Welcome to the latest lettercol from yours truly. This one’s going to be a little short, but I think it’s all about quality over quantity, honestly.
This past week has been weird for me. I tend to get really focused on stuff, and I have been very focused the past week on Hurricane Katrina and the incredible and depressing destruction it left behind. I mentioned it in last week’s Prognosticator for September (in case you’re wondering, I’m the one who writes those shitty intros), and linked to where you can donate (just go to http://www.redcross.org and help these people out, please). That in turn led to this, the very best email I have ever received in my time here at CHUD – and I’ve received virulent hate mail from people who actually get movies made, so that’s saying something.
Linda shouts: Dear Devin,
I live(d) in Gulfport MS and my husband’s family is from New Orleans. Thank you for mentioning the situation on CHUD. We’re all still reeling from the blow, but we have found great comfort in normal things such as finding an internet connection to check emails, locate loved ones….and read CHUD. I know my home is intact, but do not know when I will be able to get back to it. My office in downtown Gulfport collapsed (and oh how many CHUD hours had I logged on that computer!) But just to pull up the black and green page and catch up on the reviews, graboids, and columns is quite frankly soothing. My world got blown all to hell, and yet, it didn’t. I’m here, safe, reading the Prognosticator and I can picture myself doing it again, months from now in a new office on the coast. Your acknowledgement of the situation is truly appreciated. If you want to know if it means anything to anyone directly affected by the hurricane, that y’all are thinking about us, it sure as hell does. It means a lot. I doubt I’ll forget that, for a moment, I stopped worrying about food and gas and money and family and friends I haven’t located yet just long enough to take a mental break. Not only could I find solace in the normalcy of reading this site, but someone, whose work I’ve been reading for years, who I haven’t met, may not ever meet, took a moment from whatever he was doing to express compassion. Again, thanks.
On a less "OMG my life has been blown to hell but hey look there’s CHUD" note, I had just really started to amass a fantastic asian dvd collection. And while I am praying for life, relief and safety to all those caught in this shit storm, man I hope my Fallen Angels dvd made it ok! (I evacuated with Chungking Express thank God).
Thanks again for the great site (and that goes to Nick, Dave, George, Russ, Eileen and all the rest) and the well wishes!
Devin replies: What can I say but thank you? I am glad that we could do a little bit to make this awful time more bearable for you. I hope that you and your family are well, and that you guys get back on your feet as soon as possible. And keep coming to CHUD – we’ll be here no matter what, giving you shoddy second hand information and poorly written jokes!
Dennis shouts: I’m a little late on this, but i’m a busy guy so bear with me.
Now, CHUD is by far my favorite movie site. You guys obviously put a ton of effort into the site, there’s some really quality and insightful writing. But i think we can all agree on the one obvious hole in the staff’s background: right – herpetology!
Which is where i come in. I’m a graduate student working on my PhD through the University of Miami, but currently living in Costa Rica, where i’m researching the ecology of the fer-de-lance (that’s "Bothrops asper" for the scientifically-minded, a big scary pitviper for the not). As such, i consider myself pretty well-versed in the reptile area, especially snakes.
So given the gravity of the situation at hand – there’s going to be a nationally-released film called "Snakes On A Plane" for God’s sake – i’m offering my services as CHUD’s Herpetological Issues Correspondent. As more details on the aforementioned On A Plane Snakes become available, i’d be more than happy to chime in with my two cents.
This whole thing is obviously written with tongue firmly in cheek, but in all seriousness, it might be mildly amusing if you’d like to separate the bullshit from the reality. At the very least, you’ll have someone else to make snarky comments about.
Best of luck with the site, and feel free to drop me a line.
Devin replies: Actually I think Dave Davis has the herpe – oh wait! I misunderstood you.
Yes! We would love to have you onboard as our own resident expert on snakes, whether they be on or off planes, but hopefully only on them.
