Posted tagged ‘Remember Me’

Robert Pattinson, Stanley McChrystal, Judge Martin Feldman – I know which one I’d rather think about

June 22, 2010

Short-haired Rob

I suppose that today I could try to find something charitable to say about General Stanley  A. McChrystal, the general who blabbed his discontent with various top level administration figures to the Rolling Stone (of all places), or, perhaps, something diplomatic about Judge Martin L.C. Feldman, the judge blocking Obama’s moratorium on deep-water drilling.  Unfortunately, I don’t have enough energy to quash the cynicism, despair, and plain old irritation that each of these figures raises in me.

So instead I’m going to focus on a proper Rolling Stone subject and a cinematic (rather than environmental) vampire, and one of this blog’s traditionally favorite people – poor/lucky/hounded/sought-after Robert Pattinson.

I am responding here not to anything that Pattinson has done recently–gotten a hair cut!  Awkwardly kissed Kristen Stewart on stage!  Seriously—a hair cut?!–but to one of the few articles in the New York Times that isn’t seriously depressing me: “His Cross To Bear; Heartthrob Vampire.”

The article discusses Pattinson’s fatigue with all things Twilight, including (quite understandably) the fame and the fame surrounding the fame, the phenomenon and the phenomenon of the phenomenon. (Our media is so self-referential that attention is itself a huge story.)

Poor Pattinson reminds me of King Midas, except that everything he touches turns to Twilight –no, that’s not right – everything Twilight that he touches turns to gold.   And everyone wants gold, right?   Rob seems a bit unsure at this point.
And yet, grateful, always grateful.   (Unlike some Generals we could name.)

The Twilight success has theoretically given Rob freedom to do whatever he wants, whether or not it makes sense (like some judges), but because his other projects have not, thus far, been terribly successful, they supposedly risk tying him further to Twilight, causing him to be the guy who is only deemed successful as Edward Cullen.

I, for one (smitten and non-McChrystally loyal), don’t believe that.  The problem with Rob’s other projects has not been his performance, so much as a quirk in the overall project:  any movie in which a Brit, an Irishman, and an Aussie, sit down to discuss the New York Yankees is going to lack a certain credibility for U.S. viewers.  (Remember Me performed much better overseas.)

Still, Pattinson’s been working non-stop for the last few months.  Can all the other films counterbalance his identification with handsome vampires:  we’ll/I’ll see.  In the meantime, there’s always Eclipse coming out on June 30th.   Yes, it looks bloated, overproduced, schmaltzy, draggy, and his eyebrows are way too thick.

But at least he’s not threatening pelicans, nor talking trash.

Subway Blog – St. Patrick’s Day/Ground Zero

March 17, 2010

Tassled Boot

St. Patrick’s Day.  Spring.  (Crocuses in the small park in front of my Battery Park City building.)

I work at home in the morning, so miss the main parade rush (usually bright green with hats), and go into the office late.   A small group of teenage girls stand beside me  on the platform with tight jeans tucked into knee-high boots, slightly wavy hair swooping across broad foreheads. Vague green (a dark shade on a shirt, or just eye shadow on a lid) is worn by the ones who look Irish, a brighter viridian on the girl who looks Italian.  “Like” is said frequently, and large slouchy purses are held protectively.

Their smiles slacken in the subway car as they become quickly aware that all seats are taken, mainly by very large men who are not giving them up.  They are not small girls, and there is only one small channel of grey plastic bench, which, after a minute or so (and a nod from one of the men),  I nab.

It’s amazing to me how men can take up so much space on the subway.  Even men who are not particularly large take up huge spans, their legs spread wide as a matter of course.  They never ever cross these legs, or even press them together.  (It may be a physical thing, but I always think it’s ego, ego stretching wide.)

The girls congregate by one of the poles, looking young, pale, and a bit subdued, under the fluorescents.   I want to shout out “Robert Pattinson”, to see if that would perk them up again.  But there is something about the way they hold their large purses which makes me think that they probably wouldn’t react (except to think I was nuts.  Hmmm….)

A friend at my office, male, who is completely immune to, and somewhat obtuse about, Pattinson’s charms assures me that the poor showing of Pattinson’s new film Remember Me is a sign that (i) Rob doesn’t really have it; and (ii) that the celebrity fixation of our culture is exaggerated.  (“People may look at little blogs about Pattinson,” he says contemptuously, “but they won’t shell out ten bucks.)

