I know, I know, I haven't been blogging. Where have I been? Probably off trying to get warm somewhere. It's not that I don't like winter (Boston world, I miss you!) and snow. I love the snow! For example right now I am sitting in a Biggby Coffee shop working on freelance stuff, and I am right by a big window through which I can gaze at the wintry view of white-gray sky, bare branch silhouettes, and little snow bits swirling about without sticking. To my right is a fireplace, and people are scattered in here sipping their coffee and working on their laptops. This I love. It's just the whole living in a cold house thing that hurts my bones. Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. Not blogging. But you know I will have to ramp up the bloggage soon, because a new season is upon us, and that is of course AWARDS SEASON!
Ahhhhh, film. Can you believe it is already December? The National Board of Review has announced its top 2009 films, the Gotham Independent Film Awards have been awarded, the British Independent Film Awards have chosen nominees and winners, and the always-a-good-time Independent Spirit Award nominees are here. And boy do I have some moviegoing to do!
I have been trying my best. We are particularly fond of the $3.99 Celebration! Cinema down the street, and we also go to the only AMC in Grand Rapids of course. (Yes, I said the only AMC. I know, it's as if I had only one Starbucks or something! But the Celebration! Cinema chain here has an awards program too, so I manage.) There are good films -- like, good good, you know, independent or offbeat or arthousy -- at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts every week, and we frequent that theater as well.
But the bottom line is, I am in Grand Rapids. Middle America. Not a coast for miles. And all the films just aren't playing here yet! Example? You want an example? I'll give you an example. The Road, I tell you. I read the book last year, and it moved me. I've devoured news about the film. I long for it. Some nights I watch the trailer online again just to keep myself going. I read my trusty Entertainment Weekly reviews that assure me it's here -- only it's not here here. Not yet. And so I wait.
Sure, sure, I've been spoiled by years of living in Boston, New York, and of course Los Angeles. There was my long dark Oscar winter in Korea to prepare me for this. But Korea was different. I basically just saw whatever was playing in English, one or maybe two movies per week, and then waited for another poster to appear announcing a movie that I could understand. Here in Grand Rapids, there are other movies playing, but I just don't want to see them, because they are stupid. (Or they are not stupid and we have already seen them.) I had truly forgotten what this is like.
Maybe those of you who haven't had the privilege of living in one of those Select Cities find this normal and see nothing wrong with my plight. Those of you in Select Cities, have pity on me. You know the ones. Besides L.A. and New York, they are the cities you see on that list in your magazine ads: "If you live in one of these cities, enter to win passes to an advance screening..." Boston, of course, is often on there. San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, you know, all the places I want to live. Not so much the G Rap. Sigh. I'm just not about going to see Planet 51, or Ninja Assassin (speaking of Korea, eh), or god forbid Old Dogs. We went to The Blind Side and that fabulous comedy 2012, what more can you ask of me?
And don't even talk to me about The Twilight Saga: New Moon on two screens at my local AMC. Seriously. Don't. Don't even suggest it. I don't think I would have stooped to that, even in Daegu. Sure, when I lived in Asia I was desperate enough to hear English dialogue that I indulged in Harry Potter and the Quittich Tournament or whatever it was (Goblet of Fire, I believe), and yes, I may have paid my 6,000 won to see Chicken Little. But the animated chicken is as low as I go. It is still many steps above the shoegazing swan with her sparkly vampire and Lamanite werewolf.
Never fear. I am making the most of it, and really I'm being melodramatic for the purposes of this blog entry, of course. Recently we have had the pleasure of attending truly awesome films: A Serious Man and The Men Who Stare at Goats. You must not heed EW's shamefully off-base review of TMWSaG for a second. That flick is satirical, philosophical, and sarcastic, with a lot of brilliance just under the surface, so you have to pay attention.
But the Oscars are coming! The Oscars are coming! We are less than two months from the nominations. (February 2nd) We are one week from the Golden Globe nominations. One week, people!!!
Citizens of Grand Rapids, unite! We demanded Paranormal Activity -- now why can't we demand the good stuff?!