Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Friday, January 28, 2005
Last night, I watched Terry George's film "Hotel Rwanda". It's a remarkable film of great power and emotion. It centers around the genocide that took place in Kigali in 1994, when the Hutu people, angered at the killing of their president by Tutsi rebels, proceeded to slaughter every Tutsi person they could find, rebel or not.
One Hutu man, who was left in charge of a four-star hotel, used it as a makeshift refugee camp. He used every tactic he could think of to keep the people inside his hotel safe from harm, often putting his own life on the line.
A particularly insightful moment in the film comes when Don Cheadle (who in a long line of great performances, gives his best here) who plays the hotel manager, thanks an American news cameraman (played by Joaquin Phoenix) for the footage that he shot, saying that people will see it around the world and help stop the slaughter. And Phoenix says sadly, "People will see that, and they'll say 'That's horrible', and then go back to eating their breakfast."
I found myself to be a victim of that sentiment as Brey and I left the theater. We had both been rather affected by the film, and looking for something to bring us out of our sadness. It ended up being ice cream that was decided upon.
And as I was sitting there, eating my mint chip gelato, I was embodying the sentiment of that film. The American, seeing these tragic events, saying "That's horrible" and returning to his ice cream. Granted, I had just seen a movie with actors, based on events that happened when I was twelve years old, but I felt that, having been alive during that time, I hadn't done enough to stop the Tutsi massacre.
I started thinking about the tsunami victims and how I didn't offer any help at all. Nor did I give money to 9/11 families. Nor have I helped out the poverty problem in my own country, apart from giving change to those who ask it. I can't give blood because of my time spent in England. I have no charities attached to my name, and the only organization I donate money to are the two theatre companies that I work with the most.
I felt like a horrible. inhumane person. But then again, I'm only a lower-middle class guy, doing theatre for free and trying to manage his wages like any other working man. How could I only give to one charity and deny the others? How could I give to them all without going into poverty myself? There are so many causes to be fighting for in the world, how can I decide which issues get my attention?
And as I later walked through a Borders, listening to the Modest Mouse CD and musing about the store's placing of the Oskar Schindler and Clay Aiken autobiographies next to each other (it amazes me that some people don't see the obvious comic situation in front of them), I wished that I had more influence in the world. If I controlled armies, had immense riches and/or extreme power...well, who knows, I'd probably abuse it like everyone else who has these things does. But I would like to think that I would be the good guy. The calvary that comes in at the end of the film. The guy who gets the Oscar nominated film based on his life.
Until that day comes, if it ever does, I guess I'll just have to keep giving change.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Oh, did you think I wasn't going to talk about Oscar nominations today? Do you think that I really have a choice? I couldn't stop myself if I tried. Anyway, here are the nominations for the major awards:
"Million Dollar Baby"
Clint Eastwood - "Million Dollar Baby"
Taylor Hackford - "Ray"
Mike Leigh - "Vera Drake"
Alexander Payne - "Sideways"
Martin Scorsese - "The Aviator"
Don Cheadle - "Hotel Rwanda"
Johnny Depp - "Finding Neverland"
Leonardo DiCaprio - "The Aviator"
Clint Eastwood - "Million Dollar Baby"
Jamie Foxx - "Ray"
Annette Bening - "Being Julia"
Catalina Sandino Moreno - "Maria Full of Grace"
Imelda Staunton - "Vera Drake"
Hilary Swank - "Million Dollar Baby"
Kate Winslet - "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Alan Alda - "The Aviator"
Thomas Haden Church - "Sideways"
Jamie Foxx - "Collateral"
Morgan Freeman - "Million Dollar Baby"
Clive Owen - "Closer"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Cate Blanchett - "The Aviator"
Laura Linney - "Kinsey"
Virginia Madsen - "Sideways"
Sophie Okonedo - "Hotel Rwanda"
Natalie Portman - "Closer"
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
"Million Dollar Baby"
"The Motorcycle Diaries"
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
"As It Is In Heaven"
"The Sea Inside"
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:
I correctly predicted all of the Best Picture nominees (Biography pictures, blind pianists, boyish playwrights, babbling pilots), which makes me happy, since I didn't I got thrown for a loop in nearly every other category. The best surprise was Catalina Sandino Moreno getting nominated for her amazing work in "Maria Full of Grace". The worst surprise was Paul Giamatti getting snubbed for a second time in a row for Best Actor, being replaced by the good-but-not-as-good Clint Eastwood. The most surprising surprise was Alan Alda nominated for Best Supporting Actor (I had my money on Peter Sarsgaard filling that fifth spot).
