February 2009

Equality NC has been getting the word out online about the new anti-equality amendment being touted by the right-wing minority in NC’s legislature. Things I didn’t know until Equality NC pointed them out include:

  • NC is the only Southern state without an anti-gay amendment
  • Fundie state legislators are trying to gin up a fake “grassroots” movement by coercing local governments into passing statements calling for an amendment and encouraging fundamentalist ministers to speak favorably – from the pulpit – of the anti-gay amendment

Equality NC’s Kay Flamino makes an excellent point in her post about this: passing an anti-gay amendment would cost the state $3,000,000. What else could they do with that money?

The thing that freaks me out about this is that I’ve always, to be absolutely honest, kind of blithely assumed this sort of amendment would never happen in NC. Such things have been killed in the state legislature so many times that I just figured it would never stand a chance of happening here. NC is the only place I’ve ever lived and, in all honesty, the only place I’ve ever wanted to live. I really do not want to find out that my state doesn’t return that affection. I really do not want to find out that prejudice outweighs all the things The Boyf and I contribute to our community. I really do not want to find out that when I pay my taxes that I am picking up the tab for my own persecution.

After seeing Milk I said that I needed to get involved in activism again. Is this my issue? If so, what do I do?

Friday night I went to see Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3-D and, immediately after, Frankenstein. Two classics were exactly the right way to start the weekend. It is worth noting that there is a reason Creature is so often held up as the example of its kind of movie – the ’50s monster flick – and it is that Creature is actually a very good movie. Pants Wilder went straight to the first time we see the creature swooning over Kay and pointed out that the scene is really creepy because that’s not CGI. The athleticism displayed by Ricou Browning is just stunning. No special effect can accomplish something that cool. That said, guess what? Nobody watches 3-D movies anymore so nobody knows which way to wear the glasses. A tip for future 3-D film experiences at the Carolina: give a tutorial before the movie starts. Someone as well-known and well-regarded as Phil Lee should not have to spend two hours wondering when the hell the 3-D will start because he’s got his glasses on backwards.

Frankenstein is also a genuinely great film – a narrative that wastes not a single second, lavish sets, a genuine sense of glimpsing another time – and watching it I was struck how not just some scenes were iconic but every scene was something I’d seen copied in later work. Gods, what a great movie.

That said – and I say this as one of the Retrofantasma people – can the Retrofantasma people who come to the headline movie on the Friday of NEVERMORE just shut the fuck up already? For fuck’s sake, people, I did not buy a 10-pass so I could listen to you run your fucking mouths. Do not fucking MST3K the movie outside your own home.

Saturday I went to see The Disappeared which was really, really good. In fact, it was so effective that I had to get up and go out into the hall and just take a break from it in the middle. The movie features supernatural elements but they’re not the real story. In fact, I’d argue that the supposed main narrative – the main mystery driving the plot – is handled fairly ham-fistedly. I didn’t care, though, because that wasn’t what interested me. The movie is a ghost story, yes, but it’s not about that. It’s about what it’s like to be powerless in the face of grief and what we do to cope with that. It’s about what it’s like to be disadvantaged and surrounded by personal relationships taut with the tension between poisonous suspicion and a desperate need to trust someone. Very touching. So touching, in fact, that I barely even noticed the twist ending happening because the emotions of the story were much more interesting than the events.

Finally, I caught the comedy shorts. The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon was every bit as good the second time around. Things that were new to me included the gleefully sadistic and extremely funny Treevenge and the genuinely surprisingly well-done and extremely fun and funny The Auburn Hills Breakdown, about which I can only say – without spoiling it – that the concept was sufficiently simple that it could either be done really badly or really well and the makers definitely land on the really well end of things. If you have the chance to catch any of these in person, do so.

It’s worth noting that a few seats away from us during the shorts collection was a woman who was having a really, really good time. I don’t know if she was just wicked high or what but she giggled endlessly, such that more than once the crowd was laughing at her as much as at the movies. I’m not complaining, though; she made the whole thing more fun. That’s the difference between someone who’s really into the movie and someone who’s trying to make the experience be about themselves: she was sharing and improving the experience with/for everyone around her. The blabbermouths on Friday were just pissing me off.

So, I am definitely doing Script Frenzy in April. (Crud, April? That’s really, really soon.) I’m going to be writing a comic book script because that’s a medium I love so, you know, since I don’t know a damned thing about writing a script I might as well enjoy myself while I screw up. I’m currently kicking the following around in conversations:

What could possibly fuel a really serious beef against a university? Assume a full-fledged university with an attached hospital and medical school, the works. Mr. Pink Eyes very keenly suggested someone who might have had, you know, surgery performed on them using instruments soaked by accident in hydraulic fluid rather than antiseptic, such as happened at an august local institution. I like that. I like that a lot. Unfortunately, it’s too close to fact. Variants? Other ideas? Someone cut from a sports team? Someone whose entire sport/academic department/major/sorority/library gets shut down in the shite economy?

Any suggestions are most welcome.

Also, NEVERMORE‘s lineup is out and wow. Classic horror films (IN 3-D!) next to a hilarious shorts collection next to a bunch of new horror and NC premieres? Hells yes. I am ordering a 10-pass if any of the usual suspects see something they’d like to see and I’ve got an extra ticket for it. I’m particularly interested in Blackspot, The Disappeared and Reel Zombies.

Tangential: isn’t it about time NEVERMORE started giving out prizes? Maybe it’s a huge pain in the ass, maybe it requires a whole ado of certification or dues in the League of Award-Granting Film Festivals, I honestly have no idea, but I would have paid extra to get to vote for American Astronaut for best feature the year they showed it; the same goes for The Host and… damn. Now I’ve forgotten the name of that amazing movie I watched last year, the super-cold 1950’s gangster movie. Damn. Anyway, that.