Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wednesday, 17 July 1996

I'm at the Stepping Stone diner for breakfast on a rainy, cold day in the middle of summer. I guess reviving this Mauve Decade project has once again failed. I've been working, working, etc., temp job, then off to a film festival, then more working, waiting to hear about American Job's progress and then more working. Waiting, nothing, working, paying off credit cards, a little anyway, only about $15,000 debt left. Only? Anyway, living in Portland, that's the best thing. Got hired at my near permanent temp job. Another law firm. The summer is definitely welcome. Today feels like fall, and that's welcome, too, since it doesn't feel enough like fall here in the fall. Middle of July, 1996. This is a nice diner, too bad it's not in our neighborhood. It's old, and L-shaped, on a corner in a residential neighborhood. Circular fluorescent lights in the ceiling, L-shaped counter. Booths. Good coffee cups—though I've quit drinking coffee, at least for now. Bad music on the bad radio. Why? Why is there so much bad music? Oh, my.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thursday, 1 February 1996

Whoops—here it is Thursday already and I'm in the middle of my account of Sundance week, and I'm hopelessly lost, behind and forgetting everything. I'm an idiot for not writing each day as it went along—I, as much as anyone should know better. I figure I can redeem myself by writing a coherent and artful account of the entire experience—but I'd better include notes here so that I remember a good portion of it. I'll do that…

But first—time for my pen to run out. Does that signify anything, I wonder? Though I do have a fine array of pens—actually, this one sucks too—yeah fuck it—oh no—this one won’t write either—a lot of these pens, they look nice, but when it comes down to writing, forget it!

Maybe it's the cold—nothing will write—its insane—I'm sick of it—maybe it's me—anyway. (Doug just called from Legal NW—my temp agency. I got a job for tomorrow, ending, at least, in my short-term mind, my $ problems. Time problems are ongoing—so what the hell!)

Anyway, I was going to say—that I'm concerned with the very nature of this project—and I have to find a way to make it work, to make it worthwhile for me to write—and for people to read.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday, 28 January 1996

Today is the actual last day here—getting a ride to the airport at 3:30 and flying back tonight. It's kind of sad with everyone gone now and everything all over pretty much. I wish I would have got an earlier flight back, actually. But it's okay—the whole week was hectic and now I'm able to relax a little. Went to two movies yesterday—The White Balloon at 7 pm, and The Bloody Child at 10 am. It was fun going to a movie like The Bloody Child in the morning, since it was somewhat experimental, very disturbing, and the kind of movie that's impossible to see (anywhere but a festival). And it was pretty much nonlinear, but generally ran in reverse chronological order, much like this journal I'm writing.

Okay—the last thing yesterday was going to the closing night party, which was at some racket club in the suburbs—and was really hard to get into. We had like eight people in our group by that time, but only two tickets—so it was another iffy thing, like going to parties all week. We never were sure if we could get in, but we always did. Last night was the worst. There were tons of cops and a very organized system of entry. Tom Wheeler and Doug, who arrived earlier, managed to get in—Tom by ducking behind a curtain which totally surrounded the space. It was like an indoor football field sized space (actually tennis courts) and there was a curtain around the edge. Total chaos, but enough force at the door to keep us from getting in until we got the attention of Trevor, one of the programmers who was really nice to us all week, and he got us in.

Lots of people were exceptionally nice all week, and it was odd contrasted with the inconsiderate and rude behavior you would also see. It was kind of like local rednecks verses the rude Hollywood and New York types. You could see it. But amidst this you'd also see evidence of being nice actually mean something. Being considerate actually meaning something. It was kind of reaffirming all in all.

I saw a waiter at a restaurant YELL at a group of people yesterday. Amazing. The older woman working at the Vietnamese restaurant I'm eating lunch at right now just came up with my check and touched my arm and said, "Take your time." Since I'm sitting here along writing, very nice.

Where was I, though? At the party last night, incredibly crowded, we saw a lot of the people we met who were totally nice and supportive of us. You really kind of got the feeling that people were so happy we made a movie everyone wants to be made but no one has the courage to make. Totally un-commercial and not very happy.

