I haven't been grocery shopping in a while so I went over to the big Safeway store and replenished everything. Must have been everything, since the total was twice normal. I have been considering changing my diet, getting out of the rut I've been in for the last couple of years. Go back to a dinner that includes vegetables, keep the cereal for breakfast and find a salad (if I can) at lunch. I've been shedding weight, but about an ounce a week for the last 10 or 12 months and I'd like to maybe get that up to a heady two ounces so that one day before I die in the middle of the 23rd century I may tip the scales a veritable helium man. So I bought the necessary items. And a couple of Cokes to smooth the transition. No need to rush.
Last week going to class in San Francisco I only walked into work once to take BART from the office, driving the rest of the time. Very convenient, this driving, but I've got to be careful. You start feeling good with a little exercise and so you say, well hell, I don't need to do this walking business and suddenly you're puffing up the stairs again, except you're taking the elevator. Something inside me this morning needed that walk because I was out the door by late morning walking the mile or so to BART to take the train to Berkeley.
I wanted to shoot some pictures and see Blood Simple, the first of the Coen brothers movies, that has just been released in a "director's cut". I've only seen it on video. It was evidently a big deal at the Sundance film festival fifteen years ago and I only saw it on tape after their second movie Raising Arizona had been released. I considered it one of the great rough cut gems of noir and said so with the great confidence of the vague and untutored here in the journal last month in a context I don't recall. I was curious to see what this Coen brothers "director's cut" (there was a great little tongue in cheek intro about newly discovered digital re mastering techniques that allowed wonderful things to be done to this movie) looked like on a big screen. Good reason to get out into the sun with a camera, sit at a cafe I've not been in before and watch the women pass by. Thump, thump.
Blood Simple is a great story done in the Coen quirky style, some of the scenes absolute noir
classic, some of them overblown tongue in cheek parody, some of them horribly overdrawn - played - staged no way to believe the character no matter how good the actor. In other words, wonderful. Marty come back to life crawling on a Texas highway in the car headlights, a bullet in his chest, a truck approaching head on in the distance. I had almost no sympathy for the characters, most of whom were sleazy and stupid (sleazy's fine, but stupid is stupid), but loved the clear devotion to craft and story. The Coen brothers have made similar movies, Miller's Crossing and Fargo, more fully realized, come to mind. Great individual scenes strung together to make a uneven movie. When Blood Simple fails, it fails wonderfully. Same with Miller's Crossing, the two killers lightly climbing the stairs, their tommy guns dangling in their hands, Danny Boy being sung by an Irish tenor in the background. The knife nailing the hand to the window sill in Blood Simple, bullets punching white light holes into the wall of the darkened room.
So, anyway, a long walk and a movie this afternoon and now I sit at this computer watching a Doo Wop special on public television. Maybe not such a good idea, this Doo Wop special. I still have my old 45's from the late fifties and the music brings back memories of high school in New York. Cedar Lane. Life in its angst ridden teenage beginnings. I think I'd better go rent something for tonight or I'm going to get maudlin.