Saturday, July 19, 2003

Frida, Personal Velocity, Ghostworld

Watched Frida Friday night at Willo's while eating falafel from Omar's with just a tad too much hot sauce. I thought the movie was really well done and showed a side of Mexico City that's beautiful and romantic. I went there about 8 years ago, but my fondness for the city is marred by memories of waking up each day with a sore throat from all of the pollution, the police lining the street with machine guns, and the sad and overwhelming poverty. Of course, areas just outside the city are amazing and so thick with history it just overpowers you. Teotihuacan is shown in the movie too, and that was one of my most favorite places in all of Mexico. I climbed to the top of one of the pyramids there (can't remember if it was Temple of the Moon or Temple of the Sun, but either way, the view was unrivaled by anything else I've seen). It struck me as pretty amazing that you're allowed to climb the pyramids without any safety harnesses or anything, particularly as they give away tequila shots in the gift shop.

I really enjoyed Personal Velocity which I saw this afternoon after a day of dress shopping for an upcoming wedding I'm going to in NY, but now I wish I had read the book first. Seeing the movie first just paints such a distinct picture of a character in my head and prevents me from building her for myself. I'll never be able to read about Delia and not picture Kyra Sedgwick or Greta without Parker Posie.

The basic structure of the movie is three vignettes, each about a women at a critical juncture in her life. My only complaint (and one that's reiterated in the IMDB summary) is that each on their own is too short and while watching it, I craved more. I wanted the nice little packaged ending that made me feel less depressed about these women's futures. Of course, the thing that makes the movie so good is that writer/director Rebecca Miller (daughter of Arthur Miller) doesn't fall into the trap of providing the happy little ending that would make it just like any other movie.

I think the concept of personal velocity is intriguing -- it makes me wonder how momentum, decisions, chance encounters, fate?, sheer will power and other things influence the direction of my life. hmmm, I should think about that more.

Also saw Ghost World earlier in the week. That was one of the movies I could recognize as good and something I probably should like more than I did, but I just didn't get all that into it. Perhaps I just wasn't in the right mood.


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