June 2015 Viewing Diary

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 7, “Emily” (1997; d. Kim Manners)
Very intense. Good Lord.

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 8, “Kitsunegari” (1998; d. Daniel Sackheim)
Ty Olsson as the green security guard. Hi, Benny from Supernatural! And Diana Scarwid! Sequel to “Pusher” in Season 3. Pretty creepy mind-control stuff.

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 9, “Schizogeny” (1998; d. Ralph Hemecker)
Chad Lindberg. Always good. Of course he’s Ash in Supernatural but I first saw him in The Rookie. And Katherine Isabelle, too! They’re teenagers! Supernatural reunion alert. Evil child psychiatrist with a ponytail.

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 10, “Chinga” (1998; d. Kim Manners)
Stephen King co-wrote. Holy mackerel! Takes place in Maine. Of course. Loved the teaser. Mulder watching porn in his office. Something’s not quite right about this episode. The tone is off.

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 11, “Kill Switch” (1998; d. Rob Bowman)
Extremely entertaining. I especially enjoy Scully showing up in his “dream” and Ninja-fighting all the sexy nurses in white.

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 12, “Bad Blood” (1998; d. Chris Bole)
A very entertaining Rashomon-inspired episode. I laughed out loud at this exchange: “I checked into the Davy Crockett Motel –” “It was the Sam Houston Motor Lodge.” Also: Luke Wilson!

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 13, “Patient X” (1998; d. Kim Manners)
Veronica Cartwright! Slightly difficult because there are no subtitles on Netflix and there’s a lot of Gulag Archipelago Russkie-speak. Excellent relationship episode: a sort of destabilizing role-reversal.

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 14, “The Red and the Black” (1998; d. Chris Carter)
It’s a maze and I’m lost in it now.

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 15, “Travelers” (1998; d. Chris Carter).
Frederic Lane, so excellent in so many films – from Zero Dark Thirty to Ordinary People – not to mention a crucial role in the early seasons of Supernatural – shows up here in a flashback, calling up the whole world of the HUAC and the Communist witch-hunt. It’s a good episode and the period details are very well done.

Iris (2015; d. Albert Maysles).
Maysles’ second-to-last film, a portrait (Maysels-style) of style icon, interior decorator, woman-about-town-with-the-huge-glasses, Iris Apfel. Ted and I went to see it and had a great time. It doesn’t have the profundity of some of his other films (Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter and his final film – In Transit – which I would pick as one of his best films) – but it was sweet and entertaining. Regina, care to weigh in?? Ha!

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 16, “Mind’s Eye” (1998; d. Kim Manners)
Lily Taylor! Wonderful! And the kindly doctor who shot himself in the hardware store in Supernatural.

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 17, “All Souls” (1998; d. Allen Coulter)
Very Supernatural Season 4. Anderson does superb work here.

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 18, “The Pine Bluff Variant” (1998; d. Rob Bowman)
Bioterrorism threat writ large. Great shot of the movie theatre with all the dead people.

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 19, “Folie a Deux” (1998; d. Kim Manners)
Written by Vince Gilligan, “Folie a Deux” features some creepy effects involving enormous bug-like creatures. The bond between Scully and Mulder has solidified into something nearly transcendent. Are they the “folie a deux” of the title? It did cross my mind. They are becoming one.

Criminal Minds, Season 1, Episode 1, “Extreme Aggressors” (2005; d. Richard Shepard)
Garth from Supernatural shows up. He’s just a kid! I always got a kick out of this show, because I am a sick individual. Alex and I were watching an episode when I was staying with her out in Los Angeles, and she commented from under her blanket on the other couch: “This show should not be called Criminal Minds. It should be called Women Should Never Leave the House.

Criminal Minds, Season 1, Episode 2, “Compulsion” (2005; d. Charles Haid)
Mandy Patinkin was the draw for me, originally. His performance is so coiled, so focused. I was bummed when he left the show after one season. Years later, I read an interview with him and he was asked about Criminal Minds. He said he devoted himself to the world of behavioral analysis and serial killer research, and it got to him. He had nightmares. He couldn’t deal with it. He had to leave the show. That’s why his performance was so grounded. It was real for him.

The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 20, “The End” (1998; d. R.W. Goodwin).
Season 5 finale. The chess tournament that opens the episode was masterfully done. The entire episode is disturbing, ending with Mulder’s office in flames.

