Day 4 (April 24th) : Vincent, Trucker, Barfly, and a missed one

(From the Left) Me, Gerardo, Michael, Omer, Wael, and Grace

Day 4 was for four movies. Due to the lack of sleep, I was in the worst condition, so I didn’t react well to “I Captured the Castle”. But I enjoyed Q & A just like others and I promised myself that I will check this movie again someday even if I can’t write anything about movies for a while. 

 Brunch meeting before it was pleasant. People we became familiar with in last three days came(yeah, Vincent, I see you), and, like Gerardo, I became an autograph hunter while constantly eating foods. My mistake was asking Takita for an autograph too early. He left too small space for Roger with his big signature. And I took several photos. Roger came in later and he sat on the sofa and almost everybody was to be received in audience by him. We were all friends here. And I spoilt my chance; I didn’t say much in front of him. I think I’m sort of a mirror person. Tell me first, so I can think about what to say.

Grace and Roger and..... (Photo courtesy of Grace Wang)

After I was disappointed with my body during “I Captured the Castle”, the documentary “Vincent: A Life in Color” came to me like an energizer. I heard about Vincent from Roger’s blog for the first time. I was expecting to see him on the bridges in Chicago. I met him at Cowboy Monkey for the first time. I saw and said hello to him every day of Ebertfest. And he frequently changed his clothes and always made some joke from people’s name(I was one of his victims, you know). And he gracefully did spin move a lot with these colorful suits.

   So, is there anything I haven’t learn about this fascinating man in the documentary? The bad news is, there is nothing new. The good news is, the movie still is a wonderful story of the life force who is almost blind. My eyesight is terribly poor, but that is nothing compared to Vincent’s condition. Because of glaucoma, one of his eyes is completely blind and the sight of the other eye is as small as key hole.

 Despite his condition, Vincent is a confident walker. On bridges, whenever he hears the sound of the tour boat, he spins and takes off and hurls around his jacket. He is an urban legend of Chicago now.  

(Fron the Left) Richard Roeper, Omer, Vincent, Jennifer Burns, and Unidentified Panelist

 Maybe he looks like an weirdo to you. And maybe we will never wholly understand him, let alone his view. Nevertheless, he has led an interesting life and Director Jennifer Burns lets us to know about his life through several interviews of  Vincent himself and people who know him. The result is optimistic portrait of a lovable, intelligent human being who does not much bother about his limit or how people think about him. And we became joyous when the season for Vincent returns to Chicago on the screen. Sadly, I was a little too early.

 During Q & A, Burns told us about the tight budget for her work(she depended on several credit card). Even with dashing Richard Roeper, Vicent stole the show again and Roeper exchanged the suit with him. I also did it the day before. I will check out Vincent’s site. By the way, his helper Barbara introduced me her daughter to me before the showing. She told me later that her daughter also had poor eyesight because of the same reason. She was in a little better condition, and she seemed to be so well-adjusted that I did not recognize it. I was surprised to know that later at the post-fest party.   

  The next movie was James Mottern’s “Trucker”, featuring Michelle Monaghan’s uncompromising performance which should have been Oscar-nominated in this year.  Despite being not as enthusiastic as Roger about this movie(I watched this movie twice in this January), I think this movie is surely deserved to be watched by more people.

  Diane(played by Monaghan) has been leading the life on her own without any problem. She earns her living as a trucker. She is a competent one. She has a house and she recently paid off her own rig. When she isn’t working, she usually hangs around her friend Runner(always-interesting Nathan Fillion). But the change comes in front of her house in one day. Her ex-husband is sick, his wife is busy, so Diane has to take care of her son Peter(Jimmy Bennett) whom she had abandoned a long time ago.

James Mottern and Michelle Monoghan (Photo courtesy of Grace Wang)

This is an uncompromising drama about two lonely, tough souls. We have a pretty much a good idea about the ending, but the movie transports its load in a route far different from what we expect. Diane and Peter never lost their edges while discovering the feeling between them. They have to accept each other, and then need each other. But they never turn into model mother and child; they are still more like a lioness and her wild cub. James Mottern captures the rhythm of daily life while occasionally emphasizing the wideness of Diane’s world. This is Monaghan’s showcase of her talent and, she and Mottern and panelists and audience discussed a lot about her character and how she handled it.

I found Barbet Schroeder’s “Barfly” more simple, straightforward than my thought based on the first viewing on TV in 2003. This time, it became more funnier and moving than before. Based on Charles Bukowski’s screenplay, “Barfly” tells about the endless cycles of two alcoholic characters(played by Mickie Rourke and Faye Danaway) and more. When they meet each other, it was love in the rosy sight and they continue their alcoholic life without trying to be sober at all.

(From the Left) Barbet Schroeder, two unidentified Panelists, and Movshovitz

It sounds depressing, but the movie finds the humor and the heart from this seedy world. There are distinctive supporting characters hanging around bars every day. They are more funny the more I think I about them. I was tired, but the movie is strangely optimistic in alcoholic way and it made feel good, just like any other good movies. I like the movie more than before. I think it’s time for changing my original three-star opinion.

   That was not the end of the day. We went to Betsy Hendrick’s party on her house on Haines Blvd. I met people and lost myself a bit with a cup of gin tonic among them, but I had to leave with others sooner than I thought. It was short, but Betsy provided a relaxing moment before my sleep and I was grateful for her hospitality.


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