One reason that I take so few days off is that, usually, I find myself in a foul mood about halfway through. That said, yesterday wasn't a total loss. Lots and lots of Final Fantasy XII. I reached the Tomb of Raithwell, recovered the Dawn Shard, had it stolen from me by Marquis Halim Ondore IV, who then attempted to "test" it and managed to nuke the entire 8th Archadian fleet. The day went pretty much as I'd planned, all in all.
The high point was seeing Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain (at the Plaza). Indeed, that may have turn out to be one of the high points of the whole year. It will not suffice to say that I loved this film. This is one of those movies that makes me regret the fact that I lack the requisite language to properly discuss cinema. It will not do, in this case, to say that it was brilliant. Or that it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever laid eyes upon. Or that Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz were spot on. Since last night, I've been trying to find the words I need to describe this film, and I just cannot seem to summon them. For me, it was a revelation. For me, this is a film that is both magical and magickal. I suspect it is the best film I've seen this year, and that it is one of the best films I have ever seen. But maybe I'm biased. Maybe I just happened to intersect with The Fountain in a way that all those people who are hating it and leaving theatres baffled and pissed off cannot. Maybe it's just where I am right now. And maybe not. Maybe this film is objectively superb, if such a thing is possible. Every frame, every line of dialogue, seemed a thing of genius and perfection to me. Clint Mansell and the Kronos Quartet fashioned a soundtrack that could not have been better suited to its task. At the very least, Matthew Libatique deserves an Oscar for his cinematography. I have adored two other of Aronofsky's films — Pi (1999) and Requiem for a Dream (2000) — but, in my opinion, neither comes close to the achievement that is The Fountain. It joins Gilliam's Tideland and Shyamalan's Lady in the Water on a shortlist of truly astounding 2006 films that I have loved unconditionally, and that, to their credit, leave virtually no one straddling the fence, even if they have inspired far more more contempt than the appreciation they deserve. In the end, I can say only that I have been profoundly affected by this film, and for that I am grateful.
Too many things to do today, and I'd rather not do any of them. But the platypus waits for no nixar. Please pre-order Daughter of Hounds, if you have not already. I have a feeling that this may be the "sink or swim" book. Also, I ask that you please request that your local public library/ies order it, as library sales can make a huge difference. It doesn't suck, I promise.