Watched Inception, was thoroughly unimpressed. Watched Dogtooth soon after, was thoroughy blown away. Any way you look at it, that filim is insanely well done. I particularly loved the muted palette, the pastel colours juxtaposed with the blue of the pool and the greens. For a movie about "dreams" Inception is nothing like a dream whatsoever - dreams are not constructed like that. Dogtooth is thoroughly a dream-nightmare. I really wish Baudrillard and Derrida and Marcuse were still around, so I could watch movies with them, and then we could all laugh and cry together at the good parts.

10 minutes and 2 cigarettes after arriving in St.Catharines my Mom took me along with her for manicures and pedicures - a "girl" tradition I am highly unfamiliar with. I don't "do" pedicures or manicures, I feel really childish and get very skittish. I felt like a ridiculous imposter, and accidently ruined by pedicure seconds after walking out of the salon. My mom rolled her eyes and said something about her failing at trying to make me more feminine. I felt a little bit better after that.
I felt like an imposter because when I walked in to the salon I felt like I had entered a secret sect of tired-looking white women, all staring like drones in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors, clutching their purses. But all eyes turned to me when I walked in, and there was a moment of appraisal that I haven't felt so strongly in a while - and then the awkward look away when I proved myself uninitiated. I think that the easiest way to fit in most places is to look bored. If you look a little bit bored, you look like you belong. I have learned how to do this in most bars, on the streets, sometimes - but when I am over-stimulated and interested, boredom is difficult to simulate. Which is why I always become a little clumsy in movie theatres, a little zoned out.
In the salon, there was this little mini shrine, one of those kitsch-chinese displays that I see all the time in mock-authentic chinatown restaurants, complete with lcd-lit incense sticks and scalloped mirrors. It was high up, close to the ceiling, not low enough that anything could have been placed haphazardly. Cheap red and gold plastic. But there was an empty styrofoam coffee cup sitting amongst all that paraphenalia. I looked at it for a long time.

ps. really enjoying tom wolfe - "yah! lower orders. The new sensibility - baby baby baby where did our love go? - the new world, submerged so long, invisible, and now arising, slippy, shiny, electric - out of the vinyl deep"


  1. ah well, you know one of these days I'm going to be all "hey you should check this out" and then you will check it out, and then you'll like it.

    It could totally happen!

  2. Good to know you're still around, ryan. Not sure why your comment isn't showing up. I accepted it. Fucking blogger.
    And as for you, dear Isaac - I like most of the things you tell me to check out. Although your recommendations are rare (and thus, special). I think I'm just a film snob.

  3. my toes are currently a metallic yellow. i love pedicures.

    have you watched "Clean,Shaven" ever?


  4. "For a movie about 'dreams' Inception is nothing like a dream whatsoever - dreams are not constructed like that."

    That is the entire point. They explain that the subjects aren't supposed to be aware of it being a dream, hence the reason they go to such painstaking means to make sure of this (and why at the beginning the original dream architect [Lukas Haas] was "dismissed" for not selecting the right carpet).

    That's also why there is a heated discussion between Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt when the former decides to inform Cillian Murphy that he's actually in a dream. (Levitt believes that their mission will fail if Murphy is made aware, as their previous "Mr. Charles" scenario did not work out.)

    I'm surprised so many people (most prominently Rex Reed) have lodged this complaint, when it's explained for anyone paying a modicum of attention.

  5. Yes, it makes sense in the context of plot. I guess the real difference between us is that I don't uncritically accept Nolan's version of how the unconscious works. Its hard to if you've read any psychoanalytic theory extensively.
    My critique is more meta. I actually meant to say "the unconscious is not structured like that."
    Lacan says that "the unconscious is structured LIKE a language" - but it is not a language. In this context, DiCaprio et al. assume that "realistic" dreams can be built from a conscious state - that they can be conscious and and still build a realistic dream space (i.e. one that can't be detected as such - exactly as you said) - which is a fallacy.
    It would actually make more sense for them to have "built" dreams that defied normal narrative rules because those are the dreams that go unquestioned when we are actually dreaming. Lucid dreaming (becoming aware of the fact that you are dreaming) is more common in dreams that mimic the conscious realm. Also, the way that they implant thoughts into the unconscious is silly and oversimplifies the process. The unconscious is not a video game.
    Ultimately, the unconscious is not parallel to or compatible with the conscious realm. At most there can be a splippage but never complete control. Nolan started to get into that but cut it off prematurely with the whole issue of diCaprio's character. Ultimately I'm just critical of watered-down pop psychology shit out for the masses.
    Sorry if that's confusing, I haven't had my morning coffee yet, but if you want to discuss more you can email me. you.would.rather.be.sleeping@gmail.com
    Unless of course you just wanted to knock me down a few pegs, which is also fine. Admittedly, I can be a snob about hollywood.

  6. dream nightmare indeed. watched dogtooth last week and now my boyfriend seriously doubts any movie recommendation i make/will make. its unreal and completely real at the same time. at least the plausibility of it all is the scariest part. imagine. ep.