Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Extended Summer, Week 10 1/2 (Dreams)

My sister, speaking with the conviction of a pre-med know-it-all: "I have tennis elbow." She's referring, of course, to her sore forearm after a night of badminton.

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Dream No. 1: It was an Orthopedics/Rehab Medicine practicals, and we were to manipulate this machine for muscle strength testing or something, and all I could remember was carpal tunnel syndrome. My examiner was Jeff Goldblum (no shit), and because I'm such a klutz, the machine ended up boring a non-bleeding pit into my snuffbox.

Dream No. 2: Inspired by "Game of Thrones," featuring the Unsullied, with elements from "The Sound of Music" and World War II. There was an evil "Unsullied" army approaching my kingdom in the desert; a secret underground passage and me taking the sword of one of my soldiers; hide and seek in a church that's connected to another church (or maybe it was an abbey); and a couple of taxis who refused to take me, and a third one who warned me that "going to town" was an exercise in futility because the Japanese were about to invade us. 

I'm pretty sure Jeff Goldblum was my mind's version of the principal from "The Breakfast Club," and the church race was lifted from "Of Gods and Men."

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James Gray's "The Immigrant" is the first great movie with a 2014 release. An argument may be made for Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel," but not here. Some may find "The Immigrant" hard to watch, but such uncompromising brutality is a rarity onscreen nowadays. This is the story of a woman (played by the divine Marion Cotillard) who's in the deepest throes of desperation, and about the two men (Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner) who seek to insert themselves in her life. It has the year's best final shot, and also the second Oscar nomination-worthy performance (after Ralph Fiennes at his funniest in "Budapest Hotel"). 

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This will be one of the most exciting weekends for Mother. Saturday, she'll be a principal sponsor at a wedding; Sunday, she'll be guiding the bride-to-be down the aisle (it's how they do it in Beijing) at an engagement party. She can barely wait, though she tries her best to remain collected. 

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