Thursday, June 18, 2009

The context of a city and FIEND WITHOUT A FACE (92)

I've been living in San Francisco for two and a half months now and I'm slowly, oh so slowly, starting to feel like I actually live here. I've never really moved to a city I've had so little contact with before. I lived in Portland, briefly, but I'd spent weekend upon weekend there learning the layout, the neighborhoods, the "scene" so when I got there everything was already established in my head.

San Francisco on the other hand is a placed I've moved to with almost no concept of these things. I moved here on a beautiful, amazing whim, and have been, in a wonderful way, forced to to discover the workings of the city on my own. Or to some degree on my own, my knowledge of the city has been filtered through Alex's knowledge of the city, as she's been my most constant companion, and to many degrees my guide in the city, giving me spots to eat at, or ideas of things to do.

What I find the strangest about this sort of move is that with no context I really have no preconceptions of the area. I walk around in this city as if every neighborhood is the same, each and all blank slates that I'm just discovering. I was thinking this morning about my recent trip to the courthouse, going over in my head why I didn't bike there, and then thinking to myself that maybe locking up my bike outside the courthouse might be a dangerous thing for the little yellow fellow. But, I have no idea. The area of the city in which the courthouse is, because I haven't been here long enough to really grasp the areas of the city deemed "dangerous" by the population at large, is just as any other is, a spot of buildings and streets filled with people.

It's honestly, really refreshing. I'm actually being given the chance to create my own biases. Where in Seattle, I grew up knowing which areas were "cool" or "dangerous" or "ghetto" or what not, here, I've got nothing. Everything's new and I don't have to hurdle my own mental roadblocks to appreciate or accept anything.

Just a thought.

I'm tired of 1950s horror films. Perhaps I've always been tired of them and this recent one-two punch of Criterion sponsored '50s horror schlock has dredged those feelings up to the surface. Not to say that watching brain-stemmed monsters hanging from trees, flying in to broken windows and devouring people's spinal cords wasn't entertaining, I'm just sick of innocuous dialogue and the sort of lightness these sort of films embody.

And I'm not saying that I don't love horror movies and all their gory tomfoolery. No no, it's a favorite genre of mine, I just like my blood-soaked massacres with a little more vim and vigor.

Fiend Without A Face (92) was certainly interesting, but I just sort of blanked out on the last forty minutes. Looking up from whatever else I might've been doing to chuckle at an old man getting brain-sucked by a mental vampire cerebellum complete with antennae eyes and gruesome sticker things. After the realization that film was about nuclear fear, and the Commies, and all that good natured 50s paranoia, I just sort of fell in to a bored stupor while watching the film. Maybe it's the fact that films like Sisters (89) and Kwaidan (90) set the bar exceptionally high for smart, innovative horror, and these films just come across as tasteless blobs of sugar.

Regardless, I'm happy to be moving on.

Friday: Black Narcissus (93)

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