brothercyst: October 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

BLACK BALLOONS

In the last two days, the girl who lives next door (whose window is right next to mine, so I'm subjected to many of her conversations) and the girl who lives somewhere in my building whose ventilation system is somehow connected to mine (so I'm subjected to many of her conversations) have both broken up with boyfriends, so for the last 24 hours I've been hearing near-constant ranting and tantrums from either side of my apartment.  Yeah, well, you can't tell me what I should do.  YOU'RE NOT MY BOYFRIEND ANYMORE.  And so forth.  It's intense.  On Friday night I went to a horror night/haunted house type thing.


 That was fun. A friend got us in cheaply.  Certainly I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if I had to pay full price.  Last night I went to a Halloween party.  There were art installations.


Today I shaved my face with an actual razor for the first time in probably more than a year.  It's really tender.  This was a mistake.  My face will be all rashy and painful for days, I anticipate.  I downloaded a movie called Bad Ronald that I can't wait to watch.  Here's me in a room full of black balloons.

Friday, October 29, 2010

SMASH-UPS

Saw multiple car accidents this week.  BANG.  I turn around, smashed-up cars are drifting to the side of the intersection.  I come around a curve, mutilated luxury sedans are strewn across the road, a car horn still blaring.  In one of the accidents the drivers staggered out and they both had bright red hair.  Quite a coincidence.  The girl looked really scared, the guy looked peeved.  I think it was the guy's fault but the girl was making a left turn so she'll probably have to pay.  Full of mixed emotions this week.  Writing a new story called The Obese.  Can't imagine who would ever publish it.  I like it a lot.  Got lots of rejections this week.  Saw two documentaries, both spectacular.  One was Exit Through the Gift Shop.  My friend had been urging me to see it saying he found it inspiring.  I found it the opposite--depressing, disheartening from the perspective of somebody trying to "make art" (in the broad definition, counting writing as "art").  But it's a terrific movie.  Even better was Waiting for "Superman," one of the best things I've seen all year from a dramatic perspective.  The "climactic" sequence is incredibly suspenseful.  The whole thing made me pretty woozy.  I sent my mother an email afterward.  And today I sent my high school teacher an email.  The movie reminded I probably wouldn't have gone to a good college or tried so hard to be a writer if I hadn't met him.  Just ate dinner: eggs, Crystal hot sauce, toast, and cheese.

Monday, October 25, 2010

BACK

Still this weather?  I've been away on a trip upstate with my friend N., from my previous life... the trip was refreshing and stressful and pleasant and a little sobering, as we spent most of the hundreds of miles of driving on subjects like prospects seeming bleak, no one being trustworthy, the future appearing when visualized as a sort of black glacier overcoming the horizon, and the iniquities of the prison-industrial complex.  ("Republican strategists love the war on the drugs because it makes blacks and Hispanics into felons, so they can't vote!" etc.)  Cheerful times.  I read Just Kids, by Patti Smith, which is pretty lovely.  Sometime in the last week something happened with that Lolita post I wrote on the Paris Review blog a while back, because a bunch of comments all of a sudden appeared (they get automatically emailed to the post's author).  In the hotel we watched a movie so utterly false and contrived with regard to the way human beings behave that it seemed obscene.  I believe it was made by sociopathic aliens who have never encountered a human being.  The lead actor is profoundly off-putting in both appearance and performance, and every decision made by the filmmakers, from the casting to the catering, is disastrously wrongheaded.  Then we watched several episodes of Entourage, which I hadn't seen in years, but which seemed pretty good.  Just those two episodes guest starred, off the top of my head, Eminem, Sasha Grey, John Cleese, Malcolm McDowell, Christina Aguilera, Minka Kelly, Mark Cuban, Queen Latifah, Carla Gugino, Peter Berg, and I think some others. And then I had this dream that my family moved into a new house in a neighborhood sort of like the one I actually grew up in, and these tricky old men tried to sell us a cat that they'd caught in the neighborhood, but when they went away and we looked more closely at the cat, we realized it was some kind of dog.

Anyway, I'm back.

Monday, October 18, 2010

BOMER INTERVIEW

A great interview with Paula Bomer, author of Baby, the devastating collection out this winter from Word Riot.

And another great interview, this one with Chris Peckover, directed of Undocumented, a fucking harrowing horror movie that debuted at Fantastic Fest.

Both Chris and Paula are friends of mine, and incredibly talented people.  I'm proud of my friends... they're doing amazing stuff.

