Sunday, May 27, 2007

Warrendale And Stuff

Yesterday, I “beat the heat” by heading to the MoMA with my friend David to stare at some art and then watch the hit movie “Warrendale,” a 1967 documentary by Canadian filmmaker Alan King that focuses on a home for emotionally disturbed youths in Ontario. My thoughts:

For the first few minutes of the film, it was more like “Boringdale” but then it really kicked in and delivered in that way that you kind of hope documentaries about disturbed people always will- lots of kicking and screaming and profanity, etc. Particularly interesting were the “holding sessions” during which the counselors at the home would immobilize a disturbed youth when they were having an outburst of sorts so that they might be able to vent from a safe place. Of course the holding would usually serve to just further irritate the youth in question, which would lead to more “holding,” which in turn would lead to further outbursts, which in turn would lead to even more holding. You get the idea. Sometimes I felt like yelling “Just the let him go!” at the screen as if I were watching “The Last Boy Scout” or something but then I remembered that “Warrendale” was made in 1967 so the people in the movie wouldn’t be able to hear me anyway.

Also of note in the hit movie “Warrendale” was the fact that one of the adolescent girls in hit movie “Warrendale” was strikingly beautiful, exactly the kind of girl you’d dream of running into if you were an adolescent male who ended up in a home for the emotionally disturbed. I forget her name but I can’t help but wonder where she is now and if she’s just, like, still totally nutty but gorgeous. I guess that is the point of documentaries- to force you ask questions.

The thing I enjoyed most about “Warrendale,” however, was a scene in which all the emotionally disturbed youths gathered in a rec room with their counselors to smoke cigars and bet on a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game. If you’ve ever wanted to see an 8 year-old smoke a cigar while swearing at a black and white television, run- don’t walk- to the MoMa to see this movie.

After watching “Warrendale,” David and I walked down to Koreatown to eat the fuck out of some food. Curiosity got the best of us and we ended up at a place called Todai, where they had an enormous all-you-can-eat buffet serving all sorts Japanese, Chinese, and Korean food that- based on our visit- appears to be most popular with Asian people and flip-flop-wearing frat boys. It was pretty solid but- as is usually the case with all-you-can-eat scenarios and me- I felt kind of dirty by the time it was all over.

David and I decided to work off dinner by walking rest of the way home. Along the way, we happened upon the phone booth in the photo above, which just so happened to have a large picture of me on it. Since I am a jackass, I asked David to snap a picture of me standing next to another picture of me. It was pretty great even though none of the people walking by as I posed for the photo seemed to pick up on the fact that I was the same guy as the guy on the side of the phone booth. I guess I will just have to go back.

By the time I got home I was pretty wiped out from all the walking and all the Asian food and all the emotionally disturbed youths, so I called it a night. I drifted off to sleep while watching “The Importance of Being Morrissey,” which- as the title suggests- is a documentary about Morrissey that aired on England’s Channel 4 in 2002. There were no “holding sessions” or 8 year-olds smoking cigars in this one, but still I recommend it.

In other news, this morning I went to the grocery store to buy some Lucky Charms only to find that the grocery store in question was out of Lucky Charms. At first I was all surprised but then I thought “Of course they’re out of Lucky Charms- that shit is motherfucking delicious!” In the end I bought a box of Cheerios and went home to enjoy a bowl of not-nearly-as-fun cereal. Dammit.

Dave Hill


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