Yesterday's bus ride to Maryland wasn't nearly as memorable as this one, but it began with some genuine weight. I wisely arrived almost forty minutes early to make sure I had a decent seat (when we pulled away every seat was taken). As I was getting settled, a woman a few rows in front of me started a conversation with a girl across from her. It was the woman's first time in New York City, and she was still buzzing from having taken the plunge. She came from my hometown, Frederick, and made the nerve-wracking journey to meet a man she'd met online. I can't convey this in one paragraph, but suffice to say, this exchange was one of the most fragile, heartbreaking, and human things I've experienced in a long time. There was no irony or condescension in my appreciation of this woman's plight. She had been dating online for over three years, and finally thought she'd found a "good one." But listening to the situation from a few rows back, it gave me an objectivity that she couldn't see. Her deep, sincere wish to find someone was clouding the frank realities of the situation (the long distance problem, they still didn't really know each other, etc.). It stirred me unexpectedly, yet it also inspired me. For it reminded me that this is the world that I want to represent on film, a world that is profoundly human, an indescribable blend of ugly and pretty, sad and funny, hopeful and hopeless. Life is all of those things at the exact same time, and that has become my primary mission as a filmmaker, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, short, or whatever.
It's perhaps fitting, then, that the Netflix rental I chose to watch last night was Ermanno Olmi's classic IL POSTO, which does the aforementioned things and a whole lot more. I have to confess, I felt a hearty letdown when I realized that the romance had reached an earlier conclusion than I had expected, but of course that was the point of the film. Adulthood arrives, and those magic feelings become nothing more than fading memories. Thanks to Brendan McFadden for making me bump IL POSTO to the top of my queue. It really is one of the greats.
Aside from seeing my nieces, and my parents' food, I had one other very important reason to return to Maryland:
I'm worried that tonight might get really, really ugly, as the Terps play number two UCLA. While UCLA will be without Darren Collison, they are completely loaded and have one of the best freshman in the country, Kevin Love. If that last name rings a bell, yes, it's true. Kevin Love is the nephew of former Beach Boys frontman and absolute douche bag, Mike Love. I'm surprised that the offspring of such a douche bag wouldn't go to Duke, but it actually sounds like Kevin Love didn't inherit his uncle's douche bag-like tendencies. I guess all of that is to say that I'm terrified for what might happen tonight.
Go.... Terps..... Please..... Don't.... Be..... Too.... Ugly.....