Last weekend, Pete and James filmed the first scenes of their short film. One of the scenes involved Pete, in the role of Tatís, giving the doll a backrub. Apparently the scene was so absurd that James and his wife, on hand for the filming, had to leave the room because they were laughing so hard it was getting picked up by the sound gear. Furthermore, their laughter kept making Pete corpse, and they had to go. The only one who wasn't laughing was Pete's wife. I'm told she ended up acting in the role of Director of Photography.
Monday, in the cube de sac, Pete and James were discussing the footage.
Pete, like Morgan Freeman, refuses to watch himself filmed. He hadn't seen what his wife shoot.
"It's good stuff," said James. "It's weird. It like actually, you know, captures like the character of you and the doll."
"Well, it wasn't X-rated or anything – but we definitely made it, you know, sensual."
Office: The Seven Pillars
Steve, the office's biggest purveyor of tall tales, was chastised yesterday by the PtB organelle that filled in the gap Ike left when he was selected against. I'm not certain what Steve got in trouble for, but he was told that, in future situations when he must make an on-the-spot decision and cannot turn to his superiors for guidance, he should, and I quote, "adhere to the seven pillars of our mission statement."
This comment would not be worthy of quotation if it were not for the odd fact that, as far as anybody I've spoken to knows, we've never had a mission statement.
Since the PtB fragment's declaration, we've been going out of our way to adhere to the seven pillars – referencing them in sort of mix of Warner Oland referencing "ancient Chinese wisdom" and Moreau's beast men reciting the Law.
"The fifth pillar says 3:30 is Starbucks run time. Heed the fifth pillar. Adhere to the seven pillars of our mission statement."
"Why do people keep picking up my print-outs? If they aren't your print-outs, don't touch them. So says the third pillar. Adhere to the seven pillars of our mission statement."
"If they don't like it, they can kiss my ass – in accordance with the sixth pillar. Adhere to the seven pillars of our mission statement."
Watched Once Upon a Time in the West last night. Though I recognize their importance as bedrock texts in the canon of cool guy shit, the truth is I often find Sergio Leone try my patience. Unless I'm in specifically in the mood for it, the deliberate pacing seems more dragging than measured. I don't believe I've ever successfully sat through "For a Few Dollars More." I began OUTW with some trepidation, but it really grabbed me.
I will avoid the exhaustive review and instead point to one element. The film is the most postmodern Western I've ever seen. Nearly every character, shot, and scene is paying homage to some other flick. Even the many of the props are lifted from other flicks. In the first shot alone we get actors from High Noon, Sergeant Rutledge, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, John Wayne's firearm from Rio Bravo, and a shot from The Iron Horse. However, what makes the film brilliant is not the pastiche, but the fact that the scene works even if you are completely unaware of the references. Unlike, say, Kill Bill which overtly references films and then uses homage as justification for the references' existence within the film (why are the swordsmen wearing Kato masks and drivers' livery? – because the movie is built on Bruce Lee references, that's why), OUTW works entirely on its own. It's the difference between a well footnoted book and a book made of footnotes. I enjoy spotting in-jokes and allusions as much as the next guy, but I respect the film for not feeling like an exercise in citations.
May had her first day at the new gig yesterday. She says it went great.
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