I’m excited for this post because it’s finally a Thailand-esque one about, “Hey, I did this fun thing!” rather than, “Hey, I watched this great YouTube video!”
When my friend Kathy decided to come stay with me (and Caleb, technically) for two weeks between terms at Columbia Law, one of her conditions was that we hike Humpback Rock— a vantage point just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway (the equally beautiful, cheaper [read: free-er] version of Skyline Drive) not half an hour from Charlottesville. It’s a popular, relatively short, little trail that gets frequented as the weather warms up, and though both of us have our outdoorsy streaks, neither of us had ever been during undergrad.
Lucky for us temperatures reached unseasonable 70-degree heights this past weekend, and Sunday proved to be a most opportune day to hit the mountain. Even the Snug Pup got to come.
(We used the directions at the end of this blog post to get there and they served us just fine. An easy path off 64.)
Then we met up with Phil that evening and went and saw Django Unchained.
Of course it’s a bit trite to say, but I do consider myself a Tarantino fan. Yes his films are vulgar and violent and yada yada yada but they’re also clever and funny and wonderfully stylized with the most memorable of characters and dialogue, generally with a relatively kick-ass soundtrack to boot. This was no different. It was simultaneously a hilarious (emphasis on hilarious. I was not expecting to be giggling the whole time, but I really was.) parody of and reverent homage to old Westerns (making use of quick zooms-in-and-out, “cowboy music,” and saloon-font titles for effect) that follows the plot of a German folk-tale set in the antebellum South… No one but ol’ Quentin could have come up with something like this (presumably over drinks one night after Christoph Waltz told him the story of Brunhilde in passing), but I’m so glad he did.
(On a somewhat-related note I came across this list of the 50 most controversial movies of all time in search of the title of DW Griffith’s 1915 “masterpiece,” The Birth of a Nation, which was eluding me in the moment. I was having memories of having learnt about it in one of my film history classes; how it was such a paragon, strictly cinematically speaking, in its day but unfortunately took the form of a heinously racist pro-Klan propaganda vehicle. Both films show slaves in a position to, how you say?, start some shit… But whereas Klan members are the heroes of Birth of a Nation, in Django one of the outright funniest scenes makes the most delightful mockery out of the white-sheeted vigilantes. Anyway, there are lots of interesting-looking films on that list so check it out!)
Oh yeah and maybe you’ve heard… Ollie’s antics have continued:
I was sad and upset but of course knew I was also to blame, and realized I could maybe just maybe even patch it back up. Things were on the up and up almost immediately: the convenience store was out of tape but the guy behind the counter gave me the last of their tape-roll, saying they had more. Be still my heart.