Yesterday I went with my friend Joe to see the eponymous movie, which was directed by the Cohen brothers. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin, this movie was just soaked in atmosphere. Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, it’s full of his usual cast of lawmen, outlaws, border rats, and other back-country characters.
A lot of people die in this movie. Or, to put it differently, a lot of people are killed in this movie. I mean an awful lot. And so when I got home my mother asked me how the movie was, and I told her it was great, but she wouldn’t have lasted through the first two minutes. My tastes and her tastes have only the teeny, tiniest overlap, mainly in the area of obscure foreign dramas. She can’t understand the appeal of movies like this (or other great movies like Fargo), because to her the violence and death is only repulsive, never entertaining.
Is it wrong to enjoy a movie like this, which isn’t so much immoral as amoral? I think there are two ways to look at it. One way would be that somehow these movies are abberations, and by making, promoting, and watching them we are somehow encouraging this type of behaviour. Another way to look at it, which is the one I subscribe to, is that by watching these kinds of behaviours, it somehow innoculates us against them in reality. Not that I’m saying that people who don’t watch movies like this will all become sociopathic killers, but maybe by watching we somehow feed that aggressive, impulsive side of ourselves that is best kept locked up.
Either way, if you liked Fargo or The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, you’ll love No Country for Old Men.
As most of you know, I don’t drink alcohol. No, I haven’t converted to Islam (yet, at least), but I haven’t had a drink since April 21st, 1993 at approximately 1:30 AM. How I remember it that exactly is another, much longer story. The point is that although I no longer drink, I like to stay informed about alcohol and the drinking culture in general. That’s why, when I was in Las Vegas last week (see this post) at the Global Gaming Expo show I acted as a personal drinking advisor to my good friend Ronnie. There was a section of the show dedicated to various libations, a veritable cornucopia of booze, which I helped Ronnie navigate with my savvy selections of liquors and wines. Below, you can see the progression of Ronnie’s drinking, in time-lapse format.
It has been a loooong time since my last post, but I feel that I have excellent reasons, and since it’s my blog, that’s good enough for me! Last week, I was in wonderful, wooley, Las Vegas, and it took me a few days to recuperate from that trip. For your enjoyment, here are some photos from my odyssey:
Just the name of this movie evokes feelings of loneliness and emptiness, for me at least. It’s a story about a Japanese fisherman who is estranged from his adult son. Finding out that his son has terminal cancer, he decides to take a very uncharacteristic chance and go on a trip to China. His son is a huge fan of Chinese Masked Opera, and after viewing a documentary that he made, his father decides to go to China to film the famous opera Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles.
Once in China, he encounters many obstacles which eventually lead him to a remote village in the mountains, where he befriends a young boy, Yang Yang. Through Yang Yang he finally begins to address some of his issues with his own son.
This movie was very atmospheric, with a broad sweep of locations that helped set the tone. Everything from a snow-covered Japanese fishing village to the barren mountains of China gave feelings of emptiness and silence. Worth seeing.
Sometimes when I’m out working with my laptop, I come across something that really needs to be dealt with when I return to my desk at home. Maybe it’s something I’ll want to file, maybe I need to delegate it, or maybe it’s just something that I’ll want to put into my inbox and process later. A really handy way to do this is to print to your home printer in offline mode. Then, whenever you go home and plug back into your docking station/printer out will pop anything you chose to print while you were out. No thought required, which fits neatly into my philosophy of making systems as completely fool-proof as possible.