html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: I've never forgiven the guy who made us watch <u>Beijing Bicycle</u>.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I've never forgiven the guy who made us watch Beijing Bicycle.

This morning, about about 4:45am, a man walked by shouting at someone on the busy street outside my bedroom. He was pissed, but it took me a while to hear why; he shouted at someone behind him "What you need to do is, you need to remember where you fucking left the car." She kept saying, quiet and near tears, "The car was here. I didn't forget. It was here.". I heard them half an hour later, and fifteen minutes after that. His tone was still vicious. The last thing I heard was her, still near tears. "I know you are angry, but I didn't do anything wrong."

When I first moved to Sac, I lived in a triplex. My bedroom was adjacent to my neighbor's; one night I woke up to her sobbing and pissed and shouting at her boyfriend. (I'd been shocked as hell when she started dating him. I'd have confidently bet you money she was lesbian.) "How could you?! On my birthday?! With my best friend?" He said, "Well, it was going to be a surprise party...", but I thought her next point, that you have to arrange for the birthday person to show up at the surprise party, was a good one. Failing that, you also shouldn't fuck her best friend while you're waiting to surprise the birthday girl. She'd walked in on them, I gathered. After a fair amount of this exchange, she started whaling on him, hitting him hard enough to hear through the walls. I gave some thought to calling the cops, but couldn't really work up enough concern for him to get out of bed. He left; she sobbed for the rest of the night.

I will never understand going to see sad movies. Never. The world is full of sad people, people who don't know why things never work and why they are looking for their car at five in the morning with someone who hates them and how are they going to make it with one more thing gone wrong? I can barely stand overhearing pieces of muffled grief and desperation. Two hours of seeing their faces, too? Paying money to do that? Never, never, never.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't it occur to the man outside your window that maybe the car had been stolen?

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sitting here a thousand miles from nowhere I think I'm about to go out of my goddamn mind -Buddy Guy

Sometimes we resolve not to be sad.

We know logically that it is a waste of the precious time we have.

But (were you waiting for the but?) you keep fucking trying yet you feel you can't get a break.

That said, I'll be damned if I stop trying.

(Sad movies only work for me as a way to make me feel in touch. I'd rather not need a movie to feel that way.)


9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear things like this often: "Sad movies only work for me as a way to make me feel in touch."

But don't people feel sad enough on their own? I sure do...a little bit goes a very long way.

Why seek out more sadness? I'm not a sad person, but I think that's really good, not something to be fixed by watching depressing movies.


6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least with sad movies, some clever director/focus group manages to add a ray of give you some hope.

7:18 AM  
Anonymous thelonious_nick said...

I had some serious questions about your principle of not wanting to see sad movies. But then, I looked up "sad movies" on the Internet and realized that for most people sad movies are sad, but "inspirational," movies like Awakenings, Forrest Gump, or Steel Magnolias. Movies like this nauseate me. If these are the types of movies to which you are referring, I am with you, albeit for different reasons.

However, here are some sad, non-nauseating movies. If you have seen any of these, are they too sad and thus unenjoyable for you? Or can you make an exception if a movie is sad, but has other redeeming qualities?
Children of Heaven
The Bicycle Thief
Five Easy Pieces
Star Trek II

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a happy person, but a compassionate one, so you are hurt by other people's sadness and therefore avoid sad movies. But for unhappy people, sad movies sometimes are the only thing out there to tell them they're not alone.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Dubin said...

I refuse to see Dancer in the Dark.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I had a big failure in my life, I watched a lot of 'uplift' movies. They were sad, but only in the middle. Cheesy, but it made me feel a little better. -K.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Spungen said...

But then, I looked up "sad movies" on the Internet and realized that for most people sad movies are sad, but "inspirational," movies like Awakenings, Forrest Gump, or Steel Magnolias. Movies like this nauseate me.

Ditto. I call them sniffle porn.

Walls in downtown Sac seemed to be thinner than anywhere else I lived, or maybe people were just more Springeresque. I overheard several similar scenes. The worst was when a downstairs neighbor was chastising a guy he'd taken in, apparently some relative, for sleeping with his wife. It was really sad, except that he sounded exactly like Redd Foxx in Sanford and Son.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I almost didn't want to see "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo," because the premise is that a developer is going to bulldoze the community rec center. Without spoiling the ending, let me just say that it doesn't turn out nearly as sad as you might think.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I got the feeling that he really, really did not want that to be true. Also, it is possible that his normally clear thinking was a little impaired.

Don't stop trying, 'k?

I strongly agreed with everything you wrote.

You can be relieved that I don't watch sad but inspirational movies, but you probably think the movies I do watch are just as bad.

I almost never see movies; perhaps I'll watch 4-5 movies a year. I haven't seen any of the movies you listed. But when I do go see movies, I like the one about the sports underdog. My favorite part is where they do push-ups in the snow.

Yeah, you do overhear strong stuff, although I'd be surprised if Sac has more of that than any other city.

