Mark di Suvero's Surprise Colonoscopy

I'm caught up with all the back-dated entries of my desert drives.

I'm back to Houston-like stickiness here in San Antonio. The only time I'm cool is when I'm driving around with my truck A/C blasting away. When I step out, my glasses fog up. That's my validation that this nasty humidity isn't just in my mind. I need to buy some more fans. I could fire up the old window unit, but that causes my electric bill to reach dizzying heights. Besides, it's not really powerful enough to cool down this whole apartment, and I end up closing off the bedroom and sleeping on my sofa. It's like I'm stuffed in a gigantic wet sock.

With the Meet the Maker film screening out of the way (though I still need to find out who is going to reimburse me for all the dosh I shoveled out), it is time to get serious about the Josiah Youth Media Festival. The submission deadline has come and gone. It was a postmark deadline of June 1st, so I'm not really expecting any more. The good news is we got a shit load of stuff. I logged them Tuesday. Now I need to line up the judges and schedule blocks of time to view all the works.

Also, I need to begin moving on the 48 Hour Film Project by late next week.

This stuff keeps coming at me.

Me and Russ met with Christy the other day. We have our dates for shooting. But I might not be able to get the old clawfoot bathtub which belongs to one of my neighbors. Christy wants it for a prop. And I agree, I think it's an important addition. I've not given up, but if the folks don't return to town by Saturday, we might have to rethink that scene. And so, if any of my readers (local, that is) have an old bathtub (not installed in your home) we could borrow, give me a shout.

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When I was logging DVD submissions at Urban-15, George Cisneros mentioned that he had managed to get one of his old public art works resuscitated. It's the video installation in the front windows of the International Center on S. St. Mary's downtown near the Aztec Theatre. The video wall is titled “In Light of Passing Measures.” It was installed back in 1995. And for the entire time I've lived in San Antonio, it has been dead. The funds allocated for the upkeep seemed to have evaporated. But I passed by tonight, and it was running. There were no parking places in the vicinity. But maybe late one night next week I'll cycle over and watch it.

This is one of my gripes with public art. (Though my biggest gripe is that so much of it is pure crap, apparently chosen because it's inoffensive abstractions, such as Mark di Suvero's huge assemblages.) There is something so wildly irresponsible about a city forking over funds for a work of art, and not following through with it's up-keep. There is a wonderful sculpture near Mission Espada. It's in a little park, and I often sit beside it on one of Carlos Cortez's faux bois concrete benches. The metal on the work is rusting away. It's very sad. So, bravo to George on getting his work back to it's original health.

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I stopped by my landlady's place to pay my rent. She invited me in and began to bring me up to speed on the state of her health. She's maybe 70, and up until a year ago she'd be out with her son and her daughter-in-law mowing the lawn here. Too cheap, I suppose, to hire someone. Hell, she has at least a dozen rental properties. And she was filling trash bags and ripping up weeds by their roots. Basically doing twice the work of her strapping son. But she's slowing down. And so this afternoon I learned more than I cared to about angioplasty, colonoscopy, and some species of herniated esophagus.

But she's feisty, and I suspect will outlive many of those around her. Who, I should point out, will finally be spared her graphic and minute explications of megadoses of laxatives and the insertion of a fiber-optic camera into various orifices.

Luckily I had a valid excuse to escape. I was meeting Alston for a late matinee screening of “Away From Her.”

I'd read about the director, actress turned filmmaker, Sarah Polley, in a recent issue of Movie Maker magazine (Drew, our film commissioner, somehow managed to get a bunch of San Antonio film folks free subscriptions).

The article was very positive about the film, but if one of the leads hadn't been Julie Christie, I might well have forgotten all about it. For a first feature film, it's very impressive — a young director, not yet 30, working with themes of aging and Alzheimer's with such an apparent sense of ease, was an eye-opener. She adapted one of Alice Munro's short stories, and made it warm and personable. That's no small accomplishment. The structure was a bit clunky (perhaps that's a carry-over from Munro), but the pacing and the photography was perfect. The acting was stellar. It's not a life-changing film, and I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but it's is nonetheless an impressive piece of filmmaking. And Julie Christie, as beautiful (if not more so) as ever, gives such an outstanding performance as a woman who finds her sense of self slipping away, that I was rather taken aback by costar Gordon Pinsent who actually managed to outshine Julie Christie. Quite an achievement, that.

I'll close with two random photos.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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