American Splendor/The Alamo


Happy St. Patty’s day!
Watched American Splendor tonight, what an enjoyable film. I had heard about in the New York Times Magazine, back in December when I had a trial subscription. I bought the movie Sunday, sight-unseen. The tagline for the movie is “Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.” And so is this movie — so instead of butchering a synopsis, I’ll quote from the back of the box:

AMERICAN SPLENDOR is the story of a little-known working-class everyman, and first-class curmudgeon, Harvey Pekar. Harvey Pekar finds love, family and a creative voice through the underground comic books he creates, but still can’t manage to find the quicker supermarket checkout line.
Pekar, played by Paul Giamatti, is a frustrated file clerk at a V.A. Hospital, but also a comic book fan who befriends the young illustrator Robert Crumb and is soon inspired to create comic books based on his own life, entitled AMERICAN SPLENDOR. Along the bumpy journey, he meets, marries and falls for Joyce, and admiring comic book seller, played by Hope Davis.
Also appearing in the movie are the real Harvey and Joyce, comic book renderings of the couple, and cameos by some of Harvey’s closest friends. In this truly original, ultimately heartwarming film, you will find yourself deeping immersed in a world of AMERICAN SPLENDOR.

And indeed it was heartwarming. Quite an amazing film, really — very original and engaging; the description really doesn’t do it justice. The film has a few surreal scenes with both video and cartoon in the same frame — think Aha’s “Take Me On” (listen to a retro midi), but cooler. “But Krishen,” you ask, “how is that possible?”
You’re just gonna have to trust me on this one. Or don’t. Check it out next time you’re at the video store; I think you’ll enjoy it.
In other news, I’m totally procrastinating packing! A company car picks me, Jeff, my boss, and three or four folks from hardware up tomorrow at noon, then it’s an hour north drive to Tampa and a 2-hour flight to San Antonio. San Antonio, as you may know, is home to the historic Battle of the Alamo. Was talking to Dad tonight over iChat about the trip, and he mentioned I should learn the words to the Marty Robbins‘ song, Ballad of the Alamo. So, I bought it. Ah, the joys of free music.
What have you thought of the plant shots, by the way? Today’s pic is a “Wandering Jew” (what a funny-strange name), and is the last in the series I took from the garden in Amy’s lanai Sunday. Unfortunately I haven’t been out with the camera as much as I would have liked, but hopefully that will change soon. 😀
This is likely my last entry before I hop on the plane; if anyone would like a postcard, just email me your address, I’ll do my best to get online during the trip. Otherwise, if I don’t hear from you, hope the next eight days treats you wonderfully, and see you on the 27th!

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