Orson Welles is my new hero. Over the past two weeks I have been watching his entire back catalog of movies and decided that he is easily the greatest director to ever live. His movies are edited and conceived better than any I have seen. He is a master at creating unique imagery in his films, and even his most boring shots are filled with detail. Having now seen nine of his movies, I rank them in the following order: Citizen Kane, F for Fake, Chimes at Midnight, The Trial, Mr. Arkadin, Touch of Evil, The Lady From Shanghai, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Stranger. F for Fake is one of the most incredible movies I have ever seen. It is a documentary essay on fakery, magic and charlatans that Welles made late in his life. It was independently financed in Europe and never saw a theatrical release in the U.S. As a result, it remains virtually unknown throughout the world. Even though critics constantly rave about Citizen Kane and Welles’s work as an actor, his brilliant work in Europe continues to go unnoticed. Luckily, the Criterion Collection released F for Fake (and Mr. Arkadin) onto DVD, introducing a new generation of viewers to Welles’s brilliance. I loved the movie so much that I immediately went online and purchased it, despite the expensive cost that is common to Criterion DVDs. That’s enough about my love for Orson Welles, however…
Things have definitely slowed down since my last update. I have had plenty of time to relax, watch old TV shows and visit everyone in College Station and Austin. The first time I visited College Station we had fun building forts, watching the Tonys, making delicious peach salsa, swimming with the children Sara works with and frying our brains on MTV. After two nights I left for Austin to see everyone there. Our new apartment is amazing, and I can’t wait to live there! It has three stories, including a private two-car garage, and is very unique. It has more character than an average apartment, and Jose has done a great job decorating it with our stuff. I move in around August 1, and can’t wait to live close to campus again! Anyway, my first night in Austin Joanna and I watched Out Cold and the third game of the NBA Finals. Leahanne and Sara got bored in College Station and decided to visit us later that night, and we hung out at Joanna’s apartment, where we watched The Sandlot. Around 3 AM we all headed off to campus (along with Joanna’s roommate Katie) to settle a bet. Months before, while laying out on the main mall, I bet Joanna that I could hit the gold ball at the top of the flag pole with a baseball. There was no money at stake, just our dignities. Joanna didn’t even think I could get the ball close to the top of the pole because she’s failed to realize just how amazing I really am. Anyway, after the first throw she practically resigned to defeat with a loud, “Shit!” I could easily throw the ball high enough, I just needed to work on my accuracy. Finally, on the 17th throw (I was given 20), I hit the top dead on to the amazement of everyone. The rest of the night was pretty much spent bragging about my feat to anyone who would listen. The next night we had people over for dinner, which was almost ruined when our power grid went out for 45 minutes. We relocated the meal outside and everything went smoothly.
The next weekend was my mom’s best friend’s wedding, and I got to spend time catching up with her son Winston, one of my oldest friends. We had the rehearsal dinner at my house with enough Greek food to serve 40 guests, and then my whole family for an additional week. The wedding was held at another family’s home in Memorial, which was really beautiful.
I returned to College Station a few days later for the Orson Welles marathon in which I saw many of the nine movies. Aside from watching movies, we went around taking pictures of trains for one of the kids that Sara works with. In College Station, they have a fundraiser that is similar to the cows in Chicago. In exchange for a donation, businesses or schools receive a blank three foot train which they can paint however they want. Most of the designs are pretty cool, and it’s a great way to both advertise and give back to the community.
Since then my time has been divided between watching the second season of 24, cleaning my car, running errands, housing Matt Rickard while he figures out his now financially independent life and driving with Katie for a quick one-day trip to College Station. A few days ago Katie and I went to Mark Robbins apartment to hang out with people from high school that I haven’t seen in a long time (Melissa, Sami, Ashley Morgan). The evening was surprisingly fun, and I hope to hang out with them again this summer. The next day was spent packing up everything Matt Rickard has ever touched and moving him into our apartment for awhile. Seriously, though, Matt is the biggest pack-rat I have ever seen and it took us an hour and a half to clear his 10′x10′ room.
I’ve begun to rent movies from the library in addition to downloading, Netflix, Tivo and finishing the dvds I got from my aunt Chris. Needless to say I still have quite a few movies I need to get through in the next few months. I also hope to go to a few Astros games and spend more time with my cousin Ethan. I’m also going to Washington D.C. at the end of next month with my mom and hope to visit the Beardsley’s (the family that I stayed with my last semester in Belgium) in Maine after the trip.
Enjoy my updated Pictures of the Day, as well as my new “DVDs You Should Be Watching” list!