Being the random thoughts of Greg Tito, age 29.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

NY weekend

So it's Wednesday and I'm only now writing about what happened on the weekend. I know. I'm the promptest blogger you know, admit it.

On Friday, my wife, Mephistopholes, got a call from our downstairs neighbor. Usually he calls to see if we are having similar problems with the landlord. Like he called a lot this winter because his heat was basically off for the entire month of February, aka the coldest fucking month of the year. The neighbor, I'll call him Jeremy, because that's his name and I'm over the whole anonymous thing I think, travels often and came home one night from Uzbekistan or whatever to find his breath was now visible inside his apartment. Not a good sign. We felt his pain but our heat was fine, that is until last week where our cheap ass Polish landlord (I'm not saying being Polish has anything to do with it, not really) decided to fix the boiler himself instead of calling a repairman. So the problem, which could have been fixed in a day, took 6. Yes, I was without heat for a week. We survived, mostly by snuggling together closely and having lots of sex. That's even what my landlord suggested we do. Fuck like rabbits to heat the apartment. I wish I was kidding about that.

Anyway, my neighbor, Jeremy, called last Friday not about the heat, but to invite us to a movie screening. He works in the movies, I thought he was a visual effects supervisor guy, he has done some awesome movies like Pi, Life Aquatic and a shitload of others. The NYC marathon goes by our house and the two of us usually have a competing brunch parties where our friends come over to eat bacon while 30,000 people run past us. I found out after this years event that Darren Aranofsky, director of Pi and more recently, The Fountain, was at the brunch. I seem to remember him flirting with Mephistopholes. I'll have to kill him. But back to the point, kind of, I basically want to be Jeremy. He actually makes his living making movies. And he makes really cool ones. But at least I can somehow reap the benefits of living above him.

He called on Friday to invite us to a screening of Wes Anderson's newest film. Mephistopheles and I were like, sure. So we go to the Viacom building, 1515 Broadway, home to a little network you might have heard of called Music Television or some such. We are directed to a posh elevator bank, and go up to the Paramount Offices with glass tables and movie posters on the walls from the current releases. Again, it is posh. Up a few steps is the entrance to the cinema they have in the building. At the double doors are standing two men, one is a bookish gentleman with long hair and a blazer, the other is Jeremy. I go to shake hands with my neighbor, at the same moment that I realize the other dude is Wes Anderson himself. I recognize him from the AMEX commercial. I wish I had the wherewithal to at least introduce myself to Mr. Anderson but I think there were some studio big wigs behind me because a split second after I say hi to Jeremy, both he and Wes were locked on the fat balding dude coming up the steps. If I know anything about the movies it's that fat balding men are always studio execs. So I didn't intrude and went to go find a seat.

There weren't any left. Seriously, a private showing, and there were no seats left. Would my tardiness prevent us from receiving this gift from the heavens, this manna? No, some hot female PAs, who are infinitely more happy at their jobs than I am at mine, busted out some chairs and Mephistopheles and I sat in the aisle and watched the first Public Screening of The Darjeeling Limited. That's right, Wes even came out and told us so before it started. They hadn't shown it to anyone yet. No one. We were the first to see the cut film, other than the editors and the director himself. It was a great honor. Oh, and Wes told us that his colleague Jeremy would be talking to us after the screening to gather some feedback. Jeremy is Wes Anderson's colleague now? What the fuck am I doing?

The movie starts and it's fucking great. Just great. The first ten minutes or so is a short film with Jason Schwartzman and Padme (I forget her name). The film ends and credits roll. Then the real film begins with a shot of Bill Murray in the back of an Indian cab. I'm not going to give anything away, but it's a great role for him, I'm so glad Wes used Bill like that. (I'm on first name basis with them now, I went to private screening.) The rest of it stars Owen Wilson, Schwartzman and Anderson newcomer, Adrian Brody. The three of them are brothers who meet in India a year after their father's death to go on a spiritual journey. The train they meet on? The Darjeeling Limited.

After the movie, we were given blank sheets of paper and a golf pencil. I've been to a few of these screenings before, they usually give you a worksheet with specific questions like "Did you think the film needed a better ending? Choose one: Strongly agree, agree, don't give a shit, wish you could shoot yourself." It was weird having a blank slate to say what you thought. But after being a little put off (how do you write comments to one of your idols?) I warmed up to the process. I wrote a whole page of things I liked and didn't like. Mephistopholes started to get pissed that I was taking so long but I didn't care. I was here to write what though so I did. I was proud of it. I even signed my name at the bottom.

Leaving the theater, Wes was nowhere to be seen. My guess is he bugged out after the movie, he probably couldn't bear to see 100 hipsters scribbling down "you suck." Wes's colleague, Jeremy, was the guy who facilitated the passing out of the paper. I met him after and handed in our comments. We chatted for a few moments about the movie. I tried to sound like I knew what I was talking about. In retrospect, I probably sounded like a douche. Character development? Did I actually just say that? But he listened attentively and then bowed out of the convo, saying he had to go and read everyone's comments now.

That was my Friday night. Mephistopholes and I talked about the movie the whole way home on the L train (except for that innocuous conversation with that hip art gallery owner). She told me she saw Jeremy's name in the credits of the movie. He's not a visual effects anything anymore, Jeremy, my downstairs neighbor, the guy with no heat who complains about the landlord and has competing brunches with me? He is one of Wes Anderson's producers. He produces for Wes Anderson! Wes Anderson was basically like, "I've got this idea for a movie, want to make it with me?" and Jeremy is like, "Sure, Wes."

I want to be him so badly.

This post was meant to encapsulate the whole of my weekend but I already wrote a freaking tome about Friday night. I'll spare you the rest. Here's the short short version: I went to a NY Islanders game on Sat. night, my first hockey experience and it was awesome. Brutally awesome. On Sun., My wife and I looked at buying new homes in Ditmas Park. We are screwed, we'll never own any apartment bigger than a breadbox. That is all.


NYOne said...

Padme = Natalie Portman and YOU ARE AWESOME. Ok, technically your neighbor is awesome, but being the proximity of awesomeness is still pretty good. BTW, did your wife suggest that nickname herself?
(And clearly I am stalking your blogs today. I am a commenting whore)

Greg Tito said...

I love the comments, keep em flowing people.

And yes, she handpicked that name from a list of Hell's denizens.