-hour cycle (instead of the usual 24-hour daily cycle because my brain is wired differently so I'm awake for 26-27 hours yet still only sleep for 3-4). It's tough to have that type of elongated waking schedule when you live (and share a bed) with someone who doesn't have a similar sleep regimen. So when Nicky is away, I stay up until I'm absolutely tired, then crash.
Part of my routine last week included writing/editing for 18-20 hours (with a few mini-breaks ever 3-4 hours) and then winding down the night with lots of ganja and either music or documentary films.
Nicky left her iPad behind (along with her Netflix account logged in) so I took advantage of the ability to stream flicks. I rigged the iPad to stand up perfectly on the coffee table and I propped myself up on the edge of the couch and smoked tough while watching a several films including the G.I. Joe flick, which was a guilty pleasure. I grew up watching the cartoon version right after school, so I was a little bit curious (damn childhood nostalgia) when they created a post-modern updated version of the cartoon into a Hollywood feature film -- directed by the guy who did the Mummy franchise and featuring a cast that included Dennis Quaid. Not Randy... but Dennis. Oh and one of the Wayans Brothers played the "wise-cracking token black guy" and Siena Miller played the bad girl. Anyway, I watched the bit of mind-numbing entertainment because I was overloaded on the grim reality of the impending doom of peak oil and financial implosion. And you know what? I slightly embarrassed to admit that I enjoyed it.
So, the other documentary flicks?
The Outlaw Comic: The Censoring of Bill Hicks -- The downside? Hosted by Jeanne Garafalo. The upside? An compelling E-True Hollywoodish summary of the behind the scenes struggle of Bill Hicks -- from getting jokes cut by censors on late night talk shows, to finding an educated audiences in Canada and the UK who meshed more with his style of humor ranting on America-hypocrisy and not straying away from hot button politically-sensitive topics.I streamed most of those flicks on Netflix, and caught a few at TopDocumentaryFilms.com.
Crap Shoot -- I never finished the first act of this shoddy doc about a struggling writer who embarked on a road trip to Hollywood to find out why studios were not making epic films (like the banal trilogy he wrote).
Zeitgeist: Moving Forward -- The continuation of the Zeitgeist film series. This installment emphasized the imperative shift that all of society must take to move away from the current monetary paradigm and embrace a new resource-based system in order to survive and flourish in the future.
The Third Jihad -- Chronicled the rise of radical Islam in America. I didn't really like it, but out of most of the films, thoughts and scenes from the film have lingered inside my head over the last week, so something struck a chord.
Plunder: The Crime of Our Time -- I never finished this doc about the 2008 financial crisis. Most of these films hold my attention, but this one was just --- awful. I bailed after 18 minutes.
Mark Twain -- I dunno if I could have sat through Ken Burns biopic about America's greatest novelist because of his repetitive format (another black and white photo of Twain with messy hair, ragtime music in the background, and a prodding narrating voice delivering lush excerpts from Twain's letters and manuscripts) for the entire film, but spreading it out in 30-40 sections helped retain my interest. Random note: Twain briefly lived in the Bronx (at the Wave Hill mansion) circa 1901-03. I lived in a studio a block or so away....the same studio where I penned the original manuscript for Jack Tripper Stole My Dog in November 2002.
A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash -- Peak oil doc. This one falls somewhere in between better than average and good.
Jazz on a Summer's Day -- The 1958 Newport Jazz Festival was featured including performances from Thelonious Monk,Louie Armstrong, and even Chuck Berry.
Tapped -- The bottled water industry is not quite what you think. Did you know that Coke and Pepsi bottle tap water and sell it as Dasani and Aquafini? Did you know that the Nestle company operates under different regional water companies (Arrowhead, Deer Park, Poland Spring, Ice Mountain, Zephyr Hills)?
Rolling Stones: Stones in Exile -- I re-watched this flick about the making of Exile on Main Street, which happened after the Stones went into exile after they ran into tax problems with the Crown and getting fucked by bad management. They hit up the French Riviera to frolic in the sun, party it up, and come up with material for a remarkable double album. The band grew tired of France and eventually migrated to Los Angeles to finish up Exile on Main Street. I took that to heart when Jagger said that the band always ended up in LA to finish off their records. Personally, even though I wrote parts of Lost Vegas in Las Vegas and New York City, it wasted until I finished it off in LA before it became a reality. Same goes for the current project Jack Tripper.
The Art of the Steal -- This flick pissed me off at corrupt cultural institutions. The infamous Barnes collection, a private collection of post-impressionist paintings worth 30-50 billions of dollars, got hijacked by the city of Philadelphia (and the state of Pennsylvania), who moved the collection from the Barnes estate in Lower Merion to the Philly Museum of Art.