New Year Resolution #2

I have come up with a New Year’s resolution. In 2020, I want to watch more movies. I will watch one movie a month in a theater and one movie a month not in a theater. Altogether, this will be more movies I have seen in the last 15 years.

I’m tired of always having to say, “No, I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen anything.”

I need to find a list of film classics or something. Like that movie Casablanca. I’ve seen it mentioned a tribizillion times but I have no idea what it’s about. I mean, I have a vague idea. It’s about an affair or something.

One Hollywood movie I really love and have watched at least ten times is Hotel Rwanda. It’s very well-made. The director is talented, the actors are great. If I could find more films like that, I’d be happy.

Or Single White Female. It was like a Law & Order episode, really nice.

The kind of movie I hate is Traffic (remember back in 2000? Horrible), Pan’s Labyrinth, and American Beauty. I hate pretentious stuff with “a deeper meaning.” Just tell a good story, film it in an unobnoxious way, and spare us your imbecilic philosophizing.

Book Notes: Néstor Díaz de Villegas’ De donde son los gusanos

I haven’t returned to Ukraine since emigrating 21 years ago. Emigrés who go back for a visit are such a joke because they exist in a constant state of informing the former compatriots of the superior ways of their new country. As if they had anything to do with creating those superior ways.

De donde son los gusanos is a book by a Cuban author who returned to Cuba after 37 years in the US. Díaz de Villegas is not a regular immigrant but an actual political exiliado who had spent time in a concentration camp in Cuba for political dissidence. And he’s a talented writer. But even he is doing the stereotypical “ah, just look at the barbarians” thing. And it’s not that there isn’t a lot of obnoxiousness in Cuba. There is. But his sense of extreme superiority isn’t justified because what is it that he did to become superior? Emigrated? Big freaking deal.

I slipped on the stairs and cracked my tailbone, so I’m moody. Plus, I ordered a tarte tatin to make myself feel better, and it tastes like garlic. But the book isn’t bad. It’s just annoying at times in a typical emigré sort of way.