This is going to be film-lite and self-indulgent, so feel free to skip this one. The last few weeks I have to admit I just haven't been feelin' it with regards to film-viewing. Not burned out, not bored, just busy and flighty enough to be easily drawn to other things.
- The NYTimes has a lip-smacking write-up about food in Bangkok: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/12/dining/12bang.html It makes me want to go to Sripriphai (i.e., for non-Gothamites, the Queens restaurant regarded by many as one of NYC's very best and most authentic Thai places) again really soon. (Brian Darr, I hope you'll leave some general impressions about real Thai cuisine in the comments.) The writer's friend, Robert Halliday, sounds like a real character--knowing Hungarian and Thai, studying Russian lit in college, combing Bangkok for fried-light-spicy-tangy-salty-peanutty goodness, writing psuedonymous film and music reviews. The allusion to Monet that he makes comes off as kind of insufferable but in general this is a sort of person I like hearing about: idiosyncratic polymath bon vivants. How does one get to be like this?
- And just as I'm intrigued by Mr. Halliday, I have found myself really fascinated by Paul Bowles lately. I only know and own one book by him, a collection of travel writings, and the other day I gave that to a friend (and I don't know if either of us was clear on whether I lent it or gifted it to her--doesn't matter much). But I am seriously interested into delving into his fiction and more of his nonfiction. Bowles spent a total of 52 years in Morocco, as well as 7 on his own private island off the coast of Sri Lanka. At times I'm very taken by the idea of expatriation or even just peripatetic indulgence. And if (like Bowles) one can do it all while fashionably dressed, cheers. Then again the truly exciting prospects of this kind of travelling are probably attainable when you are (also like Bowles) equipped with a big account and an entourage.
- Perhaps I should move to a modest apartment in a little town in Nation X and just kind of subsist by doing odd jobs and writing freelance. (I'd love to be a film or cultural magazine's correspondent from the sticks of South America!) The problem is that a lot of the best food is located along the equator (which is ridiculously hot and prone to monsoons, etc.--no good). And in the end I think I'm too much of a wuss to ever expatriate to anywhere that would actually be cool and original.
- Speaking of wandering, here's a great line from indispensible cultural icons of my childhood: Calvin says to Hobbes as they're walking, "What would you say if someone called us a pair o' pathetic peripatetics?"
- Next film book to buy: Amos Vogel's newly reissued Film as Subversive Art. I can almost taste it.