February 6, 2010

A glorious Saturday from the inside, rather bitter out in the air. Good day to have no schedule.

Italy approaches, and I’m starting to narrow in on what I want to do: Day 1, St. Peter’s. I managed to get tickets to the necropolis under the basilica, and have decided to suck up the claustrophobia to the degree it’s possible. After that, we’ll head to the Janiculum Hill, walk down through Trastevere, and probably aim to eat dinner around Campo di Fiori or Piazza Navona. Day 2, Villa Borghese, EUR. I just found out that there’s an incredible cool sounding museum at EUR, sounds like the Bethnal Green in London which was a huge highlight of my trip there. DAy 3 is ruins day; all the museums are closed.  As for Venice, I want to see the Accademia, wander around our neighborhood a lot (we’re near the Ghetto) and get to the cemetery. Of course St. Mark’s Square. Really, really excited.

Began Abel Gance’s La Roue last night. I saw Napoleon years ago and remember trying hard to stay awake. I look at movies a lot differently now, and I’m pretty gone on Gance, and if ever there were a Clever Photo Caption, that would be It. Griffith is a master, though I don’t feel any need to genuflect around him, but Gance is a magician. Watching this movie, I have a whole new appreciation for Renoir. The editing takes Griffith’s mastery to a new level, not just the action scenes that move like lightning, but in the quiet moments. A sequence that cuts between a brother and sister sitting near a window in tranquility and their father confessing his despair to a man at another window is utterly breathtaking. The compositions are haunting, the screen is flooded with light, and the storytelling is riveting.

Meanwhile, just got unstuck from where to go next in the adaptation I’m working on. I LOVE writing adaptations. I have always found writing to be pure unmitigated torture, but writing for movies is crazy exhilarating.

Began reading Lorrie Moore’s A Gate at the Stairs and it is wonderful.  I love her sense of humor. People are always telling me how much I must love Anne LaMott, who I actually can’t stand. Lorrie Moore rocks.

May see Up in the Air with the Youngest today. I’m happy to see that I don’t have a heavy mileage trek this year to cover all the Oscar nominees as I’ve seen most of them, and that’s with the idiotic but probably commercially sound idea of nominating 10. Though dragging myself to the Blind Side is going to take some doing. Ugh. May be a good thing to take the kid to. Sandra Bullock will probably win the damn Oscar. Saints preserve us. Otherwise I only need to rent District 9 and Up. Avatar will probably win, which would be sad, the saddest thing of all being the act of sitting through what is sure to be an even more insufferable acceptance speech than “I’m King of the World!” My nomination for the line that Cameron will quote from Avatar: “Who’s Bad?” Self-aggrandizement and a tribute to the King of Pop all in two easy words.

But that’s the only sour note in what I think will otherwise be a lovely weekend. I shall now proceed to enjoy it. Later, gators.

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