The X-Files Movie: Fight the Future (1998; d. Rob Bowman)
Part of my marathon watch with Keith. LOVED the movie. They almost kiss. Damn that bee-sting.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 1, “The Beginning” (1998; d. Rob Bowman)
Mimi Rogers is excellent in her recurring role. First episode filmed in Los Angeles, and you can perceive a definite shift. Suddenly there are lots of scenes in deserts, beaches, with much sunshine.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 2, “Drive” (1998; d. Kim Manners)
Bryan Cranston OWNS this episode.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 3, “Triangle” (1998; d. Chris Carter)
This ended up being a favorite episode (thus far). Broken up into three acts, each act (more or less) done in one take. So there’s that fun technical challenge to admire. But I also love the time-warp aspect of it, the tesseract element, as well as the fact that you get to see Scully in a flapper outfit – meaning, you get to see her beautiful body. Her clothing is usually so severe and dark and conservative. So to see her dancing around in a tight red dress, showing all this skin … I was like, “There you are!” Anyway, I loved this one.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 4, “Dreamland Part 1” (1998; d. Kim Manners)
I am in love with this two-parter where Mulder, through some problem with the space-time continuum, experiences a body-switch with Michael McKean (who is, not surprisingly, hilarious). Nora Dunn shows up as Mulder’s wife. Hilarious all around.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 5, “Dreamland Part 2” (1998; d. Michael Watkins)
Part 2 of the body-switch. There are a couple things here that delight: Mulder having to deal with being a father, and being totally unprepared for it. Having to deal with his furious and upset wife. Doing a mirror-dance with Michael McKean, both of them in their underwear, which has to be seen to be believed. Silly silly silly. I prefer silly.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 6, “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas” (1998; d. Chris Carter)
Ed Asner and Lily Tomlin! Awesome!

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 7, “Terms of Endearment” (1999; d. Rob Bowman)
A Rosemary’s Baby take-off and quite disturbing, especially because they ask you to basically sympathize with the devil. Like the Rolling Stones did.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 8, “The Rain King” (1999; d. Kim Manners)
Romantic. Adorable! Love this episode! Top 5, for sure.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 9, “S.R. 819” (1999; d. Daniel Sackheim)
Poor Walter Skinner. That disease was totes gross.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 10, “Tithonus” (1999; d. Michael Watkins)
Fascinating concept having to do with immortality. Written by Vince Gilligan.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 11, “Two Fathers” (1999; d. Kim Manners)
The great Veronica Cartwright re-appears, as does the mythology. The alien invasion is going along as planned until, holy mackerel, a rebel force of aliens arrives, fighting with the already-existing aliens, eliminating the Syndicate and wreaking all kinds of havoc. At least that’s what I THINK happened.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 12, “One Son” (1999; d. Rob Bowman)
Part 2 of the episode prior. More great use of Mimi Rogers’ character, as well as The Smoking Man. The conspiratorial feeling is very high. The Syndicate is no more.

Eden (2015; d. Mia Hansen-Love).
I love her work, in general, and this one is extremely ambitious, maybe her most ambitious. I really enjoyed it. My review is up at Rogerebert.com.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 13, “Aqua Mala” (1999; d. Rob Bowman)
Has there ever been a wetter episode of television? I am surprised nobody drowned. Or got electrocuted. Keith told me that fans did not really like this episode. Huh. I am a huge fan of it. I love the ensemble feeling of it, a group of random people holed up in one room, trying to survive. The power struggles, the humor, the suspicions growing, the need to improvise. All as the rain poured down. I really enjoyed it.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 14, “Monday” (1999; d. Kim Manners)
Excellent Ground Hog-ish day episode. It can’t hold a candle to Mystery Spot, Supernatural’s beloved Ground Hog Day inspired episode, but still: really interesting exploration of the concept.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 15, “Arcadia” (1999; d. Michael Watkins)
Scully and Mulder go under-cover as two suburbanites in a scary planned community. Great evocation of the fear/dread of a “normal” life like that (a dread I share), the conformist nature of it, the pressure to be happy/cheerful, despite uneasy undercurrents. Enjoyed the Scully/Mulder dynamic as well (what else is new). Pretending to be married. Sweater slung over his shoulders, arm around Scully’s shoulder – she’s finally like, “Stop pawing me.” He can’t stop.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 16, “Alpha” (1999; d. Peter Markle)
Evil huge dogs on the loose. A bit “meh.”

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 17, “Trevor” (1999; d. Rob Bowman)
“Should we arrest David Copperfield?”
“Yes. Yes, we should. But not for this.”

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 18, “Milagro” (1999; d. Kim Manners)
This episode is a psychological and emotional mind-fuck. Written for the great character actor John Hawkes, he is intense and creepy as the novelist who becomes obsessed with Scully. They have a scene in a church (he stalks her), where he tells her who she is, what he sees in her, what he has sensed – and watch Gillian Anderson’s close-up reaction in response. Incredible acting, of the RE-acting variety. What he says takes her breath away, terrifies her, moves her (he SEES that in me?), and repulses her – all at the same time.