$12.75 in Manhattan.

Maybe he’s right.  I still think that the emphasis on 9/11 may have something to do with the poor showing of Remember Me. I walked by Ground Zero on the way to the subway today, before encountering the Irish/Italian girls on the subway.  I walk by Ground Zero every day, but today for the first time (perhaps because of the suddenly blue sky),  I realized that the site has turned into “Above Ground Zero”, or really “Above-Ground-By-A-Couple-Of-Stories-Zero.”

Big rust-colored girders are now extending into the air.  I know enough to recognize that the girders do not stand on the “footprint” of the old towers, but they are close enough.

My heart caught in my throat, my breath in my chest.  I was amazed, and embarrassed, that the sight of the girders almost brought on an asthma attack.  (I’m not someone who commonly has asthma attacks, but I was genuinely panting.)

I called my husband as I crossed Church Street.  He said something about pollen in the air.

“It’s not pollen; it started right here,” I insisted.

I told him finally the terrible feelings came because I didn’t like to feel like a target.  (As a non-New York City person, he doesn’t fully understand.)  I didn’t talk about the sadness that encompassed me.

But all of that was before the subway, before the Irish-looking, wavy-haired girls, and their Italian looking friend, before the possibly pregnant Hispanic woman just across from me on the train, who crooks her arm in her man’s arm, whose sweet smile is punctuated by braces and quick laughs.

Before too, the little girls on the platform as I get out, who wear green shamrock vests, and black and white polka-dotted dirndls, and white much-tassled cowboy boots.  They hold hands as they wait, behind their parents, for the next train, one of them tap dancing.

Further Spoiler Alert (“Remember Me”)

March 13, 2010

Continuing briefly with my Pattinson binge (and I promise I’ll stop soon), I’m happy to report that the sinking feeling I felt in my stomach when contemplating seeing the new movie Remember Me really did not need to be so pronounced.

I’ve seen it now and my stomach is okay.

Yes, it feels way too early (especially to a New Yorker) to see 9/11 used as a kind of stupid plot device.  (I guess some screen writers will go to any length to get family members to talk to each other.)

Yes, the movie does make New York out to be a horrible place, where violence not only breaks out on random street corners but also in board rooms,  bookstores, private school classrooms, and lower school slumber parties (not to mention in nearly everyone’s home.)   Oddly, the most peaceful place depicted in the movie is probably the jail cell where Rob a/k/a Tyler Hawkins winds up every once in a while.

And yes, Pattinson’s hair is on the flat side, and he looks beaten up for much of the film.

Still, well, Rob has a certain charm.  He is not embarrassing.  That’s a pretty low standard, and frankly, it’s also unfair, because really he’s better than “not embarrassing.”   He simply has, well, this certain charm, which is enlarged by an ability to project a kind of sweetness.   He’s extremely likeable.  (The camera loves him, but he is able to seem unself-conscious of his looks.)  This caring quality seems especially genuine in the scenes with his movie sister, Caroline (played by Ruby Jerins) who is winningly awkward and knowing at once.

Granted, all the characters in the movie are pretty typed.   They hardly need to open their mouths in order for us to know their parts.

And, granted, there is much that is difficult to swallow for even the most willing to suspend belief.  (If the sister lives in a town house in Greenwich Village, why are they always up at the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park?   How can those other little girls be so catty when Caroline is dropped off and picked up by Robert Pattinson?  How can New Yorkers with no clear lock on their door never ever get burglarized? )

One of the most refreshing  of these odd details is that Tyler (RPatz), the incipient young writer and diarist, always writes by hand in little crumpled notebooks.   The only computers shown are not in the NYU student centers or in student apartments, but in  his father’s corporate office.    Perhaps this is meant to show that the movie took place at an earlier time?   Unfortunately, that’s a point you’re not really allowed to forget.

Boxing Day – Checking Up On Robert Pattinson

December 26, 2009

December 26th, Boxing Day, which is not, as one might expect, a day for finally hashing out all of the tension that has been building over Christmas (but which one felt compelled by the very fact of Christmas not to hash out.)  (Oh, wait, maybe that compulsion was not quite strong enough.)

Whatever.  The “boxing” in Boxing Day actually refers to boxes.  In England and Commonwealth countries, December 26th was traditionally the day in which presents were exchanged particularly with the “worthy but less worthy” people in one’s life, servants, trades people, slightly more distant friends, rather than on Christmas itself which was reserved for family, religion, and eating.

