In the morning I watched two films. Die Hard (all that talking about it made me want to see it again) and Payback (A really interesting film when you contextualize it. It is Mel Gibson's darkest and most vicious movie. He plays an unrepentant psychopath who murders and maims for such a piddling amount that even the other vicious psychopaths he's dealing with don't understand why he would do it. And yet, and yet, it predicts the Passion in at least one way. Gibson experiences intense physical agony throughout the film. Sadism and Masochism pervade the work, Lucy Liu serves as the embodiment of this, and the screen often runs red with blood. There's also a resurection theme. Gibson's character is shot in the back and left for dead, then he returns to a shocked world that thinks he was slain long ago. I don't think that, given his later body of work, one can ignore the parallels between Porter and Christ, and I think that The Passion helps to explain how an evangelical ubercatholic could have made Payback.)
After the movies I went to meet the cousinperson for the oftmentioned meeting. It was, something of a disaster. First of all she didn't know why we were meeting. I'd thought my mother had made this clear and I hadn't wanted to hound her by mentioning it while she was sick, so there was about 20 minutes of complete awkwardness while she tried to suggest job options that had to do with my degree. I finally broached the subject of film and then the conversation got more focused but no more pleasant.
She talked my ear off without really giving me a chance to get my two cents in and she basically ferretted out the fact that I don't want to work on shitty projects, and then held me to it. Now it's definitely true that I DON'T want to work on any shitty projects, but I might have to. I've accepted that and I would be willing to try to work on a shitty project if the position were right. She axed that idea straight out. Then she asked whether I wanted to work on documentaries or features. I said that either would be okay, which is true, but she spent the rest of the time talking about documentaries. That's fine, since that's where her experience is, but the truth is that I don't know all that much about documentary film and that came through clearly in our discussion. I wasn't a film major. I wish I had been, now, but I wasn't, and I need to get past that. It's tough.
In the end her advice for me was to create a list of the people I would most like to work with and then try to research them and market myself to them by hook or crook. I've heard this advice before, although that time it was from some crank who believes that the NBA peaked before the introduction of the three-point line, and it's very problematic for me. I absolutely hate marketing myself. Part of it is low self esteem, part of it is that it feels sleazy and beggardly, and part of it is ego, since I don't like prostrating my self for anyone. That's right, both low self-esteem AND Ego have a role to play. Thanks to a previous entry you understand why that's not a contradiction. See how this journal peels back to reveal the rich tapestry that is me? I think you do now.
She also told me all about her young life as a struggling film worker and how gigs were few and far enough between to make things financially uncomfortable. Is that a life I really want? I'd be willing if I was satisfied with the work being produced but it's definitely not what I WANT per se. A life of art is tough if you're not lucky. Brilliant helps, but lucky's where the bucks are at. Frankly it scares me. I'm used to comfortable. I'm used to spending without too much worry. I'm used to six figure balance sheets. Not making any money would be the final nail in the coffin of "future family." That's an auxilliary point but one worth making. I might have a brick fall on my head and suddenly want a wife or children. I'd be unable to afford them. That's a real sacrifice, in addition to the material discomfort.
Operating without a safety net would be scary. Am I capable of transcending and doing well? I honestly don't know.
After the discussion we parted. She told me she'd be in touch but it felt disengenous. We had mediocre chemistry (not in some sick sexual way, but just as two people spending time together) and the whole thing was a downer. She asked me to get in touch. I will but I clearly can't rely on her. Not that I should be able to, she doesn't owe me anything. I appreciate the assistance, but it's not the solution to my problems.
I walked from 72nd street over to the Metropolitan Museum of art. Along the way I felt like throwing myself under a bus so I wouldn't have to face the ensuing years of disappointment, rejection, and worthlessness on my way to oblivion, but decided not to on account of it would be cowardly. After all, did Winston Churchill kill himself when faced with the mighty armies of the Third Reich? (I got a comment from mentioning old Winny, so I figure lightning might strike twice) Did Steven Hawking roll himself into a river when his motor function started to decline? did HITLER kill himself when his armies failed? Yes. But do I really want to be like Hitler? Anyway, I avoided all buses and went to the museum in an attempt to clear my head and experience some art and shit.
It was $12 to go in, although that's only a suggested price. That's more than a brand new Ashton Kutcher film. Who wants to see a bunch of old crap when you could see Ashton? Seriously.
Anyway I did some random wandering through the Egyptian and Chinese wings of the musem, looking at the ancient scrolls and bits of artwork. It took awhile for my mood to pick up, but pick up it did. I thought about the fact that what these artists had made thousands of years ago was still around being examined and enjoyed today, and how the culture we create now will last even longer because it's digital and can be perfectly copied. I watched all the couples wandering around together and felt slightly jealous. I watched a father lie to his uninterested child, claiming that all the sarcophagus decorations were hiroglyphics, and thought about Father's Day. That might have been another reason why my mood sucked today, but if it was it was a subconscious one. Anyway I know my dad would have wanted me to go to the museum, something I haven't done for years, so that was a little comforting. A little painful too, truth be told.
After wandering around for awhile I headed over to the Byzantium exhibit, which is something that I've wanted to see for awhile. It was not disappointing. I spent about an hour there, and saw some really great Byzantine art. I didn't do the audio tour, or even look at every single piece closely, but I definitely got a feel for it and the really intricate bits got some serious examination. I just don't see the point of carefully looking over 4-5 nearly identical portraits of Jesus and his mom. The Gospel covers were incredible though, and I would heartily recommend going to the exhibit for them alone. They were fascinating.
After the museum I walked home and ate some junkfood, although not in violation of my diet. Then I puttered around and wasted time. I should have written up a script or polished an essay for the site I applied to. I should have done a lot of things. I didn't. All in all a really rough day.
As for where I stand now, I'm not sure. If I had the balls I would get a day job and make my own films on my own time. That's probably the best solution. It would be good, though, if that day job were in the film industry. I'll keep trying for that but I don't know how likely it is. Emotionally, I'm going through a rough patch. It happens. It's funny because I was starting to feel settled as late as yesterday, but oh what a difference a father's day makes. Physically I feel find.
My writing is still shit, though, and that's disturbing. I was doing well, and now I'm not. I'm two days from the summer when I said I'd buckle down, edit, and make a run for it. I'll be starting flatfooted, that's for sure.