Supernatural, Season 2, Episode 16, “Roadkill” (1999; d. Charles Beeson)
A re-watch for the re-cap, which is here. I love this episode.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 19, “The Unnatural” (1999; d. David Duchovny)
David Duchovny written and directed. I love baseball. And the final scene is a masterpiece, one of the most romantic scenes in the entire series.

Love & Mercy (2015; d. Bill Pohlad).
I absolutely loved this movie about Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. Thoughts here. It’s in my tentative ever-changing list of Best Films of 2015 so far. Other contenders (and many of these were made in 2014, but released in 2015, so that’s what I go by): Clouds of Sils Maria (Review here, Mad Max: Fury Road, In Transit (Albert Maysles’ final film – review here, Girlhood (review here), Ex Machina, The Ocean of Helena Lee (review here), Welcome to Me.

Goodbye First Love (2011; d. Mia Hansen-Løve).
Re-watched in preparation for her latest film, Eden, reviewed for Rogerebert.com. It’s a beautiful and poignant story about first love, told in Hansen-Love’s very unique style.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 20, “The Three of a Kind” (1999; d. Bryan Spicer)
A Lone Gunmen-centric episode and that is always a good thing. I love those guys.

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 21, “Field Trip” (1999; d. Rob Bowmans)
A Rashomon-ish (kind of) episode, where we see Scully and Mulder’s different interpretations/experiences during a hallucination. Fascinating psychologically because you see what Mulder needs from Scully, you see what Scully needs from Mulder, and neither of those things are really fore-fronted when they both are in their right minds. This episode, in some ways, reminded me a lot of Supernatural‘s “What Is and What Should Never Be,” in my Top 5 episodes of the entire series. I’ve seen it the most times, and it never gets old. The Supernatural episode is a similar exploration into entering into an alternate reality, and how seductive those paths not taken can be. The tricks your mind plays on you … to show you what you ultimately want … and how difficult it is to even perceive that that is an alternate reality. I loved “Field Trip.”

The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 22, “Biogenesis” (1999; d. Kim Manners)
Oh my God.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 1, “The Sixth Extinction” (1999; d. Kim Manners)

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 2, “The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati” (1999; d. Michael Watkins)
Part II is even better. Again with the exploration of alternate reality, a road not taken. With a killer emotional final scene. This episode killed me.

Hondo (1953; d. John Farrow).
Yeah, I think I covered my thoughts on Hondo here.

Ex Machina (2015; d. Alex Garland).
Great and provoking film. My review here, and excellent conversation in the comments.

Catchfire (1990; d. Dennis Hopper).
What the hell happened. Great cast: Dennis Hopper, Jodie Foster, Dean Stockwell in a small part. My favorite actor! Catherine Keener shows up in one scene. But it is not a good movie. The romance part (which is what the story ultimately is about and leading towards) does not work at ALL. But it’s always good to see all of these people.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 4, “Millennium” (1999; d. Thomas Wright)
Well. A lot happens but all I care about is: OMG THEY KISS.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 5, “Rush” (1999; d. Robert Lieberman)
Tormented teenagers. I was mainly thrilled to see a young Nicky Aycox, who played such a crucial role in Supernatural. She’s totally different here, too.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 6, “The Goldberg Variation” (1999; d. Thomas Wright)
Shia LaBeouf as a sick child. Wow. Willie Garson, too! I first saw him in his recurring role in Sex and the City but guy has been around forever.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 7, “Orison” (2000; d. Rob Bowman)
Some pretty cool special effects in this episode, showing how this guy could slow down time. Beautifully done.

Siberiade, Parts III and IV (1979; d. Andrey Konchalovskiy).
Watched Parts 1 and 2 of this epic last month and finally got around to watching the final two parts as I was recovering from surgery. The entire movie tells the story of 20th century Russia through the focus on one village in Siberia. There are no scenes in Moscow or St. Petersberg. Those cities are very very far away. The village, though, is impacted by the gigantic events happening thousands of miles away. It’s a haunting and beautiful film, made in the final gasp of Communism before the Imperium crumbled. It’s honest, angry, and true. Terrifying, really. I highly recommend it.