In the U.S., many devote Boxing Days to frantic sales shopping, to acquiring boxes, I guess.

But since I’m not much of a shopper, I’ve always viewed the day as a time of ultimate, luxurious, relaxation, a day which is far less regimental than Christimas, but still has a lot of festive food hanging about—panetone, figs, gingerbread, slightly wilted champagne.

Nowadays, presents from friends, rather than family, are typically given before rather than on Boxing Day.  The very best one I got this year, from a follower of this blog, was a Robert Pattinson calendar.    The calendar cover shows Rob pushing back his trademark hair so that a slightly enlarged vein shows on one-side of his forehead.  (The vein is somehow vampiric, although I’m not sure if it’s the type of thing that would be typical of vampires, or attractive to them.)

Rob has been conspicuously absent from the public scene of late, and even from this blog.   First, Rob seems to be trying hard to lay low.  (He must be exhausted.)   Secondly, his appearance in New Moon was enough to dose many people for a long long while.  (No offense, Rob.  The lines, the stiltedness, all those animatronic wolves, aren’t really your fault.)

There have been stories, of course; a whole industry has been built on Rob Pattinson stories, and it can’t wind down on a dime.  The biggest was how Rob “freaked out” when one fan jumped out of a car to kiss him, and then confessed that her mom had tried to stop her because she had Swine Flu.   (Frankly, I don’t think it’s fair to call Rob getting irritated over this “freaking out.”)

Also, Rob went to a birthday party and was photographed getting a ride afterword with Katy Perry (and others), and was immediately declared to be Perry’s lover.  (The next day he was disowned by Perry who tweeted that she doesn’t “do vampires.”)

He was also reported to be wooing Emilie de Ravin (costar in “Remember Me”) with high culture because they had a photo session in an LA museum.

Despite his reduced appearance on the tabloids, Rob was voted the man girls would most like to find under the mistletoe.  Ever the gentleman (and I actually mean this), he responded to an interviewer’s question as to whom he would most like to find under the mistletoe with a giggle, and  “Ricky Gervais.”  This was reported under the blockbuster headline, “Robert Pattinson Reveals His Fantasy ‘Under The Mistletoe’ Kiss.”

Boxing Day, the kind of day that gives you the leisure to look into such important matters.

Ah.

Newspeople, Bloggers, Blocking Writer’s Block

November 30, 2009

Yesterday, I wrote a kind of odd post about “Celebrity News” which focused on the addictive quest for celebrity in our culture.  I also discussed the intense craving of some newspeople, particularly TV newspeople, to be people “in the news” as well as people discussing it.

I felt a little guilty writing so dismissively about newspeople’s quest for attention.   It did not escape me that bloggers could be said to suffer from similar cravings.

I can’t speak for all bloggers—I only really know one.   Still, I think the average blogger’s pursuit of attention is somewhat different from that of the average TV newsperson.  First, the newsperson often seems to be embued by grandiosity;  a (perhaps inherent) narcissism has already been gorged by all the staff persons hovering– brushing their hair, checking their noses, patting their tummies—(wait a second, that’s spaniels–)

A blogger, in contrast, tends to be alone when working, either by choice or happenstance.  (The blogger’s family, losing all hope of a dinner at home, has gone out.)   The blogger, unlike the TV newsperson, or any TV persona, receves little coddling; their “stats” are a pretty good ego-toughener.   Moreover, the blogger knows that even the few that do “view” the blog may look for a second at most—the time it takes to realize that a mouthwatering tag like “Robsten” has led to no new gossip and questionable adulation.

As a result, the blogger must garner sustenance from the age-old wisdom of Gandhi, as quoted by that newly-minted sage, Robert Pattinson, in the trailer of his upcoming movie, Remember Me: “Gandhi said that whatever you do in life is insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it.”  (Sorry, but in the downswing from the manic side, I find myself studying this trailer.)

Which brings up what may be the most important difference between the TV newsperson’s motivations and the blogger’s.  The blogger (or at least the only blogger I know) does not crave attention so much as expression.  Yes, the blogger is thrilled when the number of hits rises, but his (her)  most engaging and happy moments, are those spent actually writing, typing, and cursorily editing, each post.  And then, of course, the pressing of the little button that says “Publish,” and the watching of that little button spin.