****

Went swimming today... feel good.  Day otherwise uneventful.  I haven't seen the Mad Men finale yet, so it's practically a media blackout for me until I do.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"GREAT WHITE... BEAUTIFUL FISH"

I just woke up from a dream where first I was in a house with some of my relatives.  Bees kept bothering us.  My parents wouldn't discuss the bees.  I got stung all over my wrists and ankles, which swelled up like huge scarlet cuffs.  Then I went into a room where my cousin was showing a movie she had made.  I seemed to be in the movie, wearing a white t-shirt, unshaven.  I was in a bar or lounge of some sort, laughing and yelling at people.  Then my cousin turned off the movie because her father was there and she didn't want him to see it.  Then I went on a trip with my friend R.... we traveled to Egypt, where there were beaches.  We were all in the water when a siren went off.  Everyone ran out of the water.  We looked back in and finally saw some fins.  Big black triangular fins that somehow also looked like giant black butterfly wings sticking out of the water.  Then suddenly the water was clearer and we could see the shape of an enormous great white shark (think imagery from Jaws, a formative movie of my childhood) under the surface, eating something.  I scrambled to get my camera to take a picture, but then the shark was already gliding away.  We saw other fish where it had been, presumably eating its leftovers.  Then my friend R. and I went into some small Egyptian coffee shop, and for some reason I tried to explain to him one basic presumption about the concept of a "soul": that if you had your nose or eyes or face amputated, you would still be you, but if you had your soul amputated, you wouldn't.

****

I was briefly in New York this weekend.  I didn't tell anyone because it was such a short trip.  I was in Brooklyn Oyster Bar with ASB at night when, as we finished eating, we noticed it was raining.  We figured we'd wait out the storm but it quickly and violently got worse.  Hailstones the size of prunes roared down.  You could hear the parked cars rattling.  The street was full of water.  A family who'd been unfortunate enough to get caught outside rushed into the oyster bar for refuge.  We stayed for an hour or so, until the storm died down, and the bartender kept giving us free drinks.  The place became a little shelter.  It was good.

Monday, October 11, 2010

THE COSMOS

Charming, and NSFW. (via Daniel Franzese, via Facebook)


EL GUINCHO | Bombay from MGdM | Marc Gómez del Moral on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

THURSDAY

It's Kind of a Funny Story, the novel based on my screenwriting partner Ned Vizzini's YA novel, comes out tomorrow.  Go see it!  They've done a terrific job of adapting it.

The end of the week. I saw The Social Network several times and read Darin Strauss's Half a Life, which is very good. I saw Darin read on Monday; he was as good as ever.

Today the sun came out.  Yesterday it was pouring.  I had lunch with my friend Chris, who's in town from Australia, and then I went swimming in the rain.  It felt amazing... it was raining really hard and I swam for a long time in it, and the surface of the pool looked all roiling and white from underneath.

And this is cool, The Rumpus posted Sara Habein's review of Midnight Picnic under their "last book I loved" banner.

Also, I got new shoes.  These.  I really like them.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Monday, October 04, 2010

TOP OF WANT-TO-SEE LIST


That looks so good.

********

Huffpo link rather simplifies my Paris Review post...

But, oh well, so does Book Bench...

Who cares.  Links are good.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

3 GOOD MOVIES AND A SKUNK

My apartment's been smelling like a skunk for some reason.  That reason is a) A skunk became upset outside my window, or b) someone is using/storing/dealing extremely strong marijuana right nearby (which is fine, since California just decriminalized it!), or c) my room was so messy and dirty it smelled like a skunk.  I cleaned it quite thoroughly and the smell lingers, so I don't think it was c).  Annoying.

I saw The Social Network and Monsters and another screening of It's Kind of a Funny Story.  All excellent.  It's Kind of a Funny Story, which I'd seen at an earlier screening, did a terrific job of translating the book, and it held up brilliantly on a second viewing.  Go see it when it comes out next Friday.  I'm going to see it again. 

The Social Network is gloriously elegant and intelligent.  It goes so fast, especially at the beginning, that you have to keep up, an experience that feels rare and exciting.  And it's a terrific portrait of how rejection, especially romantic and social rejection, drives ambition.  I'm going to see it again tomorrow.

Monsters is fascinating.  It was shot for super cheap, and concerns a future America where half the country is an "infected zone" inhabited by giant glowing migratory octopus-like creatures from outer space that are in constant conflict with the US military.  A photojournalist is assigned to escort his boss's daughter through the infected zone to get home... the effects, all apparently done on the director's computer, are excellent... the locations (in Mexico) are atmospheric... my only issue was with the casting.  The female lead looks like Paris Hilton and is an utterly boring actor.  The male lead is a bit better.  But the movie is very very good, overall, particularly because of a beautiful, poetic, really haunting moment at the end.  It was totally unexpected and made me love the movie and admire the director, Gareth Edwards.

Friday, October 01, 2010

FRIDAY / MP / PARIS REVIEW BLOG

The Social Network is out today.  I'll go see it sometime in the next four or five days, whenever I have time.  Maybe today?  But tonight there is a screening to go to, so it'd have to be in the afternoon.  It's Kind of a Funny Story comes out next week -- go see it!

***

Jonathan Cann wrote some nice words about Midnight Picnic.

***

I've got a post on The Paris Review blog called "Reading Lolita at 12."  It's about how I totally got the wrong thing out of the book the first time I read it.