:: Pedantic Platitudes ::

Greetings! My name is Sam J and I am a student at Harvard University. Perhaps this blog will present a little look into the mundane yet unique events that make up my life.
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:: Saturday, December 10, 2005 ::

On Friday, I went to a special event featuring James Schamus, who is the co-president of Focus Features, the art-house division of Universal Studios, and the producer of the upcoming film Brokeback Mountain. Focus Features has released films such as Lost in Translation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and this year's Pride and Prejudice. The professor of my film art course organized and hosted this event, so he invited us to attend. There was also a special advance screening of Brokeback Mountain, which was released by Focus Features and is currently only playing in New York and San Francisco and doesn't open to other big cities until the end of this week.

Brokeback Mountain was a really beautiful film, both visually and emotionally. I've been a fan of Taiwanese director Ang Lee after seeing his films Sense and Sensibility and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and he really does well with Brokeback Mountain. The film is truly evocative, with its sweeping landscape shots, long takes, and slow pacing. The relationship at the heart of the film is one of forbidden love in the face of societal hostility, and watching the story unfold causes us to reflect on the regrets and missed opportunities in our lives. It's an emotional, tragic love story film unlike anything I had ever seen before and really reminds us of the artistic power of film. I highly recommend Brokeback Mountain.

After the screening, there was a Q&A with James Schamus. He talked about the making of the film, his work with Ang Lee and the cast and crew, and many of the decisions that were made regarding its production, release, and marketing. It was interesting to get a look into the business side of Hollywood.

Later that evening I visited some friends and played the longest game of Uno possibly in the history of the game. I had a ton of fun, though, and we conversed and partied to music.

It snowed this weekend, heavily. And there was lightning, too. Quite surreal. I associate lightning with warm rainy weather, not freezing snow. Apparently, snow-lightning only happens 5% of the time it snows, so it's rare. Pretty cool, though. I learn something new every day.

For the past two weekends, I've been helping out with a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore as house manager. I manage the ushers, take care of programs, and make sure fire safety regulations are observed. It's nice to be involved with a production again here at Harvard. Besides having to deal with the occasional snippy patron, it's a fun extracurricular. The musical is really funny, too, so it's nice to be able to see it several times.

Last weekend, my friends watched the movie Newsies, and afterwards we played this hilarious game called "Bag Full of Nouns." It's a little bit of charades and a little bit of Taboo, and some of the associations we came up with were hilarious. Some words or phrases that we had to guess, such as "punitive damages," "the mass-balance equation," "enema," "meringue," "foot fetish," "the Bangladeshi ambassador to Sweden," "virginity," and "Equitorial Guinea" were especially amusing. I hope to play it again sometime.

I think I neglected to talk about the rest of Thanksgiving weekend... The Friday after Thanksgiving, I went to see the newest Harry Potter movie, and I really enjoyed it! It was much scarier and darker than any of the previous ones, but it was still very suspenseful and visually appealing. Was anyone else creeped out by the scene with Moaning Myrtle in the bath?

Oh! The most exciting thing about the movie was seeing places I had seen during my study abroad trip to England this summer. Much of the Harry Potter movie scenes were filmed at Oxford and Cambridge (to get that fancy old university feel), and I recognized some of the courtyards and building interiors from our tours of the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge. For example, we visited the courtyard in which they filmed the scene where Malfoy gets turned into a ferret. Let me see if I can find some pictures I took from my trip...

We also went into the building where they filmed the scene when the Hogwarts kids learn to do ballroom dancing:

And this grand staircase appeared in the first Harry Potter film where it was shown leading to the grand hall (we then visited the dining hall that inspired the grand hall in the movie):

Yeah, it was an enjoyable movie. The next day, we all went shopping at this huge mall. We then had a wonderful dinner and stayed up late watching Fiddler on the Roof, but I fell asleep after a few minutes because I was so tired... we got up early the next morning at 5 a.m. to return to Boston, back to school.

Quote(s) of the Day: "The apple body shape is worse for the heart than the pear body shape." "What body shape am I?" "You're a stick."

"I woke up today at 1 in the afternoon... Now I know what it's like to live your life!"

"Why do I have two bald eagles?!?" - while playing Apples to Apples and clearing showing only one "bald eagle" card.

Playing Uno: "Uno!" "But wait, you still have one card left!"

:: SL 3:51 AM [+] ::

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