This is something for those with writer’s block to remember.   Try to get hooked on the process, and not to think too much of the impression that you, as the person engaging in the process, are making.  Of course, you need to keep your audience in mind.  You are trying to communicate.  You want your readers both (i) to be able to follow your work and (ii) to want to follow your work.   But try to keep the focus on the the writing, the message, and not on yourself as its deliverer.  Writing is not about getting your nose powdered, head (or tummy) patted, but about putting the words on the page.

Summit Doubles Up On Pattinson

November 19, 2009

Just in case we could forget Rob Pattinson this week, Summit has released the new trailer for Pattinson’s next film, Remember Me.  (Remind me to buy some Summit stock soon.  Oh wait, it’s probably too late to buy Summit stock.  Darn.)

It looks good (if you’re stuck on RPatz.)  It looks like a part/movie Pattinson genuinely believes in.  (It’s always hard to believe that he likes either the Twilight Saga or Edward Cullen all that much, although he does seem to try.)

The movie appears to feature an angry, sullen, somewhat belligerent, soon-to-fall-in-love, wealthy teenager.  Although Rob does sullen and wealth well, he doesn’t really look physically belligerent, i.e. tough;  even in the fight clips cut for the trailer, it’s hard to believe he’s hitting anyone.  (One can almost trace the arc of fist bypassing chin,  like two actors on the stage managing a fake slap.)

And the made-up bruises/cuts manage to leave the chiseled line of his face remarkably unswollen.  But no one, it seems, will complain about this bit.

Hey Rob! Hey Kristen! The Jury’s In Session!

October 26, 2009

I’ve always thought that one of the biggest difficulties faced by any celebrity is the inability to spend time peacefully and quietly in public.

Robert Pattinson (surprise!) is an obvious case in point.  This, in fact, is one of the main reasons I am so interested in him.  (NOT because of his chiseled good looks, his self-deprecating charm, any confusion I have between him and Edward Cullen, the sweet, rich, loving, handsome vampire he portrays.  Not even his hair.)

No, I find Rob fascinating simply (okay, partly) as a study in modern day fame:  the poor guy’s life has been upended.

Sure, there’s been good stuff—movie contracts, money,  a possible love relationship with Kristen Stewart.

But look at what’s come along with all of that—virtual (in all senses of the word) non-stop surveillance.

Rob may be fairly private in his hotel room (maybe), but he cannot do anything in a public space without the constant click and taunt of paparazzi–paparazzi, combined with the more welcome, but undoubtedly wearing, attention of fans.

What’s a teen idol to do?

Jury Duty!

I have recent first hand experience of jury duty (if not, of actually serving on a jury), so I feel quite qualified to make this recommendation.

Think about it, Rob.  Jury duty has not even been that bad for me, who, despite my persistent blogging, does not have either name or face recognition.  For someone like you, who could not film Remember Me on the streets of New York this past summer without (a) a security detail, (b) a Pattinson “lookalike” (or at least “dressalike”),  (c) a 7ft. high wooden box to stand behind; and (d) a gang of paparazzi, jury duty could be a real godsend.

Here’s why:

1.  Photographic devices are not allowed into most court facilities.  (Which is great news for the media-pressured; the soft shushing of colored pencils is a lot more soothing than camera clicks.)

2.  There are loads of law enforcement officers in courthouses either (a) enforcing the law, or (b) under indictment.  Either way, they will not take kindly to paparazzi pulling out their iPhones for a sneaky snap.

3.  The jury areas  (at least in New York County) are quite pleasant, especially if you avoid the relative comfy seats in the main windowless jurors area, and go for the uncrowded wooden benches in the outside hall where large, south-facing, windows give sunny views of downtown Manhattan.  (It’s almost like a spa!  With benches!)

4.  Okay, the pay’s a six or seven digit cut from your current wage scale, but jury duty offers a young actor a great opportunity to study human nature in all its varieties and vagaries.  The emotional gamut runs from bored, to worried, to bored, to scared stiff, to bored, to deceptive, to bored, to confessional, to bored, to greatly greatly relieved, to very very sorry.

5.  Not only no paparazzi, no werewolves.

6.  And, hey, Rob, if you’re enjoying the peace and quiet, you can  volunteer for a three-month trial.  (They may even let Kristen serve too!)

For more Rob, Kristen, Robsten, Twilight,  and other silliness of many descriptions,  check out other posts  from my homepage –  https://manicddaily.wordpress.com.

Also, if interested in children’s books, check out 1 Mississippi, by Karin Gustafson, at link on homepage, or on Amazon.