But what HAPPENED?! Did it look grim for a while, and then it all turned out OK????

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I don't like are movies that are supposed to be funny throw in sad stuff. Or dark comedies. About Schmidt was a huge dissapointment like that. Not funny at all.

And, then, movies like planes trains and automobiles. Hilarious all the way through, then at the end you find out John Candy's wife is dead, and he has no family or friends, or home, boooo! They should have ended it on a funny note.


12:21 PM  
Blogger Noel said...

Surprisingly I don't remember the ending of 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles'. In my mind it's just one continuous riot -- I guess I just filter out the sad stuff.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The funniest neighbor-stuff I ever overheard was about a decade ago, when I was living in a condominium in Connecticut. Late one evening the nighttime quiet was shattered by the sounds coming from a nearby unit. A man and woman were in the throes of passion, indeed it was possible to gauge their progress (so to speak) by the sounds they made. Finally, at the supreme moment, the woman screamed - I'm paraphrasing a bit - "[Have sexual intercourse with] me! [Have sexual intercourse with] me harder!"

I thought women only screamed that in porno movies.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

1:31 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

When my ex's upstairs neighbors used to make noise during sex, my ex and I would moan and shout along with them, loud enough for them to hear. That was fun.

1:34 PM  
Blogger djw said...

I command you to go watch Tokyo Story. NOW. If you forgo sadness, you're permanently cutting yourself off from a significant amount of the world's beauty.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

There's plenty of non-sad beauty in the world. Maybe when I exhaust that, I'll start in on the sad beauty.

How you gonna enforce your command, Mr. Imaginary Person on the Internets?

3:01 PM  
Blogger amanda bee said...

Sometimes sad movies make you think. Sometimes you need to cry and you can go watch Dancer in the Dark and have a good sob and then go back to pretending that your whole world is not coming apart at every seam.

I just saw Dubin's comment, but I'm going to stand by the merits of Dancer in the Dark. And Brokeback Mountain. And Requiem for a Dream which is distressing, but maybe not sad. I kind of think that the world is full of cheesy shit and car exhaust and sometimes a heartbreaking and beautiful movie is fun. I thought that Half Nelson was agonizing. It gave me the willies. I felt like shit after I saw it, and I'd totally recommend it.

I like interesting movies. Good stories. If they are absurdly sad, I can work with that.

Have you ever seen 2 Seconds? It is sad, but also beautiful and it has a happy ending. So there.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Sometimes sad movies make you think.

Think about sad things! BOOOO!

If they are absurdly sad, I can work with that.

Work with that in what sense? Sad movies make me sad, sometimes for days. Then I have added gratuitous sadness to my life, which didn't need more gratuitous sadness because my neighbors and the news will force that on me anyway.

Chris is all "experience all deep emotions" and I am all "cut that the fuck out. Why? Why add deep bad emotions to my experiences? I got plenty."

5:09 PM  
Anonymous jens said...

> How you gonna enforce your
> command, Mr. Imaginary Person on
> the Internets?

Hmm...the submissive in you begging to be controlled, or the top establishing dominance?

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:31 AM was a great comment.

Sadness can one of the most beautiful experiences there is. The richness of sadness is in the confrontation with mortality, and mortality is at the center of life. Where would art be without sad music, tragic plays and poems, paintings depicting death? Nowhere, that's where. There are very few great works of art that are completely "happy" (and the Beatles are responsible for a lot of them). Even comedy is often dependent on an unstated backdrop of loss or pain.

Being trapped with some miserable shit at 5 AM is just really depressing though. Depressing art is, well, depressing. But finding art depressing is just a subjective reaction that says you (probably) didn't enjoy the work of art that much. If you find all art that depicts sadness to be depressing, then maybe you don't particularly like art. "King Lear" is one of the saddest plays ever written, but I find it to be uplifting.


5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I'm on my opinionating kick: in my opinion we should all keep a tactful silence about overhearing sex through thin walls. Especially if it's good sex. If we embarass other people about having good sex, we're all contributing to women being afraid to let go in bed and make the full range of wonderful noises they are capable of. And who wants that? Not me.

Also, Peter, if you think that people only yell "fuck me!" in porno movies, you should get out more. I think you might have some nice surprises in your future.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

maybe you don't particularly like art.

That's not true! I looovve Thomas Kinkade, who lived in Sacramento for a while. And I love any picture of an oak tree in the foothills. Fog, moon in the background, leaves about to break, silhouetted against a sunset. Any of 'em. I LOVE ART!

Anonymous 8:31 AM was a great comment.

It was, and I meant to say earlier... you are not alone.

I'm sure Peter will have lots of nice surprises, but I'm also sure they'll be with his wife.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

"When my ex's upstairs neighbors used to make noise during sex, my ex and I would moan and shout along with them, loud enough for them to hear. That was fun."

OH MY GOD. I am SO going to do that next time I'm in such a situation. You are brilliant.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Zubon said...

The failed surprise party story is a winner.

5:03 PM  

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