Grizzly Man, just Grizzly
Dan shouts: I really enjoyed your review of this amazing film [Grizzly Man]. This is one of the few reviews that I’ve read that realizes that while Treadwell probably has a skewed view of nature, Herzog DEFINTELY does! I also appreciate your recognition of how Treadwell’s relationship with the Bears ended badly, his direct interactions were pretty amazing. Most reviewers ridicule Treadwell and find his being eaten by a bear as proof that he was a fool. I find the fact that he survived for 13 years in close quarters with these bears to be proof that he had some understanding of the bears and other animals.
Anyway, I appreciated your review..
Devin replies: Thanks, Dan. I do have to say that I am not sure that Treadwell wasn’t a fool. That said, there’s something about people who get sick of the world and head off for the wilderness – once upon a time they became holy men and saints. Now they become bear Purina. But has anything changed, besides the way we view them? In the end, Treadwell’s story is a tragedy, and it’s one that Herzog does justice to, even while stating his own opinion.
As for Treadwell’s relationships with the animals, it’s not as simple as it seems. By domesticating the animals in that way he may have signed their death warrant, as they have become used to humans and to being around them. People tend to freak when grizzlies get too close. The thing is that there is no black or white – it’s all grey. And while Treadwell and Herzog argue their monochromatic visions, I think the film manages to meld them together for a nice shade of greyness.
Will shouts: What up,
In your wonderfully titled "Dick Move" article you wrote, "one page of script is one page of screentime[.]" I’m honestly not sure if that’s a gag or a gaff ("page" should be "minute," yeah?), but I am pretty sure that "screentime" is not a word. (Though it may be jargon, which you’re entitled to both create and use on the site, naturally.) Anyway, if it’s a gag, it’s witty and good. If it’s a mistake, then now you know it’s there. Under no circumstances is it worth your time to go back and fix it, though, I’m sure, so I’ve pretty much wasted your time and mine. (This is me procrastinating on other work.)
While I have you here, though, let me also say this: You all use a lot of compound adjectives in your writing, and while I think it lends the site a nice conversational voice in that we-can-be-casual-’cause-it’s-the-internet-and-therefore- can-also-get-away-with-comedy- that- EW-couldn’t-even-if-it-knew- funny kind of way, those phrases get confusing to read when you don’t signal them early on with the hyphens they need. That is, they get rowdy if you don’t put the cuffs on ‘em. So, if you could, please encourage the staff to hyphenate compound adjectives. You know, for kids.
Anyway, love the site, good times, keep on, etc.
P.S. Richter at the party? Kuato? It’s like you guys know I *just* shelled out the $5 for Total Recall, at last.
Devin replies: Word up to you, young homie.
Yes, that was an error. It should have been "one minute of screentime." As for that word – it’s not in the dictionary, and maybe it should be two words, but the Germans love running words together to form newer, bigger words, so I will do so as well.
Your critique of my style is duly noted. I tend to write stuff fast, as I need to get it up on the site before some asswipe posts it on the message boards, and sometimes that means I don’t have to time to pay lip service to stuff like coherence. By the way, I had to break up your hyphenated madness before it broke up the table layout of the CHUD page!
And yes, we know what you buy. You should be really fucking ashamed – and keeping an eye open for the feds.
Stop being an asshole!
Rob shouts: Long-time reader and believer of chud.com. Grand site ‘but’ your article regarding the casting of Shohreh Aghdashloo in X-3 is pointless, insulting and quite stupid. She is a remarkable actor and it is not her fault the film is burdened with poor standards, thus far. Making fun of her name is phony, manipulative and below you. Sound familiar? Other than this error, grand job.
Devin replies: Thank you sir, for thinking anything is below me. I am not really certain anything actually is at this point, but I appreciate that you think otherwise. As for the joke I made (which you can read in full here), I don’t think it was really all that out of line. Unless you mean the bit about what language they speak in Iran. I have to tell you, I just read both volumes of Persepolis and I still don’t know the answer to that. I did love the books, though!
You don’t need to live in a national crisis zone to send me an email. Just send something off to email@example.com, and let me know what’s on your mind. You can also email me by clicking on my name in any article I write, so quit emailing Nick to complain about me and do it to my cyberface!
I am off to Toronto and then Los Angeles, so don’t expect a whole lot from me while I’m gone, but I will try to pop in with just enough to piss you off righteously.