...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

Random haiku:


O nebular fuzz
tight in my navel's blackhole,
stinking of sweet death.

Random nonsensical punchline in my dream last night:
"A fingerless divorce! Ha ha ha ha."

Random new addition to my harem:
Casey Affleck

Random movie review:

So this past Thursday, I watched the movie Gerry. My mom had recommended it with the warning that it was a slow-moving movie but if you stuck it out, you'd find the experience rewarding. The movie stars Matt Damon and Casey Affleck; in fact, they're the only two people in the whole movie. The plot revolves around them having gone on a hike on a hiking trail in the desert and, after wandering off the beaten path, getting lost in the desert. All this I knew even before sitting down to the movie.

What I wasn't expecting was that the movie would rattle me to my very core, leaving me unsettled and bothered all weekend.

We've all seen at least one or two of the "survivor"-type movies, the most recent (and most Hollywood-popular) being Castaway. These movies usually consist of man battling nature, man undergoing extreme duress and some sort of trial, and man emerging triumphant in the end. And most of them focus more on the "survivalist" aspect of the story. In Castaway, for example, Tom Hanks turns into some corporate goodie-goodie version of MacGuyver, using ice skates, random clothes, etc. to subsist on the island for years. Realistic.

But where Gerry differed is in its recognition that a) most normal people aren't Tom Hanks or members of the Swiss Family Robinson where conveniently, a handful of super-useful resources are given to us to live off of if this were to actually happen to us and b) consequently, not every story has a happy ending where the main character survives years in the wild only to find himself swooped back to civilization again to makeout with some chick in the rain.

What was so startling about Gerry was its ability to truly (and honestly) capture the bleakness and desperation one must feel when faced with such a harrowing situation as being lost in the desert. Nearly 70-75% of the movie was completely devoid of dialogue which was also unsettling and yet somehow more honest than a Tom Hanks who befriends a volleyball in order to allow for dialogue so that the ever-important, o holy "plot" can progress. In Gerry, there are gratuitously long shots of landscape and the two men's movement--for example, an unbearable 3 minutes or so are spent in a semi-closeup shot (just their torsos and heads) of the two characters walking, unspeaking, through the desert, their shoes crunching loudly, the camera and the two men never changing position despite all their walking, never really getting anywhere despite all their attempts.

Never before has a "survival" movie truly captured (please excuse these overused expressions, but you get what I mean) the "condition of humankind" and the "trial that is human existence." Midway through the film, after the two men are on their 2nd, 3rd (or maybe 4th? It's never quite clear) day without water, I suddenly found myself completely shaken when I realized how aware these two people must be of their imminent death if they don't find water. They were literally staring death in the face, and it was upsetting to even begin to think of what this must feel like. It probably was the mirage-scene that pounded this point home for me--definitely one of the most harrowing scenes in the movie (in any movie I've seen as of late).

The bleakness and yet honesty of the movie was unnerving, left me thinking that yes, this is in fact the human condition--always being reminded of the looming approach of our death but continuing to trudge forward despite the seeming futility of it all.

And as much as I really want to yammer on and on about the ending, I won't spoil it for you. The climactic scene caught me completely off-guard to the point that I didn't even realize what was happening until it was already over with. The end of the movie is one of the most haunting series of scenes I've ever seen in a film--blowing the ease with which we grasp onto our morality and our understanding of what love is into a billion pieces in just a few fell swoops.

Gerry was a stark and yet startlingly beautiful movie with an edge and understanding absent from way too many films nowadays. I wholeheartedly recommend it but reiterate my mother's warning: patience is a virtue.



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