342 – Skipping a Day

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As I get closer to the end of the year I find myself less and less interested in writing my daily reviews. I’m going to finish the year out, but more and more I am interested in moving on to the next phase of my life. I’m sure I’ll talk more about this at the end of the month, but suffice to say I am copping out yet again. Today I am just too lazy and too tired. It’s time for bed. But I shan’t leave you so lonely.

I have a review I could write. I actually have a couple lined up. But it’s already so late, so instead I’ll leave you all with this short missive.

I’m in a somewhat melancholy state. This evening I watched Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York. This movie is amazing, but it’s sad. The plot is absurd and I can only begin to describe it, but the gist is that Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a perpetually blue director who looks to rebound from a loss by mounting an ambitious recreation of life in New York as a theatre piece. As he invests more focus into the project time begins to slip away from him, and then the movie gets really odd. It is just so perfectly Kaufman, perhaps even moreso than Adaptation. is.

The movie really pegs how a person can feel small in such a vast universe and how disheartening such a realization can be. The emotions hit me unlike most movies I watch, and it felt completely earned, as opposed to Still Alice, which forced me to feel things.

There are always silver linings to brighten our relatively short stay in the universe of course (even in a sorrowful movie like Synecdoche). And even if I didn’t have plenty of people on whom I could rely to shed a light, there are always those miraculous moments that can inspire. It was announced this evening that USA (characters welcome) has renewed Playing House for a second season. It’s a tiny victory, but it is the kind of development that will bring humor to viewers. I once called Playing House a sitcom that made me want to start writing again; now that the show will get another season I guess the last of my excuses are gone.

I know it might seem ridiculous to allow yourself to become so introspective and maudlin over a movie (even if it is excellent), and it might be even stupider to be brought back up by positive news about a TV show. I don’t care. Roger Ebert once wrote, “the movies are like a machine that generates empathy.” Surely a good scripted series is like that as well. This evening is one of the times when that theory is proven to me, and all of the time I spend watching movies (some good, some bad) pays off. So in the interest of allowing my empathy to run as it will, I am choosing to skip tonight’s review. Enjoy your time off.

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