Friday, January 16, 2009

A few observations and CHARADE (57)

For reasons probably attributed to the seven and hours of sleep I've had in the last two days I can't think of anything to write about my life or my opinions. My brain is a blank slate and all I can really pull from it is a weird series of human observations I've had of late. It's pretty much the "Crazies I Know" post.

A few weird folk I've grown accustomed to over the last few weeks:

- the old Asian lady who sits in vertical seats near the front of the bus and knits. She wears only purple (purple hat, purple dress, purple belt) and a pair of huge sunglasses. This doesn't seem strange, but nearly every time I've gotten on the bus when she's there (which is often), she's knitting away while absolutely laying in to some young women or man about the state of social services or welfare. I always feel worst about the young ladies who have children, because the Political Asian Lady as we'll call her from now on, will just yell at them for not taking proper care of their children, in this deeply accented English. Every single person on the bus is trying not to look, but morbidly fascinated at the same time by this oddly lunatic display of political thought. The other day I got on the bus and she was passed out so I sat down right next to her, she woke and gave me the dirtiest look over the top of her glasses. My palms got sweaty, not knowing what to say if she assaulted me about my lack of medical insurance, but her eyes fluttered to sleep and the bus ride was uneventful.

- the bearded man who sleeps next to Fuel Coffee. Not only does he have the neatest, homeless bed I've ever seen (the man sleeps with an under-sheet tucked up by his chin) he snores as if he was sleeping in a king size bed at The Bellagio. I can hear his snores blocks down the street as I walk to work. He comes in to the coffee shop all the time and is either wearing a fairly clean blue sweatshirt or a vest with a ladies leopard print hooded sleeveless sweatshirt underneath it. This contrasts nicely with his rotund body and thick beard, let me tell you. Today he asked Umeko and I if we had anywhere he could "dry his portable CD player" as there was some sort of "residue" inside of it. We're obliging folk so for the entire shift there was a towel wrapped 1996 Discman resting atop the coffee maker. Hear this though non-tippers, this is a man who sleeps outside every day and he still has the manners to leave a fifty cent tip on every cup of coffee he drinks. Think about that next time you're giving an eleven percent tip.

I describe these people with a strange sort of affection. They're both harmless, very eccentric human beings, and seeing them on a fairly daily basis always puts a smile on my face. No matter how polished everything looks on the outside, this is a weird, weird world and I'm always happy to be reminded of that.

Oh goodness, Charade (57) was an absolute blast of film. It's classy and cool and a delightful romance wrapped in the trimmings of a extremely well put together mystery/thriller. If you've never seen an Audrey Hepburn film (which I hadn't), go out and get this as her fast-talking, smartly dressed, high society Reggie Lampert is one of the great ladies of the 1960s. She's tough but vulnerable, young but wise, calm but a real horn dog when the moment arises, and always, always dressed to the nines.

And let us not forget the gray-haired lothario himself, Cary Grant. His name-changing con man is as slick as they get, and the interactions between Hepburn and him are some of the great romantic moments in film. Amongst all the impressive twists and turns of this classy, cool movie, all you really want is to see these two banter back and forth, slowly falling in love along the way. This is a thriller and a mystery sure, but running straight through it is beautiful love story about two people stuck in a dangerous situation.

Director Stanley Donet has also done a remarkable job of allowing the audience the ability to really like all the characters, be they good or bad. James Coburn's toothy American thug is all rolled cigs and swaggers, and the hook-handed Scobie (George Kennedy) might be prone to murderous rampage, but you still sort of love him. And we cannot forget about Walter Matthau's Hamilton Bartholomew, a quirky, mustachioed spy who nearly steals the show. There's a general befuddled camraderie between the characters here that ably hides the twists and turns in such a way, when all the cards are finally dealt, you're completely satisfied.

A great, great film. I feel like I'm in a pretty impressive stretch right now and all I can do is gush about how good these films are. Not a bad place to be.

Monday: Peeping Tom (58)


wescoat said...

I think you have a special ability to attract crazies. You should have a week of "crazies I've loved" posts, in which each day you relate a different, special wacko encounter from your sordid past.

anna said...

that's what happens when you ride public transportation. i encountered a very skinny, crack head, heroine addict lady (not to judge or speculate) who was swinging from the hold bars on a bus and hollering, only making it across the burnside bridge before the bus driver kicked her out.

and i hear you about tipping..when i worked at teavana you'd pull down 10 tins of tea for people to smell, spending about 20 minutes answering all their questions for them to have one cup of freshly brewed tea for $2.75 and no tip. honestly people.