The last time I blogged to the world was over fourteen months ago. FOURTEEN MONTHS! That’s over a year ago, and in that time, two editions of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival transpired, an AWC alum passed away on a lonely New England road, folks got married, moved on, came back (or in the case of one special individual, is plotting his return to Hell-A), and in the office then never-ending sea of Pocky sticks and Stella Artois just keep re-generating themselves, almost like…Tribbles! As for me, besides work-related travels and trolling around some of the finer greasy diners the world over, I became a part of a mix-tape club, and attended my first K-pop concert, this one an SM-Town affair that lasted over four hours. And, thanks to digital broadcast TV (the kind you don’t have to pay for…yet!), I’ve become acquainted with what’s been happening in popular culture on the other side of the world. “Showbiz India.” “Ultraman” episodes on LA18-TV. And most important, Arirang TV and Radio for all things Korean. Thank you, 2NE1! Thank you Big Bang! And Thank you, “Live H.” But when are you gonna produce some new episodes?
I think that the time away from obsessing about film for awhile has allowed me to get into other stuff, which is a good thing. Just the other weekend, I caught myself partaking in another of my “double-feature” outings in which I screened two films that seemingly had little connection with one another. First up was Leni Riefenstahl’s classic and much reviled TRIUMPH OF THE WILL, an accounting of The Third Reich’s 1934 Nuremberg Party rally. At turns brilliant and repugnant, I’m still amazed at how skilled filmmaking can be utilized in the service of deifying evil and ignorance. Then (gulp!) I took in a screening of TRANSFORMERS: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, a 3-D blockbuster at turns brilliant and repugnant in totally different ways. Days later, I’m still left wondering if Leni Riefenstahl and Michael Bay weren’t somehow cut from the same kind of cloth. I mean, look at it the way I interpret the themes I encountered in both films: world domination, deception, propaganda, naiveté, and skillful filmmaking…the whole nine. The complexity of this conundrum proved so overwhelming that I ended up the evening in full mental retreat, fired up YouTube and sought out the maxi-length version of AOM alumni Jay Park’s recent hit single “Tonight.” Jay’s bouncy party anthem proved an effective, if temporary, escape from the questions raised by my weekend moviegoing choices.
What made this moviegoing adventure significant was the fact that while I shelled out much coin to sit through TRANSFORMERS, I screened TRIUMPH OF THE WILL over Netflix, which I am using as part of a free trial subscription as I write this. In yet another sign that my moviegoing (and television watching) habits are increasingly becoming mobile, I broke down and subscribed to Netflix. Argh! What will this mean for my insistence of watching motion pictures on a big screen? Never mind that…what does this say about my going-out habits and lifestyle? For now, all I know is, I need to cram in as much free moviewatching as I can while the free trial period is still in effect. I still don’t know about paying to see movies on my laptop screen. Free for me — isn’t that what Hulu is supposed to be for?
Hmmm…at least I have all summer to come to terms with that. In the meantime, there’s that new Selena Gomez movie that just came out…