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[This review appeared earlier this year on http://www.thepopfix.com, which no longer seems to exist, so I am reposting guiltlessly. --Noah.]
March 17, 2008
By Noah Barron
SCENE 1: A fraternity house somewhere in Los Angeles. Around 1 in the afternoon, the day after Explosions in the Sky played at the Wiltern. The phone rings.
“Oh, sh*t bro. You’ll never guess what I did last night. No, not Courtney. Well, yeah, but that was after. Dude. Explosions in the Football Night. Or Night of the Friday Explosions. Or something like that. But it was this totally dope epic rock show. You knew it was epic because of all the same notes being played over and over and over really loud and you knew it was rock because I had my shirt off showing deez guns! When da guns come out, rock has happened, right bro? Anyway, this band was just spitting game and being tight all over the place by bashing chords and rolling around on the floor like rad snakes or something. And then they got all soft sometimes and sensitive, like when you wear a condom and remember her name. Yeah. But the niceness doesn’t last because it EXPLODES into more loud awesome! F*CK YEAH. Anyway dude, you shoulda been there. See you at SAE dude. Don’t wear your brown Volcom shirt because I am gonna wear mine. On second thought let’s not even wear shirts!!!”
As far as I can tell, “Berlin Calling” seems to be a movie about how the problems that people my age face in Europe are totally different than my problems. A side-by-side comparison is warranted:
In the film, Paul Kalkbrenner plays DJ Ickarus, a drug-addled, tortured-genius electronic music producer who spends his days fretting that he can’t leave his government-paid-for rehab clinic to party and finish his album. His biggest woes are bad pills and walking in on his girlfriend hooking up with another girl. Mostly he seems to enjoy riding public transit with his headphones on.
In my excuse for a life, I play a mostly-sober, mostly miserable tortured-dilettante writer who spent all day today (after the “Berlin Calling” screening) arguing with medical personnel and my HMO about seeing a doctor and having my insurance pay for it. And then there was a goddamned black widow spider in the inpatient lounge. (No joke here, a big orderly stomped.) My biggest woes are lamenting that my state banned gay marriage. Mostly, I seem to enjoy riding my scooter and getting parking tickets because L.A. has no public transit.
[Here's a short story I don't like very much because it's stereotypical and has a tin ear for dialogue. But I sort of like the idea behind it. So here it is. --Noah]
He remembered something he had seen on TV once, or maybe in a movie, about how nauts on a sleeper voyage sometimes woke up mid-trip, paralyzed inside cryogenic coffins, but maddeningly conscious.
Was that true? It seemed horrific, to be locked in an immobile body for months, even years, unable to scream for help, with only the beep and hum of machines to keep you company. A nightmare from which there was no waking.
Except that was exactly what was going on right here, wasn’t it? Read the rest of this entry »