June 8, 2011

Got Felt Up At A Sofia Coppola Movie

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What is the issue?

I’m on vacation. Earlier today I tanned by the pool, listened to The Strokes, got sunstroke and felt very ‘Somewhere.’ I saw the film at the Angelica when it came out last January, in a spur-of-the moment decision alone during a weekday afternoon. The showing was crowded, and a giant man sat next to me. I was annoyed that, no matter how close I positioned myself to the wall, he took up so much space his legs and arms still touched mine. But after seeing his face exude an ‘I hate myself’ expression, I considered how awful it must feel to be so large, invading people’s personal spaces all the time. I forced myself to be sympathetic, even when I could feel his pulse increase as the twins pole danced to the Foo Fighters.

I think my favorite thing to do while away is not go anywhere, and just stay inside a pristine air-conditioned bedroom. I passed out after pool time, and just woke up and pulled The Graduate from the DVD collection. Maybe I will write “Lessons Learned From Watching The Graduate Several Years After You’ve Graduated.” My friend says food is coming.

I haven’t seen this movie since elementary school. I try to avoid things that seem too well-timed or anything that ended up in/is now associated with/been tarnished by 500 Days of Summer.

I started to write some notes:

  1. How could I have ever been intimidated by any 22 year-old male? #puppies
  2. Dads are equally clueless: “The girls, the chicks, the teenyboppers”
  3. Being bossy will get you everywhere
  4. You should be more worried about coming off as harmless and easy-to-project-fantasies-upon to adults whom lack love than ‘your future’
  5. Silently crying to call someone out will get you everywhere

I stopped here because I remembered why The Graduate was important to me. It was the first time I saw where I was from documented onscreen. It’s only for a minute, but when Ben drives from LA to Berkeley to catch Elaine, there are shots of central California nothingness — tunnels, yellow hills and oak trees on the side of the freeway, and that’s my home. These shots are also parodied really well in Wayne’s World 2.

When you are from nowhere, the first rule is to never say so — it’s not interesting, and it’s hard to move conversation forward. It’s the thing growing up in a rural town that is hard to talk about with people, and then there’s a California small town that makes it something different, and then being Jewish just throws it through the roof.

People ask me if it’s near San Francisco or LA, and I say it’s a four hour drive from both. Then they’ll ask me the actual town name, and it’s too difficult for them to pronounce. If they know it, they know it as the town they buy In-N-Out and gas in while they’re on there way to somewhere else. Usually it concludes with “sort of by Santa Barbara.”

Somewhere ends with Johnny leaving his Ferrari and ‘stardom’ behind and walking off into nowhere, California as the eternal solution. As someone who grew up idolizing LA, Johnny made the nothingness I knew transcend the sexiness of Hollywood. It was good for me to see him actually park and get out of his car, and not just pass through undeveloped California on his way to another known destination. I finally felt vindicated, recorded. At that moment, the huge man just had to grab my boob to bring me back down to reality. TC mark

image – Somewhere
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