Magic Mike (2012; d. Steven Soderbergh).
I love this movie. I love Channing Tatum. I love strippers, especially male strippers. One of the actors, Joe Manganiello, became so fascinated with the world of male strippers that he made a documentary about them. I reviewed for Rogerebert.com. And Channing Tatum is incredible. A natural. The way he flirts. It’s so friendly. Guys who don’t have the knack for it will never understand why the girls go for such men. It is because he treats women with kindness and a sort of egalitarian humor. The romance aspect of Magic Mike was fascinating. Michele and I are going to a screening for the sequel on Monday night, so I figured I should re-watch to get in the mood. As if the sexy trailer didn’t already put me in the mood. Soderbergh is great, but for me this is about the performances. Also the fact that Channing Tatum is filmed dancing in long takes, so we can perceive that it is actually HIM doing all that incredible movement. The movie is a celebration of the beauty of the male form and how much we straight ladies love it. More of that, please.

Felon (2008; d. Ric Roman Waugh).
Starring Stephen Dorff and Val Kilmer. About a guy (Dorff) imprisoned for murder (in what was obviously involuntary manslaughter.) It’s a pretty typical prison drama, elevated by Dorff’s raw honesty (he’s amazing) and Kilmer’s performance as a brutal murderer who will never get out of prison, who takes Dorff under his wing. Sam Shepard shows up. Harold Perinneau has a huge part (I love him, I was in a class with him and his wife – and she plays his wife in Felon as well – many years ago. Good kind people.) Nate Parker, whom I fell in love with in Great Debaters and then fell even more in love with in Beyond the Lights plays a rookie prison guard, horrified at the treatment of prisoners. Worth checking out, for the acting alone.

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003; d. John Singleton).
Comfort food. Why do these movies work SO WELL? So many reasons. The presence of Paul Walker, who is friendly and open and has a good sense of humor about himself. The 100% diverse cast. The car chase scenes are amazing. Eva Mendes was wonderful and looked phenomenal in her white pants. The joshing-around of all the guys. Friendly and funny. The presence of women everywhere, not just as hot babes in bikinis, but also as race enthusiasts and outlaws. Just like the guys. It’s exhilarating and it’s kind of a world I want to live in, as weird as that sounds.

The Searchers (1956; d. John Ford).
Masterpiece. I cry through the last 10 minutes, every time. From the moment Wayne lifts Natalie Wood up into the air, her terror, her little helpless fists … to the final walk-away, seen through the door. I did this whole post on John Ford’s use of doorways in The Searchers.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 8, “The Amazing Maleeni” (2000; d. Thomas Wright)
This episode started off a mythical day with Keith where we watched 10 episodes in a row. When we emerged from the dark room, Dan – who had had a full day, had gone into the city, seen a show, had some lunch, returned home, did some writing, watched a movie – all as Keith and I did one thing all day – looked at us and said, “You two …” and then trailed off. We waited. Dan said, “You need help.”

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 9, “Signs & Wonders” (2000; d. Kim Manners)
Kim Manners in top form. Terrifying episode with scary backwoods religions, and lots and lots of snakes.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 10, “Sein und Zeit” (2000; d. Michael Watkins)
An extremely sad episode, with Mulder starting a search for a little girl who disappeared. He becomes convinced it is connected to his sister’s disappearance.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 11, “Closure” (2000; d. Kim Manners)
Part II. With a frankly emotional ending scene that lay me flat. I was in tears. The episode is about letting go.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 12, “X-Cops” (2000; d. Michael Watkins)
An entire X-Files episode done in the style of the reality TV series Cops? Yes, please. Hilarious.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 13, “First Person Shooter” (2000; d. Chris Carter)
A video-game episode. Interesting gender dynamics here. It’s a boy’s world, and the girls are just living it, but it is the girls, ultimately, who are in power. Who dominate. Who save. The boys don’t get it. The episode leaves that element of it unspoken but it is there. The blinders of boys who honestly believe they are Top of the Heap and can’t understand that there is more to life than that. They aren’t evil, these boys, just blinkered to some degree. I really liked this episode.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 14, “Theef” (2000; d. Kim Manners)
Billy Drago is superb as the “villain” in the piece. He is legitimately frightening. He has tapped into this guy’s objective in a very real way. He’s not phoning it on or sketching it in. It feels real and inhabited.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 15, “En Ami” (2000; d. Rob Bowman)
WEIRD. Written by William Davis (i.e. The Smoking Man). I found it fascinating and disturbing, Scully lured away from Mulder, hiding things, lying, keeping secrets. Just a reminder of how close these two have become.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 16, “Chimera” (2000; d. Cliff Bole)
A raven stalks the land. A bad omen. Yet another episode showing domesticity and suburbia and normal life in a sinister light. Mulder and Scully do not live in that world, and at this point, they COULDN’T live in that world.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 17, “All Things” (2000; d. Gillian Anderson)
Holy shit-balls. This episode wrecked me. I’ve lived it.

