Monday, August 10, 2009

Roadtrip and quick notes on OKIE NOODLING and ZODIAC

Oh boy, oberto, I slipped in to San Francisco last night after a monstrous, burning hot, fifteen hour drive from the very middle of northwestern Washington. A few thoughts on road trips:

- Do them with somebody you love. I'm not trying to yack up the sappy juice on your face and shoes here, but seriously, Alex and I cruised up the West Coast starting on Tuesday night, and I was awash in shit-faced grins nearly the entire time. There's just something about meandering along the highways of America with that certain someone that makes each and every activity just a little better than it could be. I found myself expunging stories of our activities ("We swam ... in a RIVER") to any and all who'd listen and was baffled that these good folk weren't as excited as I was. Turns out when you haven't been roaming the wilds of the Northwest in a dented blue Honda Civic hatchback with your special lady, some things just don't seem as monumental.

- Learning how to drive a stick on a roadtrip is wonderful for a few reasons: once you push a car in to fifth gear, it's pretty much start and stop like an automatic, thus it doesn't really feel like you're driving a stick anymore. Sadly, as soon as you pull said stick in to the hilly, crowded climes of San Francisco, it's pretty much a fucking rum jungle, and your stuck outside an indian burrito joint, sweating uncontrollably and being talked down by the aforementioned wonderful girlfriend. All I can say is, I'm trying.

- These roadtrip things are beautiful. Open road, a new bed every night, wild experiences - I don't know if it gets much better than this. And even if I am coming home to a beautiful house in one of the greatest cities on Earth (a city I absolutely love) it's a little difficult to get myself back in to the nitty-gritty of my usual daily life. Coffee and records are fantastic, but I fell asleep last night with thoughts of the sun dipping behind mountains and the blood-red of taillights.

I'm back, but still adjusting.

Okie Noodling is a short, not terribly fantastic documentary about a wildly interesting subject. What might you ask is "Okie noodlin'"? Oh you know, the age-old art of reaching one's hand in to the deep dark murky underwater holes in lakes and rivers of the south, and wigglin' your digits about until a giant beast of a catfish (hopefully) latches on to your arm. Yup, that's Okie noodlin' for you. The film, put together by an Okie noodlin' enthusiast, clocks in at barely an hour and as you might expect, barely touches on the sport. Instead the viewer is introduced to a handful of noodlin' (or grabblin, as I prefer) experts and roughly follows them on a few noodlin' expeditions. Sure, I was entertained by these folk and their propensity for catching catfish with their hand sausages, but did I learn anything or glean any fascinating thoughts from the picture? Not really. I enjoyed the heck out of this film, found myself smiling through out, but can't say that as a documentary that I can completely endorse it. You want fifty-seven minutes of good ole Southern boys plucking cat-monsters from murky water? This is your pic.

I just finished Zodiac for the nth time and am still love with this dense quirky little tale of obsession and the Zodiac murders. This go around I snatched it from the webs because Alex and I wanted to see if SF was properly portrayed and I'm never terribly sad about watching a David Fincher flick again. Turns out, upon repeated viewings, the story and characters of this film only grow in enjoyment. I love the idea that this is only partially a film about killings, but more so a film about those that the killings derailed. Not the families of the murdered or the murderer, but those who lost so much of themselves in to finding out who this person, or persons, was. Fantastic. Do you have two and half hours to kill on a cold and grey night? Pop this in, it won't cheer you up, but it'll give you something to chew on.

Alright, I'm snatching another Criterion film tomorrow, so lets get this quest moving again.

Wednesday: Written on the Wind (96)

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