Thursday, November 17, 2005

Maybe all that port eradicated my brain cells

Or maybe I've just smacked into the glass ceiling of my IQ. One of my new buds here had a "Fellini Fest" tonight. We watched 8 1/2, which she described as one of his most "accessible" films. As someone who considers herself an Epicurean of arty, semi-intelligible films -- I have a nasty reputation for being a complete movie snob, which I admit I enjoy -- I thought I'd probably muddle through it and come out enlightened.

Five minutes into it, as nuns with parasols paraded onscreen with sanitarium patients and some creepy Botoxed-type woman in a dead mink, I knew I was screwed. I felt like that one kid in English class, you know, the one who sits through Shakespeare and just keeps saying, "But what does 'doth' mean??"

"I love it!" one girl gushed as said nuns winked beguilingly at the camera. "It's a film about making a film!" She'd never seen it before, she claimed. Yeah, I bet she didn't. I bet she didn't go read the summaries online so she could come up with some innocently insightful remark like that.

Actually, she was probably telling the truth. After all, I was in a room full of Ivy League classicists, none of whom spoke less than three languages (my friend speaks seven). They probably watched Fellini while the rest of us giggled at Sesame Street. So, of course, I tried to flub through a few comments of my own. Judging by the silence, I failed. By the end, I think I'd managed to understand about 37 seconds of the entire film. The rest seemed like a chaotic jumble of weird Freudian incest issues -- although by then, I was well into my third Kir Royale, desperately hoping the fizziness would unlock parts of my brain. Alas, the film ended and the discussion began. I decided to hide on the bed and voraciously consume cheese, in the assumption that no one wants to hear from the blue-cheese breath girl.

I think I need a PBR and a Simpsons episode right about little hick brain's all tuckered out.

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