- Completed horrid, painful application for Syracuse, which required two separate (but equal?) personal statements, a teaching statement, and a statement about whether my grades were an accurate reflection of my abilities, in addition to the application itself, a resume, and the 25 pages of fiction I mailed them about two weeks ago. Oh, and they charged me $65 (on top of which I should add all of my caffeine bills for the month of December and January). Only six more to complete!
- Installed new cable modem at home so that I can complete these other six applications from the comfort of my newly clean desk. And it’s a happy little modem so far. D-Link has been a good brand for me (I love my Wireless Router).
- Visited the family in Kansas City because Dad is here. Made white sauce for tortellini — dinner was tortellini in white sauce, salad with raspberry vinaigrette, and lentil soup (and a steak for everyone else). Followed by late night chocolate shakes from McDonald’s.
- Updated my Web site to reflect all 94 movies seen in 2005 and a rough list of remembered readings. I also started the new lists for ’06. I’m just going to repeat myself here about Munich. The stunning part of this movie was the direction: not a single scene, not a single glance, not a single sound in this movie was unnecessary. The economy of action was stellar. Munich opened like a documentary and kept playing that way. Spielberg laid out only exactly what was necessary to tell the story he was telling, the story of this rather ordinary man given an extraordinary task. And so, yes, I left with more questions than answers (what was Daniel Craig’s character’s specialty, by the way? Sitting in the car and looking hot?), but that’s a nice reminder, too: films are fiction. They can inform, but they should not be relied upon for that. Spielberg drew the story down to a pinpoint (the Tony Kushner/Eric Roth screenplay probably deserves some credit for that, too) and then resisted the urge to make it bigger. You can draw broader conclusions from it, you can guess as to what his message is, but you aren’t encouraged to do so. That made it all more believable and poignant to me. This shorthand approach to storytelling is risky, but Eric Bana was so expressive as Avnar that it paid off. Very excellent film.
Tomorrow: Indiana, JHU, and… I dunno, maybe Oregon.