Sunday, September 21, 2008

Freaks and Geeks, the real-life edition

So I've been looking at high school photographs recently, and realized how well my (old) social groups fit into the categories described by Judd Apatow's ingenious (albeit short-lived) dramedy Freaks and Geeks. Decide for yourself, and keep in mind the differences between Apatow's affluent Michigan suburb and an inner-city Chicago Public School.

The freaks:
The geeks:And a third social group, which for some reason I can't quite pigeonhole into a stereotype:When I think about it, I was pretty much a complete nerd, so it would be more fitting to label the first as Geeks, the second as Dorks, and the third as... well, probably Freaks.

If I rationalize hard enough I can sort of see a Lindsay Weir parallel in the last one. If I really really try. I'm smirking, right? Right? Right.

(And check out the messenger bag and combat(ish) boots in the last picture. Man, I thought I was so cool. And this wasn't even during my short-lived emo-goth phase sophomore year.)

Let's see... I'd be Lindsay (YAY!), to the left is the dude played by Seth Rogen, to the right are James Franco and Jason Segel. Oh man, I wish my life were a dramedy.

Cue pretentious literary quote:

"Life is a comedy for those who think, a tragedy for those who feel"--Horace Walpole

To those reading that somehow take offense at their being called either a freak or a geek (although I doubt anyone reading would take offense), stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. Just because there's a hipster, indie, scenester, hippie, punk, or emo culture doesn't mean everyone fits into any of them, and that anyone involved with any of the movements is somehow labeled as the typical member of said movement. Except punk. Punks are totally punk. Punks are totally punk because they love telling other people about how amazingly punk they are. So they're the exception. If they're actually punk. (End rant)

Why do I love labels so much? Probably because of how simultaneously right and wrong they are. They're walking contradictions!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Parlez-moi de la pluie

Let it be known that I came upon this movie by accident, and so far have not read any of its reviews. Thus, I'm very uneasy reviewing it, and even more uneasy formulating an opinion, so bear with me.
"Parlez-moi de la pluie" (English version: "Let it Rain") had the potential to begin, develop, and end like your average french romantic comedy, vis-a-vis "My Best Friend," or anything you had to sit through in French 101. Happily for us, many parts of this largely solid and well-made film were quite surprising. "Parlez-moi de la pluie" has the all-too-common element of being a movie-about-filmmaking: Karin, a hotel receptionist (Jamel Debouzze of "Amelie" fame), seeks to make a documentary involving Agathe Villanova, an infamous Feminist and academic. Karin, however, is no feminist, and what in the heck he's making the film for remains ambiguous (that, or simply lost in translation). Karin employs the help of filmmaker Michel Ronsard (one of the film's writers: Jean-Pierre Bacri), under whose guise a great web of events unfold. "Parlez-moi de la pluie"-- translation: Talk to me about the rain (the beginning of the statement "Parlez-moi de la pluie et de beau temps," which roughly translates to "Talk to me about the weather")-- thus has serious feminist undertones. This, for someone who previously thought of the French as largely sexist, was uplifting. Beware, feminism in France only goes so far, and by the end of the film, we are back at square one. Agathe is hardworking, ambitious, and remarkably intelligent-- a stark contrast to the passive and docile other French women. But that is also her downfall, as stress is placed on her seemingly perfect relationship. What does this say about womankind in France? Must she be passive to maintain happiness? The film implies nothing, and we find ourselves with a vast quantity of interesting themes without a creative outlet to explore them. Nonetheless, "Parlez-moi de la pluie" is slightly more intellectual than your average French comedy, and definitely worth a quiet afternoon at the cinema. Music-wise, it is interesting: an operatic background during seemingly random moments, thus making it slightly awkward artistically. And, like all French movies, and all art in general, it is about love. Love and mistakes, love and jealousy, love and an imbalance of affection-- it is all of the above, with a few chuckles in-between.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Visited "Pomery Cave" a champagnery (champagnerie?) as well as some sort of contemporary art museum. Really a magnificent, glorious place. I love the mixing of old and new. All of this is many meters under the earth, in a cave kept at 55 degrees F. Here are my favorites of the (very random, very cool) art pieces:

One room had guitars with finches flying all over the place. The guitars were plugged in (I checked), and there was sawdust on the floor. Very cool. Just my style.

These are just some of the champagne bottles in the Pommery Cave. I liked the way the photo turned out.
Isn't this just so Magritte-inspired? Try to figure out how the shadows look the way they do.Closeup.

A print. Silly guide got in the way.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Random sightings of cool graffiti in Paris while out and about in the Quartier Latin: