Saturday, October 15, 2005
Second One Tonight

... because I'm bored.

I'm spending my one night off ripping CDs onto my hard drive -- I never get around to this kind of stuff, and then I get annoyed when I'm struck by the sudden urge to hear "More Than a Feeling" and actually have to, y'know, get up and get the CD and load it into my computer, et cetera (and for the record, it's on a compilation -- I never bought a Boston CD.) This is how spoiled and lazy computers have made us, and it's only going to get worse. (Someday I'll be able to afford one o' them new-fangled MP3 player things.) Anyway, having cleared up a lot of my backlog of work, it seemed like a good thing to do. This, then, will likely be a near-stream-of-consciousness thing written inbetween swapping out CDs.

The building I live in is deliciously, blissfully quiet tonight; this weekend and the first two days of next week are a designated college holiday in honor of our founder; in reality, it's an excuse for homesick freshmen to go home for a few days, so most of the other occupants have gone away. It's always comical to see twenty-ish college kids who just a couple of years ago could hardly sit still for their eagerness to leave home now pining for their parents -- not that I can't relate; in fact, I think I'm actually coming to enjoy trips home more than I did a few years ago. (Pointing out, of course, that a few years ago trips home usually entailed a gruelling trans-Atlantic flight and a stiff dose of culture shock, which is only worse on the trip home. Nothing will make you feel sullen and moody like the isolation of a cultural shift.)

The rest of the time, watching the traditionally-aged students around me is more frustrating and painful than comical. The boys are attractive and amusing, but also arrogant, hot-headed, puffed up, full of themselves; the girls talk a big game, espousing independence and their un-needfulness, but they're so ready to attach themselves to the arrogant young men and go along for the ride. A few of them are already starting to marry each other, not because they're ready to be married but because it's the next thing on their checklist -- they're adults now, and adults are married, so that's what they do. Some of them will be fine; some of them will go completely off the rails; the majority will slide by for a while then descend into slow disappointment and failure. Many of the ones who fail will ultimately be better for it and go on to later successes, and many of the ones who succeed will always wonder how things might've been if they'd chosen something else. A tiny number will go off and do something really interesting.

But the real difference is that none of these kids have failed yet. These are the brightest ones, coming from well-off, stable homes and progressive alternative high schools -- even the ones from "difficult" backgrounds, as much failure and trouble as they may have lived around, haven't felt the weight of failure on their own shoulders. Setting out with big plans and then fucking up a time or ten is the best teacher around. If you're unlucky, it teaches you to be self-hating, angry, and neurotic; if you're more fortunate, it teaches you to be gentle, tolerant, and neurotic.

I guess it's a little like being around young children. I have trouble relaxing around little kids; I'm at my most self-conscious when they're around. It's not them, of course -- they're perfect and devoid of pretense, inhibition, and self-doubt, just doing and being whatever they are in the complete confidence that they're worthy of your approval and affection. Which is to say, they're everything I'm not, thus setting off my own grown-up twitchiness and insecurity. I have trouble watching them without thinking about how one day all that simplicity will be gone, and all the little kids will be as fucked-up as we are.

But the perverse part is that, as much as I envy small children their innocence (and I use that word in the original sense, not the sentimental one), I'm also proud of my fucked-up-ness. I've got some great stories, even if I usually require some prodding to start telling them; stability is over-rated.

I relenquished my film over the last few days, and I already miss it. I was thoroughly done for the time being, but I always forget how habit-forming the process is -- doing the post as well as the production delays the onset of frantically searching for the next film, but it's inevitable in the end. I'm not displeased with how it's come out -- it's a far cry from what I originally envisioned in my mind, but then, it always is. This isn't the film I imagined, it's the film I made (with others, to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude and many favors). As such, it lacks the perfection of the initial vision, but more than makes up for it in tangibility. I always struggle with the impulse to say, "no no, wait, I can do better;" I have yet to produce anything in my life (apart from a few friendships) that I judge as being the embodiment of everything of which I'm capable. Really, in terms of filmmaking, that's my only firm goal -- I don't need or want the money (well, maybe a little of the money), the fame (although some acknowledgement is always nice), the influence, or any of that, but just once or twice in my life I'd like to make something that demonstrates my real abilities. This film isn't that, but I think it's a solid first step on the way there; the potential isn't fulfulled, but it's suggested, I think, I hope. Good enough for now.
12:04 AM ::
Amy :: permalink