Tuesday, December 1, 2009

1 year, 8 months, and QUICK NOTES: THE CRUISE.

The first of the month always brings about some fairly, perhaps relatively, substantial dates. And yes, I understand, the acknowledgment of anniversaries, be them year or month, is considered faux pas in the "cool set", but that's okay. I'm a big sappy ball of snotty goo seventy-five percent of my life anyway, so turning it up a notch a few times a year just comes with the territory. I'll try to keep it to a dull roar though.

Some events of great import that rear their heads upon the first of each month:

1. It's the anniversary of my move to SF. Exactly eight months ago my brother and I, a jumbly ball of anxiety crammed in to a 1996 Honda Civic, cruised across the Golden Gate Bridge en route to our new homes and our new lives. These past 8 months have been challenging and at times rough, but also the happiest of my life. Each day presents something new and wonderful and I find this strange amalgam of a city to be as inspirational as any I've ever set foot in. I've had two jobs in this city (one in a hellish tourist void, the other a tiny hole of community and industry), four different roommates, one Civil War (thanks to two of those roommates), one therapist (a first for me), an unlimited supply of ideas, an unlimited supply of unfinished projects, a small handful of people that I've come to love and appreciate, less than 5 purchased books (I have a problem, this is a big deal), I've loved and lost one goldenrod single-speed bicycle, and that's the just the tip of the iceberg. But most importantly ...

2. I've spent exactly one year with the most special of ladies, the absolute love of my life, Alexandra Healy. One year ago, I staggered home from a grueling mid-shift and stumbled in to what would seem like a brief amazing, impossible, encounter with a girl who lived 816 miles away from me, an encounter that would blossom, through coincidence and a lot of texting, in to something absolutely beautiful. Everyone always tells you all the grim and gory details of living with the person you love, but they never tell you the most important thing: how fucking awesome it is. How you get to wake up each and every morning and right there next to you is the person you hold dearest in the world. How each night before you fade off to sleep you get to wrap an arm around their mid-section and talk about the day. How when you're sick they'll put you in crappy track pants and read you Amy Bender short stories. How you'll always have someone who'll hold your face against their chest when you're sad, and often times even when you're not. How you'll get to explore the person you were and are becoming. How you'll find someone else in this frequently bland world who wants to spend their Thanksgiving watching Cat Dancers and cooking cornish game hens. How hearing the door open will always snap your neck like a whip because it might be them coming home. How all of this can leave you nauseous, elated, ebullient, crackling with nerves, dry-mouthed, shit-faced, teary-eyed, breathless, tense, aroused, exhausted, and on and on. No one ever tells you that, but after spending a year (8 months of it in the same room) with the person I've come to love so exceptionally much, I feel as if I can tell you now. One year. Somebody, somewhere, pop a bottle of champagne.

The Movie: The Cruise
The Director: Bennett Miller (Capote)

What Is It?: A low budget documentary about Timothy "Speed" Levitch, a double-decker tour guide in New York. Basically an hour and half of some of the most intelligent ranting you've ever witnessed.

The Experience: Alex has been talking about this short, shaky little documentary for as long as I've been dating her and after a trip to the Rotten Apple, it became almost mandatory that we supplement our usually voracious documentary fix with this flighty bit of profile. We devoured it, unusually, in a single sitting.

Something Interestin': Director Bennett Miller followed up this film, seemingly shot on his Mom's Super-8 while drunk, with the Oscar-nominated Capote.

Something Else Interestin': Subject Timothy Levitch isn't just the subject of this film, he's also played Puggler the Punk Rock Juggler in something referred to as Xavier: Renegade Angel.

Quick Notes:

1. I suspect deeper issues.

Timothy "Speed" Levitch is assumedly as brilliant as you can get. You can see it in the frantic wave of his hands, the speed-talking, the sort of aloof wandering through the city he loves so dearly, the rattling off of facts as if they were known by any and all, and especially you can see it in the way he seems to have some sort of unending bag of ideas that he's able to reach in to at any point and pull free. It's incredible, but what's even more interesting is what seems to lurk underneath. The frantic charm of Levitch is offset by almost uncontrollable bursts of emotion (anger, sadness, frustration) throwing his usually eccentric and lovable tirades in to a more manic light. Who knows what lies beneath the skin of Levitch, but I'll say this, I knew a fella just like Speed Levitch, and he spent a night in the pokey because in a more manic state he broke in to the Federal Building downtown to try to stop an assassination plot against the President. Just saying.

2. Makes you feel like a filmmaker.

The fact that Bennett Miller, Oscar-nominated director, made this film on the streets of New York for less than it costs James Cameron to wipe his ass is inspiring. The fact that the film is basically a series of close-ups on Timothy Levitch shot on grainy black and white film in the always scenic streets of New York is inspiring. The fact that all it takes is a modicum of skill, an amazing subject, and a borrowed camera to make something of worth, hell, that's inspiring. This is the kind of film, bereft of special effects or computer graphics or even lighting, that slaps you around a little bit, gets your creative juices breaking down the dam of Hollywood that always seems so ominous.

Final Thoughts: A great little picture. I could watch five or six volumes of Levitch just shooting the shit. Maybe he should have a talk show ... or maybe not.

Tomorrow: 500 Days of Summer

1 comment:

wescoat said...

It's a '98 Honda Civic. Get your damn facts straight!

And happy anniversary,snuggly-boo!