Rescue Dawn!

Lately my days have been going a little something like this:
8:30 – wake up but lie in bed until…
10:00 – at which point I take an extended shower, eat life cereal with bananas (attempting to suck the milk out of each bite before chewing), brush my teeth for the full 30 seconds, drink a full 8 ounces of water with my crazy pill, pick at my sunburn peeling forehead, and other drawn-out morning activities.
10:30 – listen to a smod cast with Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier. I like doing this in the morning when my windows are still closed so my asthmatic neighbor can’t hear the cussing.
11:30 – mosey on down to the market for some 49 cent/pound grapes and plums.
Side note: Cheap and delicious fruit is, as far as I’m concerned, the very best part of life on the coast. The only problem is that I can’t consume it as fast as I purchase it.
12:00 – First movie of the day.
2:00 – Lunch. If I can make a special trip to the market for this endeavor, all the better.
3:00 – Second movie of the day.
5:00 – Climb up on the roof to check my email and fantasy football scores. (Incidentally, this score will not change until the 25th, but I find it comforting to obsessively change the order of my substitutions)
6:00 – Blockbuster.
6:30 – Third movie of the day.
…and so on…

I find it more difficult to fill my days here in the big SF. I think it is because there is so much going on. I feel distracted when I’m still just hanging out in my apartment like I always did at home. I feel like there is something I should definitely be doing besides watching more TV on DVD, but I don’t really want to do any of it. I don’t have the money, I don’t have the friends, I don’t have the bus pass. Plus I have a blister.

This might have been why today was such a relief. I took a break from my usual schedule to go out to see a movie. Maybe it was the satisfaction of leaving the house for an extended period of time, maybe it was being only one of three people in the theatre, maybe it was seeing a familiar face for the first time in a new city, or maybe it was the delicious plums next door, but I think that Rescue Dawn is the best movie to come out this year.

First: the theatre. It was this three-screened place that smelled a little like swamp and felt a little like one, too (so appropriate). I approach the window and ask if there is a student discount. “No, but you look about 65 to me,” says the girl and gives me the senior price. The ceilings are all red tile and giant light fixtures, the screen is surrounded by ornate, gold molding. When the movie starts the projection is about 3 feet off and a man in the audience (me, him, and his buddy) runs out to fix it. The seats are comfortable, the sound is excellent, other than that it’s a lot like The Tower in SLC.

I thought the movie got off to a rocky start. It felt less like Herzog and more like bad. But as Dieter is swallowed by his natural surroundings, the familiar Herzog themes start emerging. Nature is unforgiving, it doesn’t discern between nationalities, strengths, weaknesses, and religion. It seems to me that there is absolutely no God in this film. While Dieter prays, there is a resolute silence. Not because God is waiting for the moment to send the US helicopters. Not because trials make us stronger, but because God has no control Himself over nature. The jungle will swallow him if he can’t find a way to work with its rules. I loved at the end of the movie how they ask him to tell the troops something inspiring and Dieter replies with something like “eat, shit, and be merry.” He refuses any mention of faith or nationalism, because those ideals have only betrayed him.

Christian Bale and Werner Herzog together I’m sure make quite the movie-making pair. It seems like they are both willing to put everything into a part, including their own physical wellbeing (what with the extreme weight loss/gain and the sword fights). Then Jeremy Davies was in there, which made me really happy. I think that guy is phenomenal…and cute, which is more important. (Though I feel like a real creep saying that when the guy weighed about 80 pounds at the most.) Man, those three are far too hardcore. Is there a point where devotion to the medium needs to be curbed? Like, is it morally responsible to take on these kinds of roles when you have a family that might miss you when you die of malnutrition? No matter what the moral message of the film or how much this approach to art might alter the way we look at history/politics/form/what have you?
(I’m standing on the roof and I’m afraid to move because the dude next door is using the bathroom I’m standing above and he might think I’m spying…so…the end.)

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Rescue Dawn!

  1. Pingback: Rescue Dawn! — Paparazzi Gossip Hollywood News

  2. David

    I think I saw the Life Aquatic at that same theater.

  3. brian

    do you think it’s funny we ended up on that other blog?

    in the burden of dreams documentary, which is about herzog making fitzcarraldo, herzog talks about how he shouldn’t ever make movies again precisely because he puts his cast and crew (including whatever indigenous people he’s using as crew) in such dangerous positions because regardless of how great the movie turns out, it’s not worth it if someone dies. but then he kept making movies in crazy places.

  4. “you look about 65” classic.
    Lucky you’re in SF. I’ve been dying to go to haight street for the longest.
    Maybe i’ll fly up one day…..

  5. Pingback: Mongols Had It Bad « dear jesus

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