To my millions of readers who have wondered why, aside from the Sydney Pollack obit, I have not posted anything in a while, wonder no more. In addition to having increased amounts of work lately, I also took a trip up to my home state of Maine to relax and such (I decided to take a break from relaxing to post the Pollack piece because it seemed important. Incidentally, I posted it late because I found out about his death late. Up in Maine we don't have much in the way of news, 'lectricity, or runnin' water (side note: Just kidding Maine. The joking's all in fun)). For those who haven't been, words can not begin to describe Maine's natural beauty. I would post a clip here but no known footage exists of Maine. The natives, having a deep seated fear of soul capturing devices, will ritualistically sacrifice those who would attempt to capture images of the country or its denizens. Consequently, because of the lack of proper documentation, not much is known of this region. Scientists have estimated, though, that this dramatization is the most accurate depiction of Maine life available:
Truth be told, my girlfriend had never seen much of Maine, so I figured it would be fun to show her some of the sights. Aside from visiting obvious stuff such as Acadia, I also wanted to give her a little tour of my favorite haunts back in my hometown of Waterville, ME. One point of interest was my favorite music store, Record Connection. Things had changed in the four years since I visited this quaint little music shop. The owners expanded the already large used vinyl section and replaced the cds with books. Books?! Is the state of the music industry so dire that people would rather pay to read than buy a cd? What is this fucking world coming to? Obviously, digital music is a large reason for the decline of cds, but the sight of so many books fills me with such a rabid, irrational rage that nothing short of an elephant tranquilizer can calm me down. Although the books angered and saddened me, I decided I should at least buy a souvenir T-shirt to remember the place by. When I inquired about buying a Record Connection T-shirt, such as the one featured prominently in the window, the clerk informed me that the store stopped making those twenty years ago. She put the T-shirt in the window because the real sign for the store was either stolen or missing (I can't quite remember which). Even more saddened, I decided to leave.
I also took my girlfriend to Big G's, the world's best Deli. The sandwiches here are so big and delicious that Mama Cass is rumored to have come back to life for the opportunity to choke on one. I ate to the point of hallucination and then bought a T-shirt for $4.25. All was right with the world. We then went to the pizzeria Grand Central Cafe, my last place of employment in Maine. When I asked to see my old boss, the waitress at the counter informed me that Stu was selling the place in a month. The waitress was wearing a Grand Central Cafe T-shirt. Stu never gave me one. No shirts were there to be bought. We left.
Finally we arrived at Railroad Square Cinema, Waterville's premier independent movie theater. Although we did not have time to see a movie, it was nice just to hang out a little and absorb the atmosphere. God I miss that place. Sure, here in New York we have a plethora of art theaters, but nothing beats the charm of small town independents as far as I'm concerned. They have such a familiar homey quality as to make you feel (no matter what the quality of the movie) that you're watching a cherished flick in a favorite uncle's home. The environment is just as important, if not more so, than the actual movie being shown. It should be said, however, that I did see Gerry there and I still hated it.
Going back to Railroad Square I was also reminded of the Maine International Film Festival, which is held there every July. This event was always a real treat. Although I was in Central Maine, the festival allowed me to see early screenings of upcoming movies at the same time as city folk privileged enough to have big festivals of their own. The highlight of the festival was always the presentation of the Midlife Achievement award. Past recipients include Terrence Malick, Jonathan Demme, and Ed harris. This year, John Turturro is the honoree. Not too shabby. Thinking about it, more big names have come through this festival than I have ever seen while living in New York. Actually, that's not entirely true. I did have my fair share of celebrity sightings while working at Movie Place. Not to brag or nothin', but Fay from the show "Wings" was a regular customer and the older brother from Home Alone lived in an apartment above the store. Anyways, if any of you happen to be in Central Maine between July 11 and 20, you could do worse than to frequent the MIFF (wow, who would have known that this long rambling post would have turned into an excuse for me to shill a small town film festival).
By the way, if folks are worried that I'm gonna turn this blog into a personal stories kind of thing, worry no more. Although I will occasionally write pieces such as this, it does not change the fact that this is a movie site. Indeed, I will have a new review up sometime soon. I am also going to start a new weekly feature that I think you'll all enjoy. I'm not gonna let you know what that feature is yet. That'll be a surprise. The suspense must be killing you.