Wednesday, July 30, 2008
livin' a life with one less shame: take that, citizen kane!
A funny thing happened to me yesterday.  Unfortunately, it happened to my face.  

See, ever since I started swimming I've developed an unfortunate eczema issue around my eyes.  It had calmed down for a while, but then flared up again on Tuesday, so I thought I'd treat it with a super-strong lotion.  Apparently this was a very bad choice, because I woke up this morning to a scaly, red-hot, swollen mess.  Seeing how I currently look a bit like a cross between a raccoon and a battered wife, I thought it best I stay in today.  (After all, I already have an uncanny knack for reducing small children to tears even when I don't look a monstrous mess.)

The silver lining to all of this is that staying holed up indoors forced me to cross something off my bucket list: Citizen Kane.  You may recall me mentioning this film on my list of secret cultural shames, and seeing that I'm teaching a film course next month and I'd be just about the worst film teacher in the world if  I'd never completed a viewing of this cinematographic masterpiece, I decided it was time to set my swollen, red 'coon eyes on the prize and just finish it already.  And so I did.  And so...

...I...genuinely...freakin' loved it, which sort of came as a surprise, honestly. Sure, everyone says they love Citizen Kane - to claim otherwise is to risk your taste level becoming immediately suspect - but how many average, modern viewers really do love it?  And for perfectly understandable reasons: the plot was a bit scattered, some of the visual effects that were so innovative at the time look downright hokey today, and damn that's a long time to spend watching a movie without one single boob, car chase or explosion! It takes considerable effort to watch Kane, and the twist at the end explains everything while at the same time explaining absolutely nothing.  It's a taxing, frustrating, beast of a flick.  But despite all of this, I was completely won over.  It was such a visual pleasure that I didn't particularly mind all that other stuff.  And the best part was watching it a second time through while listening to Roger Ebert's commentary, available on the extras of my DVD. It was like having the opportunity to drop in on a free, two hour-long lecture given by one of the all-time greatest film professors.  Consider it highly recommended.

Of course, undercutting my enjoyment of Kane was the realization that my students will most likely loathe this movie.  Lack of boobs and blood aside, it's long, tedious, and black-and-white (the kiss of death), and in this current culture of instant Internet gratification I fear the modern young adult may not have the requisite attention span to appreciate an epic such as this.  But perhaps I'm not giving my future students enough credit.  For both our sakes, I truly hope so.

So all-in-all, though I might look a fright, at least I'm one monstrous, scaly, red-hot swollen mess who's seen Citizen Kane.  Whoohoo! Score one for the freaky lookin' chicks!



Blogger Mary said...

If it makes you feel better, I have the same problem. I get eczema all over my eyelids and eyebrows when I get stressed. I think I built my dermatologist a house from the number of times I saw her before my wedding. Eladil helps. Interestingly, my husband gets eczema under his eyes and on his eyelids when he's under stress too.

I fear for our future children's skin.

Post a Comment

<< Home