November 20th, 2000


Forbidden... to watch.

Urgh. I am pissed off at Camera Cinemas, the people who run practically the only "art house" movie theaters in the Silicon Valley.

I have been waiting for months to see Gohatto (Forbidden), a movie by director Nagisa Oshima, who also directed In the Realm of the Senses, which is a beautifully directed, extremely explicit and kinky piece of cinema... a porno with artistic sensibilities!

Oshima's work tends to be either something you love or you hate... not only because of the controversial subject matter he covers, but also because of the rich and deliberate pacing of his films that many Americans would find to be slow. Well, apparently the "expert" reviewer Ken Karns at Camera Theatres saw "Gohatto" at Cannes and hated it... gave it a zero out of four stars.

This, frankly, is hard to fathom... the movie features one of the most visual directors in the world, one of Japan's foremost cinematographers, a soundtrack by Ryuchi Sakamoto, who has done soundtracks for "The Last Emperor"and "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence", extremely detailed and authentic fight and training scenes, and authentically detailed costumes with luscious looking sets, recreating imperial-era Japan. So, why zero stars?

Perhaps it is because it deals with homosexuality. Yes, we're talking about homosexual samurai here... But really, there was far less of a bias against homosexuality in traditional Japanese culture at that time. (Western culture has done a great job at exporting Western prejudices...) We're also talking about a bunch of men removed from the company of women, cloistered in a temple, training, fighting, sweating and whatnot for months at a time... and in walks this guy.

so... would you?

So, what's unexpected here? All I can guess is that somehow the idea was ludicrous to Mr. Karns. He describes the movie as "about a young rural boy who joins up with an elite Ninja team. He's so damn cute that none of the other men can keep their hands off of him..." I'm sorry, but doesn't this sound like someone whose limited point-of-view has already ruled out his ability to appreciate the movie? In actuality, the movie wasn't about "an elite ninja team" but about the Shinsengumi, a real group of swordsmen who protected the imperial city of Kyoto during the mid 1800's. Membership in this group was very limited as you might expect, since they were essentially an imperial guard.

I want to see this! Why should it be so difficult in what is supposed to be one of the most progressive places in the United States? It was nominated for the Golden Palm award at Cannes and was the biggest Japanese release of the last year. 45% of those who rated the movie at IMDB gave the film either a 9 or a 10 rating. It even rates higher than "Realm of the Senses", which is considered to be Oshima's masterpiece. It may not be a film for everyone, but here's a big message for Hollywood. I don't want a film for everyone! Get me some popcorn and show me the damn movie!

first day, new job...

I started my new job today here at Tollbridge... so far, so good. The only problem is that I have to forcibly familiarize myself with the TB200 Local Exchange Gateway... it's basically a big box that fits into a rack with a bunch of places where you can hook up stuff... it allows businesses to offer their customers several phone connections over a single Internet connection. Works with DSL, cable, wireless, fiber, etc.

Um... that's all fine and well, but I can't tell you how excruciating it can be to write about these devices sometime. They should make a LiveJournal client/web browser that only allows you to use it as a reward. Wrote a page of docs? Use Live Journal... coded a hundred lines? Use Live Journal...I'd probably cheat, but at least I would feel guilty about it. I should feel more guilty about getting $60 an hour to write this post. Really, I should.

Technically, this is part of the "research phase" that every writer goes through to create docs. Regardless of what others may say, the research phase is composed of the following steps:

1. Stare into the abyss
...or the TB200 Voice Gateway, as the case may be.

2. Despair!
Yep. I'm there all right. I didn't even have to stare very deeply...

3. Try to cope
Um... that's what this is about. That is why these are billable hours, you see. Not sure it is entirely working, however.

4. Encapsulate what you've learned.
This is where you try to put into words just how scary the abyss can be.

5. Go to step one.

Doesn't this sound like fun?! It can be the mental equivalent of road rash... or, failing that, using a cheese grater to lose weight. The end result? A nice, thick hardware manual that makes an excellent monitor stand!

I'm doomed... you're doomed... we're all doomed!

...did I mention we were doomed?!

brain browser...

I was in the midst of navigating through e-mail and navigating through websites and basically going from here to there through a collection of linked thoughts... and I have been working my thoughts in life, developing ideas created out of a fortuitous series of connections... a complex series of links, like fragmented thoughts, connected yet scattered. Something out of a James Joyce novel.

If we base our life around the Internet, will our synapses develop patterns that are strikingly similar to these links, these connections we all share? Perhaps we'll create more ideas, as the manipulation of links and connections become second nature to us. I hope my ideas are vindicated one day.

...the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day i got him to propose to me yes first i gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why i liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldn't answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky...then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
--Molly's closing thoughts, Ulysses