Wassup Rockers

Todo Sigue Igual.

Since really really good days are rare in my life–they’re rare in everyone’s life, right?–I feel compelled to document it on the internets even though no one really gives a damn. I set out to do several things today and I accomplished all of them, so I’m very content with that.

I found out a couple of days ago that the IFC Center is doing a series on Cuban films, and that this long weekend they’re showing Memorias del subdesarrollo. The screenings for this series are all at 11 am, which is fine and dandy if you live in the area and you just roll out of bed half an hour before the movie starts, but I woke up at like 9 and I barely made it to the theater on time. I’m just glad it wasn’t for a popular movie, which meant that there was no way the movie would sell out. The only physical copy I had access to was at NYU when I was in school and they don’t carry it at the public library. There has been no DVD release for it (the Criterion peeps need to get crackin’ on this shit, argh). There IS a google video version of it (awesome, I know!), but I thought it would be cool to see the movie in a real theater.

I really enjoyed my experience. First off, there were a baker’s dozen of us film geeks who braved the cold and the early start time. Second, the movie itself was on really old film, which meant that the cells were sometimes grainy as fuck, but there was something exciting about, for example, hearing the crackling sound. You know, like with old records you hear crackling when you play them too? Same here.

The movie was pretty great. I realized I’d forgotten a lot of it so it was good to remember that the protagonist is basically a douchebag. I got really distracted by the subtitles. Sometimes it’s hard to pay attention when you hear one thing and understand it one way, and then you read another thing and understand it in another, similar-yet-totally different way. My favorite scene, the one where Daisy Granados is introduced, was as wonderful as I remembered it. Seeing it on a big screen for the first time was thrilling.

After the movie I walked to Staples and bought myself a pack of CD-Rs. I have no need for a 50-pack but I totally bought one because it was the cheapest one. It makes me feel suspicious about the quality of the CDs but what the hey. At least they’ll last me for a while.

I went to lunch at a Chipotle, and after that I trekked down to McNally Jackson to see if they had a new(er) issue of Etiqueta Negra. They did have an issue I hadn’t bought yet, so I got that. When I was at the register this employee saw what I bought and told me that they got a fresh(er) batch of Etiqueta Negra and did I want one. I didn’t want to impose on him but he said it wouldn’t be a problem and he went around to dig for the most recent arrival. I was like, “Right on, bring out that sucka,” which he totally did. So I ended up dropping like twice as much money at the store, but I’m so happy about it. The only sucky things about this situation are that (1) it saved me a trip to the store, which is sad because I love coming to the store and now I gotta think of another excuse to go there which is hard because I already work at a bookstore where I can get all sorts of sweet shit at a discount that aren’t Etiqueta Negra, and (2) as soon as the employee handed me the magazine he disappeared and I didn’t even get a chance to thank him. There’s like a one in a gajillion chance that he will read this, but I still want to give him a shoutout for being awesome.

After this I had multiple plastic bags and a stupid purse in my hands, but I made a trek to the Bronx Museum of the Arts. I’ve been meaning to go with my friends but I finally had the chance to go today so I did it alone. The current exhibit is called “Street Art Street Life” and it’s closing on January 25. It was cool to see how expansive it was, exploring work from the 1950s to the present, as well as from artists located in several continents. Many of the pieces touched on documenting the ephemeral. For example, the exhibit was heavily photography-oriented, capturing specific moments, whether they were of a passerby on the street, or a piece of graffiti scrawled on some wall. There were also a lot of photographs documenting members of the Fluxus movement performing art on the streets, so even if it’s not possible for the museum-goer to experience the art directly, at least we can see the proof that their pieces existed and that average civilians were able to experience these pieces first-hand.

One piece I really liked was this video of David Van Tieghem, a percussionist, just banging on all sorts of surfaces on the street, which was captivating to watch because I couldn’t believe how many different sounds he was able to create just by banging his sticks. It wasn’t even a strictly rhythmic thing, it was so musical, too. You can see the video below!

Another piece that stuck out was from the Blank Noise Project, an India-based activist group focused on stopping street sexual harassment. Included in the exhibit was a printed version of this blog that gives props to those who have actively fought against harassers. It just upset me because it’s hard to realize that sexual harassment is an issue everywhere.

When I got home, I was super happy to find a package from Cat and Girl. I think Dorothy Gambrell might have written the addresses on the envelope! I like to think so, anyway. I bought some t-shirts and stickers for cheap and hoped to god they fit me. They do! And I think I got an extra sticker, too. Yay. I’m so happy because my mom ruined and threw out my old Köttur og Stúlka t-shirt, but now I have a new one.

Okay, this post has gone on long enough. Now I’m off to watching Gangs of New York.


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