Thursday, May 7, 2009

A hair caterpillar and HAMLET (82)

I currently have this on my face:

I've been working on this beautiful little hair caterpillar for a good few months now, and when I decided finally to knock off my oversized neck-beard, I thought, "Hell, everyone needs to have a mustache for a little while."

Since making this decision, a few key thoughts have popped to mind. I thought I'd share:

1. Having a mustache involves having an amazing girlfriend. I'm sure of it. "Why?" you might ask. First off, a two inch line of long, tickly hair scrawled across the upper lip is surprisingly not attractive to a fair number of women. Something about the old lipper just doesn't do it for some, and those, those I look down upon. Secondly, at least in my case, those who live with someone (me) who has a mustache has to hear comments about the mustache many, many times a day, for weeks and weeks on end. When I first shaved this sultry fellow it was self-conscious comments, "Are you sure you're still attracted to me?" Followed quickly by purely observational comments, "Wow, I look so much like a 70s porn-star right now" (Alex actually spent a day introducing me to her friends by saying, "Oh I brought a 70s porn-star with me today." Alex = keeper). These were then followed by hours of me just rubbing my mustache against the side of her face whenever the opportunity presented itself. And all of these comments have now funneled in to a sort of smarmy set of thoughts where I'll say things like, "Hah, everybody loves a mustache" or "That girl was staring at my mustache, I'm positive." You'd think she'd tired of this, and maybe she does, but she just smiles and loves me.

2. Mustaches are pretty much just giant hairy sponges. This is a thought I've had to learn slowly as each item of food I consume becomes a new experiment in what exactly is going to end up stuck in the hair above my lip. Coffee, and other foamy beverages, are quite a problem as I find myself literally sucking on the tips of my hairy lip to sap the foam from it's new resting place. A caramel donut proved to be pretty dangerous. Sauces and dips, boom, stuck right up there. Some might say ew, I say, "learning process."

3. I really do believe that having a mustache on your face draws stares of either admiration or disgust from passerbyers on the street. In crowded BART vehicles, I find people looking at my mustache. Just staring at this collection of brown hair resting gently on my mouth. Sometimes it's mothers with children, and they're staring in fear and holding their child a little bit closer. Sometimes it's other mustache bearers and they're checking it out, sizing it up, looking for ideas. Often times it's just a curious on-looker, distracted by this impressive beast.

I have no idea how long this mustache will last, but I'm enjoying it pretty thoroughly right now.

I'm going to be very honest right now about my recent week long excursion through Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (82): I watched the film as a background. I worked and I worked and I chatted with Alex and I cleaned my room and Hamlet and Laertes and Polonious chattered on in the background, completely oblivious to my lack of attention paid. I've heard before that Laurence Olivier didn't edit a single word from the original text to make this film, and goddamn if you can't tell. The film clocks in at just about three hours, and I had to watch it in fifteen minute spits. Little bursts of Laurence Olivier staring in to the camera pontificating on his madness and his country and his evil family. To say the least, the film, like all of Olivier's Shakespeare works, bored the hell out of me.

That said, there were some good things that came out of the film for me. This is by far the best Olivier Shakespeare I've seen. Hamlet is a fucked up play full of murder, incest, madness, insanity, assassination plots, pirate attacks, spousal abuse, mother abuse, Polonious-stabbing and to Olivier's credit he does not shy away from this. His Hamlet is an obsessed loonie and he's relentless in making those who he feels have spited him know his feelings. Laurence Olivier impresses me in the moments where he lets his guard down, where he stops preening and trying to be something amazing and just exposes the wounded, and very fucked up, soul of Hamlet. There's a decent ratio of preen to loon in this film though and it made it very close to fully watcheable.

What also helped was the beautiful camera work and the amazing set-design. There's a real sense of loneliness in this film given off by every character and Olivier (director and star) creates a Danish castle huge almost to excess. There are moments in the film where the characters are literally engulfed by space, huge hallways and monstrous atriums and these tiny people barely existing within. It gives the impression of a group of people completely distanced from each other, lost within their own sins. Couple that with a light design more akin to film noir then Willy S's tragedies and you've got a film that's at least nice to look at. Seriously, Hamlet's father's ghost was pretty freaky to look at, all face gristle and gloomy robes.

At the end of the day though, I dread Laurence Olivier's Shakespeare films, each and all. No worries though, only four more left in the collection. Yuh-eesh.

1 comment:

wescoat said...

You disgust me.