THE LITTLE THINGS:
Indications that a movie is invading your brain come from unexpected places. You’re at home, pouring yourself a bowl of off-brand Cocoa Krispies, when you suddenly realize that something about your meal is oddly familiar…
A more appetizing pile for Laura Dern to reach into…
This was disturbing on several levels. Having a part of your complete breakfast look like a lump of dung should be quite off-putting, but worse, my enjoyment of my meal was in no way diminished. Furthermore, it got me thinking about chaos theory, seemingly random patterns in nature, and fractals. Surely it was no coincidence that a bunch of small chocolate flakes falling out of a Wal-Mart cereal bag formed the same pattern as a pile of cinematic Dino-crap?
Eventually I concluded that I didn’t know enough about fractals to think about the issue intelligently, and went into my room to watch some Seinfeld.
Around the middle of the month I found myself in a Goodwill store, and came across some sweet soundtrack albums which would make for great wall decorations.
I’d make a joke at Airport‘s expense if Airport weren’t AWESOME.
There would be nothing odd about this, were it not for the fact that I was overcome by a strong feeling of guilt when I took them to the register. After a year of High Fidelity, I think I have become so disgusted with Rob Gordon that any action I take which reminds me of him in the slightest utterly repulses me. Naturally, this includes purchasing and listening to anything on vinyl, but it may also account for the fact that I haven’t tried to get in touch with any exes, or hung out with Jack Black.
February being a short month, only three of my Jurassic Park viewings fell during it. All three occurred on Saturdays. In general, I like to get my viewings out of the way earlier in the week. Viewing earlier gets the movie out of the way sooner, and decreases the likelihood of my missing a viewing, and getting unceremoniously disqualified from the experiment. As was frequently the case last year, I have started pushing my viewings to the last possible minute.
SOMETIMES SHIT GOES DOWN:
How does watching the same movie every week for a year effect your life? This is the core question behind Cinema 52. When I signed up for this project, it never really occurred to me that I’d have to proceed not only through good/neutral times, but through unfortunate ones as well. In the later half of February someone very close to me went through a dramatic medical crisis, one which had a huge impact on my everyday life. Not to worry, things are all working out all right, but naturally, this has sent my Cinema 52 results spinning in a different direction.
RESISTING THE URGE TO USE JURASSIC PARK AS AN ANALOGY:
I am the type of person who constantly views his life through a cinematic lens. If I’m at work, I ask myself which of my bosses would hold which place on the bridge of the Enterprise. If I’m walking through a park, I’m probably pretending that there’s a herd of Gallimimus just over the next hill. As such, it should come as no surprise that if I’m taken off guard by the sudden onset of a medical crisis, I’m going to find some way to mentally link it to a piece of fiction.
If someone’s condition is spiraling out of control, for instance, my first thought might be: “It is impossible to control a complex system.” Then I see Malcolm looking at me smugly.
“Fuck off, Ian.”
All sorts of unpleasant thoughts were swirling around in my mind, and my first inclination was to create analogies to characters or situations in Jurassic Park. I then started to feel terrible that I was thinking about Jurassic Park at such a serious time. I knew there was nothing wrong, strictly speaking, with thinking about the movie, but it just felt so damn inappropriate.
For about a week, every thought I had was focused on the medical issue. I was unable to rest. But, as will happen if you’re watching a movie once weekly, I’d occasionally think about Jurassic Park and become overwhelmed by a sense of guilt over thinking about something so frivolous. Though I knew it wasn’t necessary or healthy to over-think the issue, I almost felt that if my mind was on a movie, it meant that the movie was more important to me than my friend’s troubles. I know that it was a completely irrational thought process, but people can be like that sometimes.
It wasn’t rational for Gennaro to hide on the toilet…
See, there I go, making connections between serious issues and the movie again. Now I’m alright with it, using art as a framework to view one’s life through is perfectly natural. In the moment, though, distraught as I was, it sincerely troubled me. My answer to this was to push Jurassic Park as far from my mind as I was able.
INABILITY TO FOCUS:
For any normal person, not thinking about Jurassic Park could hardly be considered a problem. If you write about Jurassic Park for a blog, it suddenly becomes one. With much effort, I was able to make myself sit down and watch the film and take some minimal notes; sitting down to write up an entry was another matter entirely. I was in a haze, and it took all my willpower to do things like getting dressed and going to work. Being able to focus on writing an article about dinosaurs was simply unthinkable. My inability to do this caused me to feel more guilt. Then the guilt I was feeling about not writing articles made me feel guilty that I wanted to write articles at all when there were more serious matters at hand. It was a pretty shitty circle.
HIGH FIDELITY? WHAT’S HIGH FIDELITY?:
With all the distractions, I can’t say I was thinking very much about everyone’s favorite asshole record store owner. In fact, I’d say High Fidelity was on my all-time top five list of things I wasn’t thinking about in the latter half of February.
On second thought, maybe it was still bouncing around in there.
In the grand scheme of things, feeling bad about thinking about Jurassic Park isn’t a huge tragedy. It may suck, but other things suck more. It wouldn’t even bear mentioning, if this wasn’t, well, a site dedicated to documenting my thoughts on Jurassic Park. It was just a side effect of a lousy situation.
Sometimes life hands you a big pile of shit, and all you can do is shut up and deal with it.
And you can’t be surprised if Malcolm shows up.