Thursday, January 20, 2005


I'll take "Mood Indicators" for $1000, Alex...

I treat you now to two of the most famous ass shots in modern movies:

This, as you probably recall, is what it looks like when the huge, hulking behind of the Titanic is suddenly looming large in the night sky, towering over the poor sots who had the good luck to make it alive off the ship and into the open water, but who are now a) freezing, and b) about to have the biggest ship in the world plunk down on their heads.

For one, I am already freezing. It's 21°F in Ithaca right now (that's -6° for my Celsius peeps), and my apartment is drafty. And beyond that, why do I feel like I have a huge-assed ship waiting to crack in half and rain down on me? The beginning of the "Spring" Semester, as we at Cornell perversely mis-name it, always feels like this. You start the Fall a little jealous that your summer is over, but kind of eager to get moving. But you start the "Spring" in a breathless rush to recover from the holidays, to finish what didn't get done in the Fall, to fret about what didn't even get started in the Fall... And I've got a dissertation to complete, a job talk to finalize (but no complaints there, 'cuz I'm a lucky duck with that one), an essay to re-jig for possible publication, and a new class on International Cinema & Global Politics to prepare. We'll be watching and critiquing movies every day in this course—but then, as I just found out today, I've been assigned to a classroom with no A/V.

I said, brrr. It's cold in here! I said this must be Cornell up in the atmosphere. At least I love my job enough to complain about it affectionately.

Helping to lighten the mood, as always, will be the on-campus moviehouse Cornell Cinema, whose delicious January/February programming commenced tonight, with a little bit of Marlon B. and the old butter trick. In the coming weeks, I'm especially psyched about Blissfully Yours, from Thailand; Last Life in the Universe, a coproduction of Thailand, Japan, and Hong Kong; and Wong Kar-wai's Days of Being Wild. That one was playing at the Film Forum in New York City in November and December, and the trailer I saw there looked amazing. So it's Asian Film-a-Go Go till early February. My hopes are high, even as I'm treading that icy water.

(Photo from Titanic, © 1997 Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Lightstorm Entertainment)

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