Inside Out (2015; d. Pete Docter)
A profound film. I sobbed openly in the darkness at one point. I loved how one of the main themes was that Sadness was side-lined, she was not allowed to be in charge of anything, Sadness is seen as bad or wrong in our psychotic culture. Inside Out puts it out there that Sadness is important, Sadness is necessary, Sadness breeds compassion (responding to someone who is devastated with chirpy chippy Joy is actually callous and cruel, however well-intentioned the chirpy person is). Sadness also intensifies Joy, when it comes. I loved the film.

Inherent Vice (2014; d. Paul Thomas Anderson)
My third time. It’s amazing how the shots stick in my brain, even though I’ve only seen it 3 times. I have memorized shot sequences in many other movies, through repetition and study and all that. But Inherent Vice‘s shot-construction stuck in my brain instantly. And the performances just get better and better with repetition, and I’m seeing more and more. I am in love with this film. It’s a masterpiece. And that final shot! Bittersweet nostalgia mixed with raging paranoia, the glance at the headlights in the rear view mirror. YES. The 1970s in a nutshell. America in a nutshell. My original post about Inherent Vice is here.

Magic Mike XXL (2015; d. Gregory Jacobs)
To die for. Just as good as the original. I read a comment on Facebook from some person I don’t know: “Everything that is good about this movie is due to the cinematography.” (Because Steven Soderbergh shot it.) BZZZZZT. WRONG ANSWER. The cinematography is, indeed, great, because it allows us to see all of these guys dancing – and it films it in a way that shows us they’re really doing all that. It’s not a quick-cut frenzy like so many dance films utilize. But I would say that “everything that is good about this movie” has to do with Channing Tatum’s presence, and the raucous hilarious ensemble around him and how they create the relationships between all those guys. Honestly, the director-focused auteur theory of movies is so limited. It means people can’t SEE properly. How can you watch that movie and credit its success ONLY to the cinematography? How can you not see the effectiveness of the ensemble acting and not perceive that that is really why the whole thing works? Ugh. Anyway, let’s not focus on that unpleasantness. I went to a screening in a packed theatre with my friend Michele and the majority of the audience were women. Who screamed and hooted and hollered throughout the film. It was a fabulous atmosphere. I’ve got more to say about this film and how friendly it is about female desire/sexuality … but I’ll get into that at another time. LOVED. IT. I’ve had a rough month. I went on a promising date with a guy I really liked that then went very wrong in the last 5 minutes. I’m disappointed, and the disappointment is exacerbated by the fact that three days after the date I had surgery on my lady-parts and have felt helpless and scared about it. I’m exhausted and disheartened. The disappointment of the date was then immediately followed by a sexual assault (by a stranger) that went down 5 minutes after the date ended. I can’t make this shit up. I walked away from the date thinking, “What the hell was THAT” and headed down to Port Authority, and 5 minutes later a man jumped out of the shadows, literally, and attacked me, grabbing my breasts, hard, and shouting in my face. I survived, obviously, punching the guy in the chest, shouting “Fuck off” in his face (all of this happened on crowded 8th Avenue) but it was upsetting (although the date was more upsetting – I think because with the assault I reacted in the moment and left nothing held back: I experienced it, I reacted appropriately, and it was over. With the date, I felt … deceived. And couldn’t really address it. So it cast a shadow. I crack myself up because once I got the guy off me, I kept walking down to Port Authority, thinking, “Okay, so where was I. That date. What the hell was THAT?” It was like getting a bug-bite. A slight annoyance.) Anyway, in the intervening time, however, somehow the entire experience has been looped together into one experience: Bad date (Raiders: “Bad dates”), sexual assault, something seriously wrong with lady-parts. I am trying to untangle it because they are all separate things, but they all happened at the same time so they feel connected. My sexuality under attack. Anyway, I’ve felt blue and beat up. Magic Mike XXL helped give me my Mojo and confidence back – or at least feel that buzz of desire and happiness again. I don’t mind going personal. That’s what movies can do. I walked out of the movie feeling good and happy. And sexed up. Life is good.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 18, “Brand X” (2000; d. Gillian Anderson)
Too many bugs, thankyouverymuch.

