"Busy, busy, busy is what a Bokononist whispers 'whenever [he] thinks about how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.'" -Kurt Vonnegut
It's not exactly cutting-edge, nor was it particularly awesome, but I like The Usual Suspects. It's the film that made "Kaiser Sozay" a household term. What I like best about it is the opening, during the shipyard massacre/explosion. The camera plods forward on a slow tracking shot, for a closeup of - of all things - a tangle of rope hanging from a hook. Cinematically, one might say that an unconscious foreshadowing takes place in this moment, where the viewer is being warned that s/he's entering the topsy turvy territory of the postmodern narrative form. Kurt Vonnegut says it a lot better, though, in the Books of Bokonon. And without the use of pyrotechnics.
The Missus & I have officially found a place to land in Iowa City come August - a modest 2 bedroom duplex for $700/month that's in a good (i.e. non-undergrad) neighborhood 5 minutes from campus, 5 minutes from the health food co-op, and 5 minutes from a city-style bodega. Parks and sidewalks abound. In short, we scored. How did we score this amazing score? Luck, intuition, and Craig's List. So let me just say thank you, Craig. Thank you for your awesome list.
When The Usual Suspects came out, I remember that my hometown newspaper interviewed the girlfriend of the writer of that screenplay, who, as I recall, was, like me, from Manchester, Georgia. In the interview, she said a fair amount of insipid, shallow, "Lookit me, I made it all the way to California" things. But, then, who knows? Maybe she was misquoted. But we all sorta wondered, "Why'd they interview her, anyway?" It was weird. She said something like, "We were there in Manchester for Christmas last year and he (the writer) thought Manchester would make a great place to shoot a movie!" We all said, "Wha?! Of course it would. In fact, that movie's already been made! It's called Murder In Coweta County, and it stars none other that Johnny Cash & Andy Griffith. Who is this nut, anyway?"
I remember when the big trucks and crew and lights and cameras rolled through my hometown. I was just a little kid. I didn't know much about Johnny Cash, except that he was the Man In Black. And I never got to actually see him or Andy Griffith. Some of my classmates did, though. We'd sit around and talk about it during lunch, trading stories. Some kids were extras in the movie. Some kids' parents were. Most weren't. Most had bills to pay & jobs to work.
I bet Iowa will be a lot of work. A lot of writing, a lot of teaching, a whole lot of trips to that bodega up the block for big cups of coffee in the freezing snow of Iowa's deep winter.