I forgot to mention that Wednesday's movies had a sad theme, with the murdered Adrienne Shelley and recently deceased Heath Ledger appearing. Thursday's movies also had an undertone of sadness, due to the movies themselves and not the actors. Friday's movies were pretty sad, too, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
They were expecting a crowd for the multiply-nominated "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." and the place was packed. The movie is stunning and thought-provoking, and benefits from Julian Schnabel's artist's eye. The first segment is shot from the viewpoint of the stroke victim who can only blink an eye. It then moves outward to show this man in his formerly bon vivant past and excruciating present. He writes a book literally letter by letter, blinking when he hears the correct letter dictated from a list in frequency order. At first, I was confused when letters didn't match, but then realized they were spelling in French (duh!).
The crowd thinned for "Starting Over in the Evening," featuring a restrained, wrenching performance by nominee Frank Langella (who was supposed to speak afterward, but canceled) playing an academic/novelist in his waning years. There was some very uncomfortable romance, with a young female character so awful I wanted a piano to fall from the sky and crush her. Our pals John Sloss/Cinematic produced yet again.
I took an E, got off at 42nd to switch, saw nothing coming and decided to surface to go to Famiglia pizza (spinach and white slices) and cab it the rest of the way home.
I hadn't slept much when it was time to meet puzzlers for lunch on Friday. The weather was raw and rainy. I got there early, popped into Burlington Coat Factory to see if they still had the wonderful Easy Spirit slippers I got there 2 years ago (which are starting to wear out), but no. They had lots of soft-looking other brands, which I'll keep in mind. I also need large envelopes, but didn't know if I had enough time to go to Staples. I probably did, since I got to the diner early. Lunch was very pleasant (I had moussaka), with an interesting assortment of people.
Since I didn't want to go all the way home and then downtown again for the movies, I brought some work to do at the Times. I forgot to go to Staples on the way. I tried the PO near Port Authority to mail a book, but the line was massive. Not that I had anything better to do, but I decided to put it off.
At the NYT, I finished and sent out LA Times, and started Uptown. Unfortunately, there was no pencil in Will's desk or my purse, and I don't know where the supplies are kept, so I had to use a pen. Someone several desks east was watching YouTube and I went over to suggest she use headphones. Noise in the office makes me crazy. She was apologetic, then turned it down but not off, and I could still hear it. I didn't complain again, because even though I was working, it wasn't Times work.
They were expecting another crowd for Friday's movies and I got there early, but it wasn't bad. "Rescue Dawn" was a gripping (and mostly true) story of a POW in southeast Asia. Not to spoil, but the ending was satisfying. After the long day, I found myself really tired for "Lust, Caution," to the point of nodding off and missing half the subtitles. I seriously considered leaving and seeing it later in a regular theater, but I was already there. The movie takes its time unrolling the story of espionage in 1940s China, with some graphic sex and violence. With two long movies, we got out after midnight. Once home, I had fresh pineapple and conked out.
Kvetch: In the New Yorkers LJ group, just about every post is "Where can I get (blank) cheap?" I realize many of the members are starving young people, but you get what you pay for and sometimes there's a premium for quality. That inexpensive dentist/hairdresser/costume store/furniture may not be ideal. On the other hand, I've never understood how a pocketbook can be worth thousands of dollars.