The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 19, “Hollywood A.D.” (2000; d. David Duchovny)
Ridiculous and funny. “Hollywood Babylon” in Supernatural obviously takes its cue from this episode, as well as the whole Carver Edlund book-series thing, with Supernatural being turned into first a television show and then a musical. Where Sam and Dean have to play themselves, or watch high school girls play them, and how strange it is. Here, Mulder and Scully are played by Garry Shandling (WTF) and Duchovny’s real-life wife at the time Tea Leoni. There’s one scene where Shandling, doing research for his character, asks Mulder, “Right or left?” Meaning penis placement. Mulder is mortified, amused, tuned into the surreal. But even funnier, in the background of the scene, Tea Leoni has asked Scully to show how she runs in those heels. And Leoni whizzes back and forth, back and forth, charging across the background, “practicing” her running. It’s hilarious.

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32 Responses to June 2015 Viewing Diary

  1. stevie says:

    Darling! Somehow the whole date-gone-wrong/attack/lady-parts-surgery sounds like a great summing up of something, I don’t know exactly what, but momentous, tragic, infuriating, and screenplay worthy. I want to pummel the date guy and the attacker into the sidewalk with fists of fury, cover them with spittle, and pound their faces as I scream, “SHEILA’S A PRECIOUS JEWEL, YOU TURD!!!” until they’re stains on the street indistinct from crankcase grease. Love you. xxxx Stevie

    • sheila says:

      Thank you, Stevie. I appreciate your attack-dog mindset. It really was a strange confluence of events. I said to my doctor, “I’m having a hard time not taking this personally” – and he said, in his think Italian accent, “Darling, ANYONE would take ALL of that personally.”

      So I was like, Phew. I’m not losing my mind.

      Love you back. xoxoxo

  2. mutecypher says:

    Thank God for Magic Mike XXL

    . I hope that means you got a decade of bad shit out of the way.

    • sheila says:

      I don’t know – the bad shit tends to find me. So I still have my guard up.

      But yes: Magic Mike was like a shot in the arm of Joy. Very happy movie.

      And men would like/relate to it too. It’s got the perfect mix and mood.

      • mutecypher says:

        A friend from college is marrying his long-time boyfriend this weekend (yo, Independence Day), so I’m expecting to see lots of men dancing. I’ve been thinking about his wedding and the release of Magic Mike XXL… You’ve upped the chances that I’ll see it. We can always use some joy.

        • sheila says:

          Yeah, it’s really funny and kind about men – and it’s funny and kind about women too. Those guys together, so entertaining. One guy, who barely speaks, opens up in the middle of a raucous party about how he dreams of coming home to a wife and kids, how he’s lonely. You can hear one of the other strippers comment, off-camera, “Okay, my soul just died a little bit.”

          The movie is full of behavioral stuff like that that is so awesome!

  3. Barb says:

    Wow!-Near total X-Files immersion! Sounds awesome–I’ve got to get some of that.

    We saw Inside Out a couple of weeks ago, and I cried, too–no OPT, I was very close to ugly crying not once but twice. One of my favorite things was how, at the end all of the memory marbles are tinged in different colors.

    • sheila says:

      Barb – // at the end all of the memory marbles are tinged in different colors. //

      YES. Profound metaphor. Worked perfectly!

      I also guffawed through the tunnel of abstract thought. I was dying!

      • Barb says:

        //the tunnel of abstract thought// O, yes, loved that! It was sort of a Looney Toons moment, I think. Like Daffy Duck fighting with his animator–“We’ve gone 2-dimensional!”

        For me, the funniest moment was the dream, the dog costume bit.

        • sheila says:

          Oh God, so so funny.

          I also loved the interior of cats’ minds in the closing credits. So funny.

          Also how when you finally got to see what the “mean girls” were thinking, their thoughts were just as human/scared/insecure as anybody’s.

          Good lessons – but done entertainingly.

          “We’ve gone 2 dimensional.” HA.

  4. “All Things” might be my favorite X-Files episode. I wish Gillian Anderson would do more writing/directing.

  5. My favorite X-Files is Die Hand Die Verletzt. Susan Blommaert nails it.

  6. Also, re Gillian Anderson: This woman gets more beautiful the older she gets. Wonderful this season in Hannibal. I was watching The Fall a while back, where she plays a police lieutenant, and there she is in an ordinary office surrounded by ordinary looking schlubs, and I was just cracking up, because nobody seems to notice this goddess gliding through the rooms. It’s so ridiculous! But terrific.

    • sheila says:

      She really is just stunning. More and more beautiful with every year – the way she is filmed in X-Files (once they figured out how to do it) is so moody and glamorous, all these shadows and soft light.

      Love her.

