Friday, December 22, 2006

Sex and the City

We’ve been planing to see this film for a month, but always ended up saying “Ah, we’ll see it tomorrow”. Finally, yesterday it just felt like it was the right time to see it. Even trekking through the mushy snow and the thought of uncomfortable wicker chairs and cigarette smoke in Akademija 28 cafĂ©-cinema didn’t seem like too much to handle. And good thing too, as it turned out to be the last day of screening. It would have been a real shame to miss it. I think Shortbus is a beautiful film.
Although there’s more explicit sex then I’ve ever seen outside of porn, I don’t see this film as pornographic. Pornography is simply supposed to arouse physically whereas this is a positive and emotional film with a warm and deeper message.
In fact, most of the sex takes place at the very beginning, in a way to get it over with and then deal with the really important issues. What I saw was a simple and honest film showing how people are obsessed with imaginary problems or real problems which they blow out of proportion, how they overcomplicate things when life is in fact simple and beautiful if we just relax and see what is good around us. And it is a film about love, which is not always easy but is always the best solution.
The actors seem genuine, and today after reading about the film and the years of workshops and preparations I realize why, and really respect their efforts. The music is wonderful especially the final song with which the film ends in a scene of cathartic liberation, bursting with happiness.
The incredible animation linking the scenes reminded me of my own little New York. And New York is such an important part of the film. The film echoes so much of my own view of the city. And before someone asks “What on earth did you do there?” I don’t mean literally but the energy and vibrancy and some sort of creative insanity.
Having said that, parts 2 and on of my American impressions will follow soon, I promise. Don’t give up on me yet

Monday, December 04, 2006

The CSs and the Cs

There are two types of people that really annoy me. I don’t know whether they exist anywhere else in the word, but they are particularly abundant in the proximity of any form of Belgrade’s public transportation. Let’s call them the Conversation-Starters and the Commentators. They are closely related and quite similar. They can be both male and female, and 40-something and up.

The first, less aggressive “species” is characterized by a desperate desire to communicate with anyone about anything as soon as they are left idle for more than 1 minute in any situation involving waiting for or driving on a bus/tram/trolley. Usually they let out a recognizable sigh, deep exhale or pant, before making a general comment about oh, well anything, really, in the hope of drawing some unsuspecting victim into a pointless conversation. Fortunately it usually happens to be another conversation-starter, so the worst thing that can happen to the rest of us is to be bored senseless.

The second has a similar tactic but with the aim of spreading negative energy and/or picking a fight. They hope that a comment will force an annoyed fellow passenger to reply which could start an argument, which helps their commute just fly by. Their field of interest is quite narrow and usually revolves around more liberal factions in politics and young people in general.

I am no stranger to getting up for people on public transportation. But, I draw the line on old people, people with disabilities, pregnant women and people with small children. I have no intention of getting up for strapping forty-five-year-old women who look like they could pluck my arm out with two fingers. Well, maybe if they ask me nicely. On the trolley on Friday, this burly woman started her soliloquy about how “children” have no manners, do nothing, and spend all day running around in school or playing games on their computers and then do not have the decency to get up on the bus. Lady, maybe this “child” had a tough week at work, so just go away, but thank you for noticing my boyish good looks.