Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Adventures in Cheapness: The Last Week or So

John Hodgman aka "PC"

I usually try to go to at least one of my listed events every week. Am not always successsful, but here are some thoughts on some 'cheap' experiences:

THUR 1/3:
The Indie Short Film Night at Coolidge Corner scored high on the entertainment/cost ratio. For $5, I drank 3 tall plastic glasses of cheap wine while enjoying 4 shorts, 2 faux film trailers, and a Q&A session. Most of the material was humorous, but all of the shorts were tempered at various degrees with serious moments. The exception might have been "Big Talking Heads", which was one-joke piece -- a mockumentary about people who think their heads are MUCH larger -- but it was a funny joke for the few minutes.

I laughed quite a bit through "Expired". I don't even drive, but it was a dark comedy about a man pushed over the edge by excessive parking tickets in Boston. During the Q&A, I wondered if the change in tone was meant to be an even more twisted descent into comedy -- and director Alice Stone said it was intended to be a serious turn. (It was still pretty funny.) "It's for Her" by Travis Johns started out strong then reached for emotional depth, which didn't do much for me.

This was actually the delayed premiere party for "Absent Meaning" by Anne Continelli and Deb Malone who also created "Big Talking Heads". It was a quirky tale of a very depressed diner waitress whose unhappiness positively transforms the lives of her customers via a clever plot device. (If you see it, you'll figure it out by the end.)

Next time, I'll get there earlier to chug a few free Harpoons...

SAT 1/5:
In the afternoon, I happened to be in the Kenmore/Fenway area and decided to peruse through the Boston Book Annex. I didn't kid myself; I knew I would buy one or two... Everything was 50% off, so my bag was heavier than expected.

John Hodgman, "The Areas of My Expertise"
"Getting Started in Film: The Official AFI Guide to Exciting Film Careers" (a gift)
James Thurber, "Credos and Curios"
"Creating Fiction", Edited by Julie Checkoway
Edward Rice, "Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton"
Dr. Myles H Bader, "10,001 Food Facts, Chefs' Secrets, & Household Hints"
"Campaign: A Cartoon History of Bill Clinton's Race for the White House"

I consoled myself that the total was $17.33 for 7 books. (Yay, cheapness!)

SUN 1/6:
Saw "There Will Be Blood" -- the matinee with a smuggled cola. When you read about the awesome performance of Daniel Day-Lewis, it is completely true. At one point, pure anger pours out of his eyes! Like "No Country for Old Men", it's an excellent film with a peculiar ending. The film runs about 160 minutes, but the final scene seemed premature... Yeah, it was at least one scene short.

Wow, that seems like rather flat exposition. Maybe I'll punch this up someday.

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