Thursday, December 16, 2010

Strange Young Lady, Strange Little Movie

                                           Strange Young Lady, Strange Little Movie


                                                                              Jay Agan

      I was cashiering at an unmentionable, cut rate, regional, merchandising, chainstore where I met an unusual co-worker. I noticed she would dye her hair (Death black, Chernobyl red, Jolly Ollie orange.) at regular intervals. Didn't think much of it at first though it certainly got the attention.

      A couple months into her employment, I found, through a chance discussion about movies, that she liked anime. (That certainly explained the interesting hair colorations.) This rekindled an old interest I had in the genre. By that time I had been collecting movies for a couple years & was seeking to expand in another direction. Anime seemed a colorful way of doing so & I haven't looked back scince.

      It wasn't only anime she was into, but all things Japanese. And she seemed such an intelligent person. She could speak German, & her Japanese was quite good. Not your typical anime geek, otaku, or Japanophile or whatever it was she considered herself. She told me she had Japanese ancestry (Which I found VERY hard to believe.) A chance meeting with her dad in the checkout line revealed she was about as Japanese as Irish stew.

      Getting to know her better as time went on, I would kid her about her interest in "them there furrin' cartoons". At times she would act rather sensitive about it. I'd say "cartoons", she'd say "anime" (Sometimes "ANIME ---- it!"). I'd say "comic books", she'd say "manga". She'd say "Banzai!", I'd say "John Wayne". You get the idea.

      We had this informal, on again/off again, semi-friendly feud for quite some time. I rather enjoyed it though she wasn't always receptive &, at times, rather peeved.

      One day. She did something ..... awful.

      Knowing I was into sci-fi & horror, she suggested I check out a certain Japanese made horror film. As it was a recently made flick, I was somewhat reluctant. I have an aversion to "modern" horror as they go for the gore, leaving plot & story behind. Most of my flicks were made before 1980 as I'm pretty much "old school" when it comes to horror (Price, Lugosi, Karloff, etc.)

      Knowing the Japanese do things differently, (As one fellow stated on the Universal Monster Army message board: "The Japanese are 30% weirder than the west. And I mean that in a good way."), I bought the flick cold, sight unseen. Something I rarely do. Oh yes. Name of the film: Audition.

      This is not a review, but I will say this film is not so much a horror film as it is a horror. The first 3/4 is a slow building psycho-drama. the last 1/4 ..... excriutiating. Agonisingly, tooth watering, ..... excriutiatingly PAINFUL to view.

      I'm there ..... watching. Hands gripping armrests, fingers convulsingly impressing prints into the wood. Sometimes, sitting sideways, hand over one eye. No screaming or yelling. Only little mewling squeals & gurgles welling up from the bottom of my throat, sometimes spasming into "Oh ..... my .....GOD!". My teeth & jaws hurt so much from all that gnashing & clenching.

      I know the guys' intentions were less than honorable, but ..... did he really deserve ..... that? I will never listen to the prelude of Bizets' Carmen the same way again. If you want to find out what happens in this movie, by all means, see it for yourself. Better yet, by all means, DON'T!

      For days (Weeks!) after, my workplace "friend" would taunt me with that weird little sound the movies' psycho-babe made while manipulating acupuncture needles:

      "Deeki deeki deekideeeee!" (Subtitles said, "deeper! deeper!)

      My usual procedure with flicks I'm less than satisfied with is to either give them away (I'd rather a movie is appreciated elswhere, than sit on a thrift store shelf.), or in this case, throw it out (Save the cases when you do that. They come in handy if you're a collecter.). As I was about to toss it, a thought occured to me (Yes, it does hurt when that happens!). I'll give it to a close friend.

      This friend is an interesting guy: Been in the service over twenty years. Well read/educated, PHD in history. Works for the government (So he's not ALL good, what the hey.). Part time college professor. Traveled the world, "Been there, done that." (At least twice.) Seen some combat (Doesn't care to talk about it.) The closest I've seen to a "Renaissance Man".

      So it was with some fascination/amazement/amusement I saw this guy get unhinged over a viewing of The Silence of the Lambs some years before.

      "Jay? ..... Jay! What's happening next!? What now!?"

      Gave him a sing songy, "not gonna tell ya, har har har!"

      "C'mon Jay!"

      "No way! Snicker, chortle!"

      "Agan ----it!"

      "Hee hee hee hee!" So it went. At times, my mind is not well.

      On one of his travels through, I dropped a bag of movies on him, making it a point to see this particular flick.

      Two weeks later, he calls me up for the express purpose of telling me what a vile piece of crud I am. Seems he made the mistake of watching it with his newly married wife. Now she has more doubts about me than before. (Due to the machinations of aforesaid merchandising chain, I missed their wedding & never met her. What George told her about me must have been interesting enough. Audition did not help.)

      Later, he got the urge to "share the love" & lent the disc to someone at his place of work. Now he's looked askance of by a couple other people.

      The world can be a brighter, better place if even only a few of us "pass it forward". I know it has for several other folks. All thanks is due to a rather strange young lady I met at work.

      You didn't think I was gonna blame myself ..... did you?

                                                       Article copyright © Jay Agan

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