  7. JessicaR says:

    I loved Inside Out. I’m amazed a children’s film was willing to build it’s entire story on how “buck up and smile” isn’t just a lousy idea, it’s an unhealthy one. And that if we refuse to feel sadness, ultimately we won’t be able to feel joy either. And I nearly lost it when Bing Bong sacrificed himself. Again, a kid’s flick had a character nobly sacrifice themselves, and then unlike a lot of recent blockbusters for grownups that character stayed gone. Marvelous. And the Lava short was so sweet too.

    • sheila says:

      I felt very vindicated, in re: the film’s gentle and effective insistence that Sadness was important. That memories in the past sometimes do change from joyful memories to sad memories – because as you grow older, you start to feel a sense of loss about your past. This is natural.

      The focus on Happy – either New Age-y or corporate-y Power-Point self-help TED talks – is psychotic. Literally.

      I loved when Joy asked Bing Bong “What are you?” and his answer was, “It’s not clear.”


      And Amy Poehler gave an award-winning performance.

  8. Paula says:

    //Women Should Never Leave The House// Yes!! Or the alternate title of “Everyone Lives Next Door To A Serial Killer”. I was so enthralled with all TXF listed, that I almost missed Criminal Minds. I loved this show but have never seen S1E1. Coiled is a great word for Mandy P’s performance. He reminds me of a Swiss watch – you know there is this precise, intricate action going on below the face, but you don’t get a full view of its strength except in how well it delivers. Thomas Gibson was a real surprise. Goofy “Greg” playing such a stern closed-off character? It worked for me. The two were a strong balance.

    Had to stop watching the show though. It got under my skin. We would drive by an old farm house or tract home or cabin and I would think “bet a serial killer lives there”.

    • sheila says:

      // He reminds me of a Swiss watch – you know there is this precise, intricate action going on below the face, but you don’t get a full view of its strength except in how well it delivers. //

      Yes! Always thinking more than he is saying. He is just wonderful. You MUST watch him. I think the entire cast is phenomenal on Criminal Minds, but I finally – like you – had to stop watching it because the “women should never leave the house” vibe was getting to me. I still enjoy watching old episodes though.

  9. Katy says:

    Love seeing all the X-Files summaries! I’ve just started the show for the new mini-series next year, and this was great!

    • sheila says:

      Katy – You too? Yes, I started it up this year too because I wanted to watch the new episodes and be all caught up. Getting caught up has been so much fun – I am LOVING the show!

  10. Jessie says:

    oh my gosh, is it a prerequisite for working on Supernatural that you are an X-Files cast member? Are “Jensen Ackles” and “Jared Padalecki” just elaborate cover identities for David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson? The truth is out there!

  11. Lyrie says:

    //The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 7, “Emily” (1997; d. Kim Manners)
    Very intense. Good Lord.//
    I was just destroyed after this. Could not watch anything. Just… sobbing.

    // The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 8, “Kitsunegari” (1998; d. Daniel Sackheim)
    Oh hi, little Benny! Such a (big) baby.

    // The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 9, “Schizogeny” (1998; d. Ralph Hemecker)
    Chad Lindberg. Always good. Of course he’s Ash in Supernatural but I first saw him in The Rookie. And Katherine Isabelle, too! They’re teenagers! Supernatural reunion alert. //
    And pretty sure the orchard is the one from Scarecrow, too. They’re called Bobby and Lisa. That was too much.

    // The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 12, “Bad Blood” (1998; d. Chris Bole) //
    It was one of the rare episodes I had seen when it was broadcast in France so many years ago. I remembered: vampires, a guy with huge teeth, and laughing out loud a lot. It did not disappoint.

    // The X-Files, Season 5, Episode 19, “Folie a Deux” (1998; d. Kim Manners)
    Written by Vince Gilligan, “Folie a Deux” features some creepy effects involving enormous bug-like creatures. //
    Did you notice how often Manners shot bugs episodes? I find that a little disturbing. Like… why? Why him?

    So many great stuff in season 6, but I miss gloomy Vancouver a little. Although the desert is really cool. Time travel, body swaps, Groundhog-Day-like shit, an immortal being facing Death himself : that’s always fun! I even got interested in the mythology, although my favorite episodes are usually the other ones, still.

    // The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 3, “Triangle” (1998; d. Chris Carter)
    This ended up being a favorite episode (thus far). //
    Yes! Awesome. And her reaction at the end « Oh, brother. » So funny, so frustrating!

    // The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 8, “The Rain King” (1999; d. Kim Manners)
    Romantic. Adorable! Love this episode! Top 5, for sure. //
    I LOVED this episode so, so much. Really sweet, and funny. There’s this transition in the hair of one of the women dancing at the high school reunion… I had to pause to laugh it out. There’s something about the mood of this episode that really makes me love it even more. I can’t really pinpoint it. Is it the colors? The feeling of really being in the country? Oddly, it makes me think about the episode of Supernatural called Faith. I don’t know why. Anyway, I just love it.

