Saturday, September 22, 2007

bizarre bugs and movies, always more movies

It seems fitting to be reading this Yahoo news headline, Bizarre Gender Bending Bugs Baffle Scientists, while immersed in the Fantastic Fest, annual brainchild of Austin exhibition genius Tim League and friends. I particularly like this detail:
"Sex among bat bugs (as with bed bugs) is violent. During copulation, males of these species pierce the abdomens of their mates with their genitals and ejaculate directly into their blood."
Sounds like a perfect Fantastic Fest film concept - not that I would really know. I love the vibe, the setting, the fun, but carefully have to weed through the choices. I'm way too freaked out every single day of my life to be able to enjoy horror films. I see no difference between the possibilities and my reality. And I don't get the thing about enjoying torture either. Or total immersion in martial arts. I was happy enough to see George Romero's latest, Diary of the Dead, with his meta commentary on how we now live only behind video cameras. And also just enjoyed an anime, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

I just started watching anime this year . I've no idea why it's gained its immense popularity and cult status, but I'm finding that I quite like it too. Something about the simplicity mixed in with magic and aesthetic pleasure. And hell, I've been something of a Japanese language fetishist for decades. It's one of my favorite soundtracks.

While I'm mentioning some movies screened over the last couple of days, I can't leave out the wonder of Into The Wild. On the simplest level, eye balm. A sad tale certainly, a kid running into a dead end. I'm not a nature romanticist. I'll always take relationships over the outdoors, I'm a city girl through and through. But the film was provocative and gorgeous. Magnificent landscapes and yes, even some deep human connection.

And the night before? Steven Okazaki's searing White Light, Black Rain which is currently on HBO. We were privileged t o see it on a theatrical screen with the filmmaker in for a serious and thoughtful Q&A. The film is devastating and so, so current. Highly recommended.

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