I guess I'm still clawing my way out of a grim holiday depression, and a bleak rainy day isn't helping things. I was able to make it to Friedrich Park for my rescheduled hike with Dar. The rains of last night had slacked off noonish. The skies were leaden, and it looked like more rain at any time. But it was still warmish. Almost 70. I put on a pair of shorts and a hooded sweatshirt and headed out. My friend Jean called up to chat, so I talked on the drive north on I-10. It was nice catching up with her, but I kept thinking, shit, as the drizzle built up — it wasn't looking good. But by the time I rolled into the parking-lot of Freidrich, the drizzle had slacked off; however, the temperature had dropped by 20 degrees, easily. It was wet AND cold, blah! But Dar pointed out that families with kids were happily tumbling from their SUVs and tackling the hilly trail. Okay, okay. It's hard to whine when you're laughing at yourself.
It was a nice hike. The rains waited politely until we were back to the parking-lot. Then the stuff started coming back down, and pretty seriously at that.
Back home, I bundled up on the sofa and began Government, the first novel in B. Traven's Jungle Novels. These are the six novels dealing with the 1910 Mexican Revolution. They depart from the rest of Traven's Mexican novels in that there is no gringo protagonist to function as Traven's alter ego.
My plans for this evening was to attend what I gathered to be a meet-and-greet gathering for a new film production here in San Antonio. I stumbled on this project Wednesday or Thursday while idly roaming through the “friends lists” of people I know on MySpace — you know, in search of interesting people to poach into my fold. There was a woman whose picture I kept seeing on the sites of some of my friends in the art world. I finally clicked on her picture. On her page was a huge ad for a film in which she would be featured. It's called the Chosen Fallen, to be directed by Joseph Hladek.
I clicked over to Joseph's MySpace page. He has four short videos posted. His work is extraordinary. (Make sure to check out his video on his personal page titled Anti-Interview — a very fun little piece.) He has a background in graphic design. He apparently grew up in San Antonio, but has been working for a design firm on the east coast for the last few years. The video pieces I saw display a firm understanding of visual story-telling, a knowledge of how to play with tension in a narrative, and a masterful skill of using a video layering program (AfterEffects, I presume). Go to his site and watch his stuff. Do it now!
His current project is, I assume, to be a feature.
The ad for Chosen Fallen I stumbled on was actually an invitation for this meet-and-greet. It was to be at a gallery called the Arbor House. I Google-mapped it. It was on the westside, and clearly in a residential neighborhood. Maybe there was a light industrial region around there I didn't know about. But when I toggled the Google map into the satellite image setting, it looked like a street of small, simple houses in a humble neighborhood. What the hell?
The advert explained that 8 – 10 pm would be for drinks and mingling. And because I was going there alone, I didn't want to attempt mingling with strangers for two hours. So I headed over at nine-thirty. When I got to the dead end street, it became clear that it was indeed in someone's house. There were a couple of families on the block having barbecues (I mean, it was on the westside), but it was quickly apparent which house it was. There were loads of people clustered out on the front porch, shivering and smoking cigarettes.
I decided I'd feel kinda weird walking into someone's house, having only read about this on MySpace. I still have decades worth of social phobia stashed in the rear brain — as much as I've over-come these neuroses, they still come out on occasion. And so, I decided against it.
I hope there might be some other event where I can meet some of the people involved on this project. Joseph Hladek has something that most local productions lack. Artistic sensibility.
There are, of course, many film projects in the works at this moment in this city, but the only one that has my full attention is “Chosen Fallen.” However, I don't care for that title.
I keep asking myself this: Why can't people open themselves up to decent titles? I have no problem generating them. The Cabrito Kid Rides Again, Squaredance Beatnik, Power to the Sock, Fuck Bastrop, Terror Incognito, Howard's Tender Pustule, Texas Chainsaw Institute, and Forklift Fondue. These I offer up to the world. Need a title? Pick one. (Though I'd rather retain Terror Incognito, as it is the working title of my surreal western I'm constantly NOT working on … for over ten years now.)
That's your title, Mr. Hladek. Forget Chosen Fallen. Clever word play, yes, I understand. It's got the sweet Catholic savor of apparent contradiction. Like a title of a song from the Swans or Nick Cave. Take the plunge, man, and call your nascent movie Forklift Fondue. You have my blessing. And, damn, I'd love to see a film by that title.