Wednesday, December 17, 2008

China? Maybe. BRANDED TO KILL (38).

I'm not entirely sure that 2009 will be the Year That Noah Goes To China. Yesterday, the first half at least was almost entirely a cluster-eff of missed connections, shoddy airlines, and one of the sketchier interviews I've ever given. A brief recap:

I arrived at the airport with nearly and a half to sit, read my short, concise book on modern China and visibly sweat in my 50 dollar tie and free sweater. At 9:35 the flight lady (remarkably friendly in these days of unfriendly flight ladies) announced that there was a bit of a problem with the plane and that at most we'd be leaving a half an hour later. No worries, I could call and perhaps get the whole thing pushed back if I really ran that late. At 9:37, not-so nice flight lady got back on the intercom and announced that due to "mechanical malfunctions" the flight to Walla Walla had been canceled. I now had a little under two hours to find a new flight to Walla Walla to make my Whitman In China interview by noon.

Well, turns out that there wasn't any other flights. Instead I found myself pacing about the Sea-Tac Airport, panicked, attempting to suss out some way that I could have this interview that didn't involve an overnight stay in the frigid tundra that is south-eastern Washington. Finally, after a bit of debate, the lovely Susan Brick informed me that the interview was on, but was now a phone interview. Sigh, phew, woo-hoo. I got my 279 dollars back, roomie JM scooped me up and I was headed home for what I hoped would be a life-changing interview.

Unfortunately this five-person conference call didn't go exactly as planned. Where I've spent the last five weeks studying up on China and it's place in the world, this panel of profs were more interested in how I would actually teach these fledgling English learners. To say the least I stammered through a couple of truly bullshit answers on my way to one of the poorest interviews of my life. There were a few laughs and when it came to policy and teaching students about America and Chinese-relationships I managed to prevail, but damn if China Quest might not exactly be on like Tron come next year.

In the end though, I did make 280 dollars back that I thought was lost to jet fuel on microwave cheeseburgers. So if don't make it, there will be a considerable amount of high-end drinking to indulge in. Wish me luck!

Seijun Suzuki, the director of Branded To Kill (38) and a handful of other amazing Criterion films is as bizarre a director to grace the collection so far. Branded to Kill (38) is a weirdly erotic story about a rice eating assassin and his quest to become number one ... and stay there. There's an amazing scene in this movie where the main character, a rice-sniffing assassin named #3, takes on a five man assassin squad single-handedly. Aside from that you've got weirdly animalistic sex, bizarre musical cues, and the cinematograpic equivalent of mushrooms. This movie rules. Are you easily offended? Do you not like weird things? Then please return your fourth screening of Four Christmases.

Thursday: Tokyo Drifter (39)


wescoat said...

"...jet fuel on microwave cheeseburgers..." ? Is this some new, cheaper method of airplane propulsion?

leahrindner said...

In the timeless words of Lauryn Hill:

What is meant to be will be,
After winter must come spring,
Change will come eventually.