24 December 2009

True To Form

I have, in the last few hours, become obsessed with Pan's Labyrinth. Since Sunday, I've been holding the fort at my parents' Hamilton home by myself, and due to the fact that three of my four friends have flown the coop (Yasmin to Thailand, Sophie to Whangamata, and Thom to Matakana - leaving just Becky, who is a bit worse for wear after some sort of altercation none of us remember on Saturday night) I've spent my time wisely - watching DVDs.

I'm not a person who often hires DVDs, and I guess I can put this down to the fact that until September, I rarely had time to sit down for two hours at once, and since then I've been drunk, at uni, or thinking about Ben (sometimes I actually find myself thinking about him for hours, accomplishing nothing). You can imagine my excitement then when I discovered that it's just $1 per DVD on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. As such, I hired five right away - The Mistress Of Spices, Nóialbinoi, Amélie, Allegria (which is a Cirque du Soleil performance) and A Mighty Heart. And wow, can I just say, Icelandic cinema is highly underrated. Nóialbinoi quite honestly changed my life. You should definitely watch it. Anyway, I got done with those films last night, so returned them today (more on THAT drama shortly) and went about picking new ones. "New" here being a relative term - I've still never seen Girl, Interrupted so I thought I should (no, this has nothing to do with Brittany Murphy's recent demise), Letters From Iwo Jima, Memoirs Of A Geisha, The Hours, and of course, Pan's Labyrinth.

I'd been warned about the eye bottling near the start of Pan's by Rex, my old flatmate, and I'm not going to lie - I covered my face with a blanket while it went on, along with the part where Mercedes fairly cuts open the Captain's face after stabbing the crap out of him (he then summons the energy to keep on living. God, it just reminded me of that Marine asshole in Avatar. I almost stood up and did a victory dance when HE died). I don't know. It was just a bit unsettling. I quite liked the thing at the banquet table with eyes in its palms though - reminded me of something you might see in a Tool video. I liked Pan's. A lot. And I learnt a new literary term - fantastic - from watching it. Yes, turns out that in one sense I'm incorrect in referring to many things (such as my year, up until today) as fantastic! It's a literary term which describes a genre - so to put it into context, Ofelia's world in Pan's is fantastic. That excites me. I want to create a fantastic world for myself, too. I also want a screaming magic root under my bed that requires two drops of blood each day. I would also like a Faun that gives me new challenges each day.


I've noticed I do that "Anyway." thing a bit too much for it to go unreferenced. It's a subconscious thing, one I picked up from reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (a book I do not recommend reading if you lost a loved one in 9/11) by Jonathan Safran Foer, who, kind of unfortunately for him, shares a name with that crazy Australian guy John Safran. Oh, and guess what else? He's a professor in the CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM AT NYU. Ahh, I'm so conflicted it hurts my small, undeveloped brain.

Nóialbinoi clarified something for me that, once the idea popped into my head, I realised it had been there all along. It's just that the strange little Icelandic film kind of rammed it home like never before. I've long wanted to go to Iceland. You may have even noticed this, what with my constant references to the country, along with  posted information you may not have bothered to read about Detifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall (at least remember the photo! The huge waterfall, with the man standing next to it!? I still wonder what he's doing now). Ooh, Iceland - you seem so exotic, with your enormous fjords, unfathomable language, and neverending state of twilight.

But whilst watching Nói, I suddenly saw that Iceland seems to the Icelandics as New Zealand does to me - a place to get out of. It's hard for me to explain (which is a problem, because expressing myself using words is what I'm supposed to be good at), but I had a real "wow" moment during the scene where Nói and Íris find Hawaii on the world map. Like I said, I already knew that - how else would I have met Nayuha?

I loved Nói.

Now, let me tell you about the fun I had when I went to return my DVDs. I had the intention of returning them, giving Casey a ride to the panelbeaters (some girl backed into her car!), and going home, but instead, I spent no less than three hours in the carpark at the DVD store. Upon returning to my car (less than two minutes after leaving it), it wouldn't start. It was truly bizarre. The engine wasn't even turning. I sat, perplexed, wondering what I could possibly have done to my car. I hadn't left the lights on - it was 1pm! I hadn't left it in gear (I've done that twice, and twice made people come out to "rescue" me - this of course consisting of them sliding my gear stick from D into P), and I hadn't left the "stereo" - a tape deck with an iPod attachment - on. What happened?! I went about calling every Hamilton guy in my cellphone directory, none of whom answered. I almost resorted to calling Donny, but then remembered I would probably have a better shot at fixing a car than he would. I left my car, and wondered around the parking lot for about 50 minutes, making calls, sending texts, generally getting upset about the fact. And all of a sudden, my car was clamped. Yes, my car, that wouldn't start, much less move from its park - got clamped. I was livid, and explained, in varying speeds and tones, to the clamp attendant, my predicament. He didn't seem to care, and charged me the full amount for removing the clamp. Can you believe it? I certainly couldn't, and made sure to sit in my car for the next hour and a half for the AA to come and help me. The problem? My battery had done its dash. Seriously. Done. Its. Dash.
"I can give you a jump," the AA guy told me "but it will only get you to wherever you next turn off your car. It's done." Ah, how ridiculous. I took the jump, drove home and lamented my situation. And so it is that I'm now getting around in my dad's 1991 Nissan Bluebird, in which I'm unable to adjust the seat. Now, my dad is 6 feet tall. I'm 5'2". It's fun times, perching on the edge of that seat.

I am so furious about being charged for that clamping, I could stab someone. But I don't think I will. Just watching it being done on that film freaked me out. I don't know how Clayton Weatherston sleeps at night.

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