29 October 2008

I voted today! And now I want my own Mini-Obama to manipulate

I'm tickled at what I found when I Googled how to volunteer for Obama. Obama's website is called MyBarackObama.com. It reminds me of "Mini-Me" from Austin Powers, and of my friend in the cold northern reaches of the country who calls her iPod her "Mini-Tom" (as in Tom Gray of Gomez). It makes me feel like I've got my very own Mini-Obama right here online, or better yet, in my phone. There is something alluring about having a pet mini Obama right there in my portable digital devices, like your pet having a life online in Webkinz. I like this idea. I should develop a little game or iPhone app!

Last Wednesday we went to see Synecdoche, New York (make it rhyme with Schenectady, from whence the lead character hails). Synecdoche is the first film by Charlie Kaufman, the screenwriter who turned Susan Orlean's nonfiction book The Orchid Thief into the surreal cinematic experiment that was Adaptation, and wrote The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He's in the midst of a raft of PR for his movie -- his future probably depends on it. One quote that stood out from an article was that people are so used to calling directors "auteurs," when what that means is "author." He was talking about the director being the one said to have the vision, when he felt that without the writer, there would be no vision in the first place. He appeared last week, coming in at the tail end of the screening, in time to see a big laugh at Dianne Wiest's character's transformation into a mimic of Caden, another synecdoche. Perhaps Kaufman will do for this orally challenging word what The Police did for synchronicity.

Kaufman submitted to a barrage of questions from lots of wannabe filmmakers and college-educated folks who like to hear themselves think out loud, not unlike myself. People would ask about influences -- "Were Michel Gondry's videos for Bjork songs an influence when you wrote Adaptation?" Kaufman would just say, "No." This happened a few times, like when someone said they found it quite Brechtian how Philip Seymour Hoffman's character, Caden, wasn't very sympathetic. "I disagree. I thought he was very sympathetic. I really tried to make him more sympathetic," said the filmmaker.

Listening to: George Michael, "Freedom" ("You gotta give what you take.") (And yes, it came up on a random play, followed by "Love Fool" by The Cardigans.

1 comment:

Centrechick said...

Ah, but you see, the magic of Mini-Tom is not that I ever manipulate him, HE manipulates ME.

He really does, when I'm feeling down, he plays peppy songs. When I'm trying to not be so obsessed with Gomez, he plays my favorite Gomez tracks, when I'm wanting to listen to a certain song, it's usually at most five tracks away, even if I haven't listened to it in a few days or just listened to it a few hours before.

That little thing has a weird connection to my brain.

Good thing I love it so. :)