Tuesday, October 25, 2005

At least I got the 'the' part right...

I made a complete ass out of myself, dear readers, during my film lab yesterday. We have to watch two films, the first of which was On the Waterfront. During the break between the two films, I phoned my mother to tell her I was going to be late (due to the films' lengths).

"Oh? And what's the second film you'll be watching?" Mum asks me.

"Into the Night," I reply, from memory. I hear the professor snort, but I can't see for what reason. I start to understand, once the movie starts - the title says Out of the Past. Eeep.
Well, it's not my fault, you see. I lent my syllabus to an acquaintance from The Gateway, because he said he'd missed the first few labs and classes. I lent it to him, he did not give it back, he does not attend any of the classes or labs afterwards anyway, and I no longer see him in The Gateway offices. This required me to ask the professor for another copy, which was embarassing, to say the least.

On the Waterfront was a fairly decent movie, I enjoyed it, and Marlon was a babe back then. I couldn't understand why, after he testifies against the Mob-run longshoreman's union, all the other longshoreman were cruel towards him, or why that annoying kid killed all of Marlon's pet pidgeons. I understood it better after I read a part in my textbook that relates how Elia Kazan portrayed Marlon's testimony in a manner that echoed his own "naming of names" during the Red Scare. I don't quite see the connection myself - getting people into trouble for supporting harmless politics seems to be quite different then exposing a union leader who resorts to murder, poor wages, and blackmail to shut people up.

Out of the Past reminded me, in the very beginning, of the plot of A History of Violence, and I thought it would turn out that way. Turns out not - it was dead boring, with endless unnecessary twists, a sardonic gumshoe (Robert Mitchum, who bears a faint resemblance to Clive Owen) and a dame (Judy Greer) who leads us all on a repetitive she's evil - she's being used - she's evil - she's being used chase. They end up dying together (Judy's character shots Robert's while they're driving towards a police barricade, and she's finished off by a cop), and the innocent towngirl that the gumshoe was hooked up with walks off with another dude. Not quite my cup of tea, I'm afraid.

Mary Barton is turning out to be quite the quick read - even when I have to go slower over the accented dialogue. It seems strangely more contemporary than the others Victorian novels I've read - Elizabeth Gaskell doesn't cushion the narrative with piles and piles of words (like Dickens, who I think I take after the most, stylistically speaking), and describes quite appalling, and appallingly realistic conditions of the poor. Mary Barton, to me, seems to be following the Emily Peggotty route of David Copperfield - she's adored by a man of her own low class, but she's aiming high for the son of a factory owner in hopes of becoming a lady. I certainly hope that Henry Carson isn't entirely like Steerforth, and won't try to marry the girl off to his butler when he's through with her.

In writing news, I was working over the plot of my NaNoWriMo novel (only in my head, you understand), and I came to realize that my ending was a tad idealistic. However, this was not a bad thing - because it gave me a wonderful idea for a sequel, while still supplying the first book with a climax and conclusive ending.

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