Sunday, I went to the movies and saw Man of the Year. It was funny (though the timing was kind of off in places), but also much more serious than I had expected. I appreciate drama in political films, but I didn’t really want this to be as serious as it ended up being, but that all may be because I am still heartsick (and may forever be) over 2000.
Yesterday was actually a wonderful day, despite the rain and a headache that nearly made my left eyeball pop out. It started with an early-morning session with author David James Duncan (interviewed by Powell’s about his newest book, God Laughs and Plays, here), who came to the U of O for the Clark lecture, a Humanities department thing. He apparently asked if he might meet with some creative writing students, and so we were told about 2 weeks ago that, if we wanted to, we could sit down with him on the morning of his talk. He asked that we read a couple of his essays, which were made available to us in the main office. I picked up my copy and ended up liking the essays so much that I bought the book they came from — River Teeth. It was interesting to listen to him talk — he’s a writer/activist, who’s written two novels (The River Why and The Brothers K) and a few essay collections, and says he owes his career to steelhead salmon. Which — if you’re going to owe it to something, fish aren’t a bad way to go.
After that, my Chekhov class was canceled, so I loaded up on caffeine and stopped by the office, where I ran into some of the faculty and then another of the first year students, and we talked about the possibilities of teaching over the summer. I am formulating a possible course to teach, something along the lines of “Visual Fiction,” that would somehow incorporate study of film, television, and graphic novels. More on this as I think on it.
then went to see The Prestige, which was gorgeous and tricky. I have been analyzing point of view in stories for my writing in conference project and also as part of our workshop assignments, so my thoughts on the movie were pretty colored by that: I fell for Hugh Jackman’s character and followed him through the movie with most interest and sympathy, so the end was quite jarring. Yet I bought that he’d gone that crazy — the line about not loving his wife was excellent. And, being sappy, I was glad that the “good” Borden — the one who had loved Sarah — didn’t die, though, yeah, everyone was pretty messed up throughout. The two-Bordens thing was the catch that I got, because I was automatically suspicious of that character; I didn’t catch on to the drowned Angiers bit until the very end, so that ended up being a great twist. Bravo, Mr. Nolan.
Anyway, so I’m making slow progress though the list of movies to see in 2006. Half Nelson is playing at the indie theater in town. I have a list of 12 things I need to accomplish before Sunday (I’m on #4); if I can get them all done, there may be a viewing of that in my Friday future.