Can’t Buy Me Love

Amanda Peterson

It�s a foggy Saturday morning. I�ve got the day to myself to do whatever I want. Primarily, that�s going to involve reading, writing and panicking, not in that order. Probably some watching in there as well. Last night�s movie was Can�t Buy Me Love, just recently released onto DVD for our nostalgic enjoyment. It�s really a terrible movie. It came out in 1987, well after a host of superior teen-flavored films had come and gone. Yet somehow, we love it, it endures. It remains a cult renter, especially in the college town video store where I spend much of my time. Why does it still work, while, for example Phil Joanou�s 3 O�clock High, which came out that same summer and had a similar high school setting and hangdog, nerdy protagonist (Casey Siemaszko), gets a little fainter with each passing year? I suspect that it�s because in spite of its crudities, it has a warm, beating heart. 3 O�clock High was a dazzling, technically whiz-bang movie, but all its kinetic ferocity was wrapped around a cold interior. To be fair, it was a different kind of film, a sort of common-man driven to extremes by the threat of a real face-pounding film, while CBML was never meant to be more than a Pygmalion-in-reverse sort of thing. Patrick Dempsey and Amanda Peterson are the main reasons the film is so watchable. And Courtney Gains. And Seth Green. And Dennis Dugan�Anyway, it was a fun trip down the proverbial memory lane.

The Ring

Last night’s film was the Japanese horror film, Ring. I wanted to check it out before the Dreamworks remake comes out later this year. It’s standard practice in efforts like this for Americans to run roughshod over the charm and effectiveness of the original work (eg. Vanilla Sky vs. Abre Los Ojos; The Vanishing) so I felt it was important to catch the original before seeing what Ehren Kruger has penned for SKG. The DVD is not yet available in the US (thought I’m certain that will change soon) so I had to borrow it from a friend. The film is a serious trip. It’s a ghost story of sorts, whose plot revolves around a series of unexplained deaths. All of the deceased have one thing in common–they’ve all watched a bizarre videotape within the previous seven days. The protagonist, a plucky newspaper reporter, gets her hands on that tape and watches it. Sure enough, she receives a warning that she, herself. will die in seven days. This makes her not so plucky, and what follows is a gripping race against time as she and her ex-husband try to unlock the secrets of the tape. Neat stuff. The remake, due out soon, stars Naomi Watts and Amber Tamblyn (who I think is the daughter of Russ “Dr. Jacobi” Tamblyn.)

Keep an eye out for this one.

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Kim Hunter is dead. So is Katrin Cartlidge. Hunter played “Stella!” in A Streetcar Named Desire. Katrin Cartlidge was a Mike Leigh regular. The last film I saw her in was No Man’s Land (which beat out Amelie for best foreign film last year because before casting its vote, the Academy had been smoking crack en masse.) She played the gutsy British journalist. She was rather young. Add these two to J. Lee Thompson (who directed The Guns of Navarone, among other things) and you’ve got your troika.

No time to get into the script ideas this morning, just because I slept past seven. That’s bordering on LATE for me. But the night before I couldn’t fall asleep until 5:15 for some reason, so I suppose that’s understandable.

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It�s my first day back at a keyboard after returning from the mountains a week and a half ago. It�s my first day thinking anything at all in the form of the typewritten word. I�ve been afraid to begin writing. he old demon of self-doubt, I suspect. I�m ready, I think, to begin the process. So here I am, typing. George Bush is doing his little puppet dance in the background. After all, it�s September 12th. Time to begin new things. Celebrate life. Celebrate freedom. Celebrate corporate rule. So I write. I�m faced with all these new developments. I�m procrastinating in the resume department. I need to find a job. I haven�t even drafted the ol� resume yet. I haven�t actually created one since 1993. So I have much to add to it.

I had apocalyptic dreams last night. Bombs had begun falling on San Luis Obispo. I knew that they weren�t warheads. I think I knew that because my flesh was peeling from my body in fat, translucent curls. But it was frightening nonetheless so I tore myself up from the clutches of the dream, mumbled a few nonsensical syllables and dropped back into a dream about colored pencils. Perhaps that came about after watching two documentaries in a row last night about the events of last year. I caught the HBO doc, �In Memoriam� and the TLC doc, �Anatomy of the Collapse.� Kind of o.d.-ing on the 9-11 collections. I have no television, so the only real coverage I saw of the event was last year when it actually happened. After they were over I had to shake off a clingy depression, so I fired up the turntables for an hour or so.

Anyway, that was that. I�m thinking hard about two major things right now. Just two? I want to catalogue the new script ideas and get some thoughts arranged on just what I want to start writing. The other, of course, is that damned resume. It�s not that the resume itself is hard, it�s the implication behind it that is hard. I hate trying to sell myself. Maybe that�s because as a professional resume, it�s lacking something. Hmm�what could that be. A job history? I dunno. But maybe the fear comes from the uncertainty of the future.

Background noise: Miles Davis, Bitches Brew

First Post

Welcome.

This is the beginning. I was going to do this on my own but I thought I’d let the jovial expertise of Blogger.com help out at first. I’ve used one of their templates to get things going. Changes will happen as I see fit. In a month or two, this place will be something completely different. So stay tuned.

Why a blog? Perhaps I’m jumping on a bandwagon. Perhaps I’m tired of keeping my big ideas to myself. Perhaps all this worldwide blogging has been leading up to this moment, this singular defining kick-off that promises to change the world. Thanks everyone. Let’s get this show on the road.

I can’t predict what sort of nonsense you’ll see here, but I promise you, it’ll show up on occasion. So keep in touch.