Monday, January 30, 2006

Peddler


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Goddamnit! She scrapped it! My professor scrapped my story. I've been researching all morning for a new topic. Found it, really absorbing, just requires more field work. A profile on the children of Bobos and how their self-gratifying pursuits do not translate to the public sector and consequently, will have social and economic implications when they come of age.

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I've cut eBay out of my system. What a waste of time. Everyone outbids me. Bulky mother-in-laws outbid me. Kids still strapped to their strollers outbid me. I can do nothing, but watch in horror as they surpass my maximum offer. I hate paying retail, but paying retail saves me the grief. It's called "therapy", not "abuse".

***

Saw Train Boy when I went to watch Solntse (The Sun, 2005). He scolded me for being late, albeit flirtatiously.

"I know, I know," shaking my head. "I have a problem with being tardy."

We chatted a little before I charged into the theatre. The movie is very similar to Downfall, the story of Hitler during the last days of the war in his bunker. Solntse follows Emperor Hirohito before signing the unconditional surrender to the Allies. The man lives in a tight cocoon: a living god who's never had to open a door and has trouble knowing what to do when forced to encounter a closed one. Completely out of touch with reality, he writes poetry and studies marine biology as planes ominously rumble above. He is completely removed from the state of his country until his first trip outside the palace walls to meet with General MacArthur. It's illuminating to see him in this condition; Sokurov has revealed the man behind the beast. His character is diametrically opposed to that of Hitler's. While the latter's health deteriorated as his utopian vision crumbled, Hirohito seems to want it all to end so he could get back to his hobbies; it's the only world he knows. He looks genuinely puzzled that MacArthur does not employ servants. And accepts a Cuban cigar like it was the first time he got to choose for himself.

Solntse is slow-paced, damn slow, a lot more contemplative than Downfall. However, what it lacks in plot, it makes up for in detail. I don't think I've seen an uglier pair of pursed lips.

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