Live, fast or die

Image, Source: intermediary roll film

So, my roommates decided last Saturday to start a five-day fast. They told me I should join them, get all the crap out of my system and let nothing in this world control me. The problem here is that sleeping and eating are my two most valued activities… Seriously. I mean, I know college students that stay up all the time to get what they need to get done, but I don’t value what I need to get done that much.

So, around day three Jim’s doing horribly. He mentions maybe every five minutes to me that he’s going to quit and that he’s going loopy. I think he was mildly overexaggerating.

Jim borrows my Dremel power tool (yeah, I actually own a power tool. Masculinity!) like usual, but this day he actually manages to burn it out. Amongst him profusely promising to acquire a new one for me, acrid smoke wafts across my nose (wow, what a sentence!).

So… how do I fix this smell? Well, easy, I make popcorn. And torment my roommates with the sweet smell of melted butter and salt and fast food death. I’m a great human being.

Art Machine, Lucky Number Slevin and Malcolm McDowell

Image, Source: b&w film copy neg. of half stereo

So, last quarter, I had an all-quarter-long project where my group and I were evaluating the human resources department at the design firm Art Machine. They’re a bunch of really cool guys, and really we couldn’t tell them about too many improvements that they could make HR-wise, because of the size of the company they are. You see, they’re a really small design firm that does a whole bunch of movie posters and whatnot. They hit the big time when they won a really prestigious award for the poster for Saw, which they designed. And they’ve done a whole bunch more, from Ultraviolet to Lord of War.

Well, in the line of work they do, they often have the opportunity to see the movies they are developing promotional materials for way before the public does, typically so they can get a good idea of the film and accurately represent it in movie poster film. Such was the case with Lucky Number Slevin, an upcoming film starring Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Sir Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman and Bruce Willis. It’s basically a mobster film, violent and funny and everything you might expect if Snatch was made in America. I was very fortunate to see several dozen drafts of the poster that they had drafted, and then the final poster they had designed for it. The poster’s made it look good. And Nadare, the production manager, said everybody in the office thought it could easily be movie of the year. He said to see it.

So, I did. I found out they were having an advanced screening here in SLO at the Fremont theater, and I had to go see it. I brought this up to my bosses at BIG Images, and they gave (!) me a VIP pass to the event. Tickets were $20, but this was a VIP pass to the entirety of the weeklong events for the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, of which this was a part, and this pass was worth $75. We got it for free because we printed quite a few promotional materials for the week.

And so, I watched the film one Saturday afternoon almost a month ago. And it was excellent. It completely rocked my socks off, and I’d see it again in a heartbeat. And I’d even pay for it this time. Check out the trailer here at YouTube.

Anyhow, the main part of the story is still to come. You see, Jon Beebe, his roommate and I had seats in the second row of the theater, and right after the show, none other than MALCOLM McDOWELL!!! sat down in the seat in front of me. I could have kissed his forehead, he was that close. This shows that the greatest event of the evening was not, in fact, the pre-screening of the movie, but rather the fact that Malcolm McDowell was there to present Morgan Freeman with the King Vidor award for acting excellence.

Oh, it was great, watching them onstage, discussing different roles they had been in, the career of Morgan Freeman (which is totally remarkable, seeing it in the way they presented it) and just generally joking around with each other.

And so, the length of this post is the reason this journal hasn’t been updated in so long this time. Here’s hoping I fix that.