    // The X-Files, Season 6, Episode 15, “Arcadia” (1999; d. Michael Watkins)
    Scully and Mulder go under-cover as two suburbanites in a scary planned community. //
    Sooooo funny! Just seeing Mulder dressed like this at the beginning of the episode made me burst out laughing. It reminded me of the episode in Angel where this kind of neighborhood is a hell dimension – hilarious!

    // Enjoyed the Scully/Mulder dynamic as well (what else is new). Pretending to be married. Sweater slung over his shoulders, arm around Scully’s shoulder – she’s finally like, “Stop pawing me.” He can’t stop. //
    There’s this tiny moment when they’re sitting on a couch next to each other, and he has his arms around her, and she puts her hand on his, and after a while she looks at her own hand staying there, like « What the hell am I doing? Whose hand is this? » before taking it off. Ha!

    Now. I know, I said what kept me interested in the show was the relationship between Mulder and Scully. Which is true. But I think I love Skinner even more than Mulder and Scully. He’s just so… opaque?

    It took me a while to love Mulder. The show is so serious in the beginning. I love the humour Duchovny put into it. That’s what made me love Mulder, and it was not there at first (it was probably with the truth). I also love the fact that he remains so kind. He’s not a « nice guy » (who usually are assholes anyway). He’s been traumatized, beat, betrayed, manipulated, almost killed, etc, and yet, he still really cares about people. He’s still willing to believe that people are good. He seems to always think « why would they lie? ». I keep hearing Gregory House « people lie ». I’m amazed that Mulder has remained so trusting and gentle. I would probably have started hating almost everybody. And for such a long time, his faith remains intact. And when he finally throws in the towels, it tips everything off. Everything, everybody loses their balance. So interesting to see!

    But Skinner? I loved almost immediately. We see him act, but we are seldom let in. And when we are, oh, the heartbreak! He’s always a little pissed. You never know where he really stands. But he always comes through, even when you don’t expect him to.

    The two episodes opening season 5 are very emotional, and Skinner, although in the plot, is not the most important. But I keep thinking about that moment where Scully starts bleeding from her nose. I think it’s one of my favorite moment of the whole show so far. He knows she’s going to faint even before she does. He’s there, ready to catch her, in a heartbeat. With such gentleness! He moves his huge body with such stealth. Scully’s accusatory « you ». She was about to accuse him publicly. He doesn’t seem to care: yes, him. He’s there for her.
    God, I love Walter Skninner.

    I hope your lady-parts-bad-luck is over for good and you had a great July, 4th.
    I apologize for the length of that comment.

    • sheila says:

      Lyrie – Yay!

      // I even got interested in the mythology, although my favorite episodes are usually the other ones, still. //

      Yeah, me too.

      // I’m amazed that Mulder has remained so trusting and gentle. //

      I think that is the key to his character! Lord help him if he hadn’t teamed up with Scully.

      And I love your thoughts on Walter Skinner. Yes! I love him too – and that nose-bleed moment you mention is absolutely killer. He is such a layered character – always with that aggrieved surface – he is torn in two half the time, emotionally – and feels put-upon and under siege. But he values them as a team, and backs them up. Great performance from him – you can see why the Supernatural team had been like, “We have to find something good for him to do.”

  12. Lyrie says:

    // The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 18, “Brand X” (2000; d. Gillian Anderson)
    Too many bugs, thankyouverymuch. //

    Actually, Kim Manners directed this one. Again: Bugs? Directed by Kim Manners. So often! What’s up with that, seriously?

    Also: ew.

    • sheila says:

      Yes! That was a cut-and-paste error! Bah! Good catch.

      And I know, Manners directs more X-Files than he did SPN!

      • Lyrie says:

        I meant, he’s ALWAYS the one dealing with the gross bugs episodes. Bees, cockroaches, tobacco beetles, etc: directed by Kim Manners.

        I’ve started watching Sons of Anarchy. Hearing Mitch Pileggi use racial slurs is so shocking, especially when watching the X Files at the same time. I’m trying to keep watching, but, no Mulder… That is so strange! Have you finished the series?

  13. Lyrie says:

    The X-Files, Season 7, Episode 19, “Hollywood A.D.” (2000; d. David Duchovny)
    What an awesome episode! I laughed so hard! And then who’s the idiot who cried when she heard the director yell “kick it in the ass?”
    Me. It was me. I’m the idiot. Every time.

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