We saw Matt W. again who was from Iowa City, etc. And Steve Bognar, who is from Dayton (and we saw all week), and did a documentary called Personal Belongings. He knows Ed Pittman (from Dayton).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Saturday, 27 January 1996

It's our last full day here, kinda sad, but I'll be glad to go back to Portland tomorrow. Last night was our second and last screening, and it was kind of disappointing in that it wasn’t very crowded—though there were enough people there to make it seem like an audience—but nothing like the first one—but on the other hand, it was a good audience—and I had the best time watching it I had yet. I sat by this guy, Matt, who we met up with earlier in the week, who was a film student in Iowa and now works for acquisitions at Universal or somewhere. I sat in the back, and it looked a little fuzzy to me with my bad eyes, but the color was great and really rich, and the sound was good too. I even noticed things I've never noticed before.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Friday, 26 January 1996

(Rewrite this anemic Sundance crap—even if it’s not true—and add stuff I wouldn’t have known at the time, i.e. Tokyo Fist by director of Tetsuo movies/Iron Man or whatever—a great antidote to the overdose on cream filled pastry horns that was Renee Zellweger.)

It's Friday morning, and I'm drinking coffee in our hotel room at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, Utah. I'll try to go backwards with the bizarre things I can remember over the last few days—at least until I'm interrupted again with some bizarre thing, which I'll perhaps recount at the time. Anyway, I'm becoming afraid I won't get to remember everything, but then I already don't already remember names—I mean I forget them five minutes later. In the movie The Player everyone introduced themselves with first and last names all the time, but very few people have done that to me here. People are all going around with nametags, but I feel stupid squinting and bending to read their nametags. Anyway, that's not the most interesting thing, anyway. The overall feeling I've had is the most striking thing—which I'll try to describe in mere words and no doubt fail miserably.

Last of all, last night we all went to a midnight screening of Tokyo Fist, a new movie by the Japanese filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto (whose name I'll look up right now). We went right after The Whole Wide World, which I didn't like very much. At some point in the evening, I realized I forgot to drink my afternoon or evening coffee—which is usually tragic. Not to mention, I've never been able to stay awake for a midnight screening. But this movie was so completely insane, it was impossible to fall asleep. It was easily the most violent movie I've ever seen, but it kind of transcended everything that it was—really fast editing, violence—moving camera, lots of symbolic urban landscape shots, alienating lighting, body piercings—which all, on paper, seem to be lame, but of course there's no way to reproduce the impact of the movie in writing, so why the fuck am I trying? Anyway, I didn't fall asleep.

On our way out to the movies, we discovered that DEVO were in the room off the lobby of the hotel where they were doing on-line interviews (we did one earlier). We started talking to a woman who was watching the kids. It turned out she was the wife of one of the DEVO guys—I think Gerald Casale. Doug and Igor watched her kid (Alex 2) outside while he threw snowballs at cars. She had Chris give her a backrub and told us how she saw a guy from Blue Oyster Cult in the lobby of their hotel who she used to know, and he said something about "bronzing the key" after being with her. Something like that—I'm not sure—anyway, something complimentary and sexist, but she was flattered more than disgusted, I think.

Finally the DEVO guys came out, and Scott had them sign the DEVO video Chris had happened to bring. Finally we went down to the movie, but Alex 2 was still out in the snow, so I played in the snow with him a little until Mark Mothersbaugh came out and took over. Oh, and the other funny thing, this woman, never found out her name, said they had a pet bird, a parrot or something, named Derbis. They had named it when they saw someone on the news talking about debris, but couldn't pronounce it, and pronounced it "Derbis."

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thursday, 25 January 1996

I'm really sorry about going 20 days without writing anything, and I will probably regret it later.  It has made me think that this project may be hopeless. It all started with a job I got at a law firm (temp job) soon after I had written the previous entry. Then, I was working full time up to the date of my birthday (January 19). It used to be, when I first started this project in 1989, that I could write entries at work, but now, doing temp work, as I am, I don't think it is as easy. So I don't know. Maybe I'll figure something out. Anyway, it's near the end of January, but then, every year starts out much the same way. January is kind of hectic and goes fast. I'll see if I can't straighten things out here in the next couple of days. Maybe. I have a lot to write about, but right now it's three in the morning or so, and I'm tired.