July 30th, 2007

flavored with age

Ingmar Bergman, R.I.P.

The guy who directed a handful of the best movies I've ever seen (including this one, a perennial best-ever candidate for me, an astonishing film that is probably the finest job directing actors I can think of), has died.

He lived a long life, less than a year short of 90, and had largely said his piece in terms of the cinema; his last movie, the excellent Fanny and Alexander, was finished 25 years ago, and since then he'd confined himself to stage and television work. I have no doubt that stuff was excellent, but it was also next to impossible for an American to see, so I've been talking about Bergman the filmmaker in the past tense for my entire adult life. It shouldn't feel like such a loss that the guy is gone, but it does.

His keen visual sensibility, uncanny ability to handle actors, compelling (if gloomy) tone, and restless, unsweetened humanism shone through in everything he ever did. He made at least ten movies that have the potential to be life-changing experiences, and if you've never done so, rush to your local video store or Netflix queue and do yourself a favor by getting Fanny and Alexander, Scenes from a Marriage, Cries and Whispers, Shame, Through a Glass Darkly, Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, The Virgin Spring, or, especially, Persona.

Pretty much no matter how you define greatness, he was one of the very greatest filmmakers in movie history, and he'll be missed.
banana

Your mission, should you choose to accept it

A bunch of much better poll questions came to me in a dream, but upon waking them, a rampaging mosquito drove them from my memory. Also I got malaria.

Poll #1030273 Monday Morning Poll Coming Down

Which is your least favorite member of the Zodiac?

Aires, because he chainsmokes menthol cigarettes
3(5.0%)
Taurus, because instead of showering frequently he just slathers on cologne
6(10.0%)
Gemini, because she always talks like if only she wasn't dating someone else she'd totally be with you which is bullshit
5(8.3%)
Cancer, because all he ever talks about is his latest ailment
3(5.0%)
Leo, because he acts like this big tough guy whenever he drinks
3(5.0%)
Virgo, because she can't go five minutes without mentioning how much money she makes
10(16.7%)
Libra, because of the way she always talks about "those people"
5(8.3%)
Scorpio, because of how the girls all fall for his cultivated, totally phony bad-boy demeanor
4(6.7%)
Sagittarius, because he quotes Chuck D. all the time
1(1.7%)
Capricorn, because everything has to be just perfect for him or he freaks out
7(11.7%)
Aquarius, because she has that one theory that she thinks will solve any problem
6(10.0%)
Pisces, because he thinks his family is so much more fucked up than everyone else's
7(11.7%)

Which are acceptable ways to wear a man's dress shirt?

tucked in, top button done, with a tie
0(0.0%)
tucked in, top button undone, with a tie
0(0.0%)
tucked in, top button done, no tie
0(0.0%)
tucked in, top button undone, no tie
0(0.0%)
untucked, top button done, with a tie
0(0.0%)
untucked, top button undone, with a tie
0(0.0%)
untucked, top button done, no tie
0(0.0%)
untucked, top button undone, no tie
1(1.5%)
any variant thereof, sleeves rolled up
3(4.5%)
any way, on a woman
4(6.1%)

What do you do when you're feeling low?

drink abusively
1(1.5%)
drive around aimlessly hoping someone will fuck with you
0(0.0%)
have prickly conversations with your shrink
0(0.0%)
sleep for 19 hours a day
1(1.5%)
sodomize a defenseless animal
0(0.0%)
bottle up your feelings so no one will ever know
1(1.5%)
suck it up, because I am not a 10-year-old sissy mary
1(1.5%)
contemplate suicide but fail to go through with it because you are lazy
0(0.0%)
wait for my cat to do something cute
0(0.0%)
listen to George Bush talk and realize that things could be worse
0(0.0%)
listen to George Bush talk and realize that things actually ARE worse
0(0.0%)
spring for some 'caine and a blowjob
0(0.0%)
stare off into space and daydream about old girlfriends/boyfriends
1(1.5%)
eat
1(1.5%)
other (see Comments)
0(0.0%)

What's your favorite LiveJournal poll format?

radio buttons -- the classic and still the best
19(29.7%)
check boxes -- freedom and flexibility
32(50.0%)
drop-down boxes -- kinda now, kinda wow
3(4.7%)
text entries -- they're empowering!
7(10.9%)
scales -- the most underrated and overperforming format
3(4.7%)

What do I want for my birthday?