Other shocks were the Best Foreign Film category (which was missing "Bad Education", "Maria Full of Grace", "A Very Long Engagement" and "House of Flying Daggers"), the snubbing of "Kinsey" (nary a Liam Neeson, Peter Sarsgaard or screenplay nomination) and Mike Leigh getting a Best Director nomination (could it possibly have been better than Michel Gondry's work in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"?).
My bets for the awards are going to be "The Aviator" getting Best Picture, Scorsese walking away with Director, Jamie Foxx snagging Best Actor, and wins for Hilary Swank, Thomas Haden Church and Cate Blanchett. "Eternal Sunshine" and "Sideways" will get the screenplay awards, "The Sea Inside" will be the Best Foreign Film, and "The Incredibles" is going to be the Best Animated Film.
Anyway, yeah. I blew my wad in the Profound Thought Department on last night's post, so I'll leave you with this thought:
Now that he's officially an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, do you think Jose Rivera's wonderful plays will get more recognition? And does anyone beside me care?
Theatre is not a disposable camera, and therefore should not be developed.
I have been trying to put my finger on why the world of theatre seems to be on an artistic decline. The number of really great plays (and really great playwrights) seems to be deflating at a rather steady rate.
I believe the problem is that we overdevelop our theatre. I just came back from a reading (where the actors sit and read the script out loud to an audience rather than stage it) that included a post-show talkback (where the audience gets to discuss the work). At the talkback, I heard several people tell the playwright what they felt the play should be, and what he should do to change it to their liking. And in that moment, I suddenly realized that I am not a big fan of readings, and that I really do not like talkbacks.
I understand that a reading is so that the material can be tested in front of a crowd before officially releasing it in front of an audience. And that's precisely my problem with it. Our theatre is too safe. We no longer just take a script and say, "Hey, this is a cool piece of writing. Let's do it." Now it's all about testing and surveys, just to make sure that people will like it. And in the process of inviting all of these cooks in the kitchen, I believe we lose both the adventurous aspect of live performance, the writer's original voice (having been at the receiving end of talkbacks, the immediate mental response to any sort of criticism is "Hmm, maybe they're right"), and the main reason that I love seeing great theatre.
After seeing a show like "Oleanna", "Topdog/Underdog" or "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf", the audience response afterward is great. No two people see the exact same show. Everyone walks away with something different. That is what makes great plays great. Those shows do not strive to appeal to us. Instead, we are allowed to pull what we want from the material, positive or otherwise. Allowing the audience to try and change the play to their liking is destructive to the process of creating theatre.
When my play "American Way" was produced at The Blank Theatre, it received a reading 18 months beforehand (at which time I switched cars, lifestyles and became of drinking age). And The Blank was seen by many as making a speedy decision (another theatre company was still nowhere near deciding on whether or not to produce it, even after having been read by several company members). There are several examples of plays that are kicked around for years before getting a production.
We need to stop this. We need to stop playing it safe. We need to stop letting people tell us what our theatre should be. We need to stick with our own voices, tell our own stories, and just let the audience members tell each other what they came away with. Leave audience participation to the murder mysteries. I'm here to tell stories to people, and whether or not they like it is their business from now on.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Sure, it may seem on the surface that Andrew Lloyd Webber's first musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is all sugary sweet and family-friendly. Everything thinks of children's choruses, calypsoes (or would that be calypsi?) and Donny Osmond. But have you ever really looked at the show? Not just watched it, but really looked at it? There are several things that strike me as quite queer (and I mean in the olden days way):
- What sets the plot in motion is that Joseph's brothers are jealous, because their father Jacob obviously loves Joseph more than any of his other sons. So much more, in fact, that he buys him new clothes that, while garish (29 different colors, INCLUDING azure and russet) are rather thoughtful. Is favoritism really good parenting? Should we sympathize with Jacob at the end, when all this time he is neglectful toward his own children? This move typically turns Joseph's brothers against him. Any older sibling can sympathize when the brothers say "Being told we're alsorans/Does not make us Joseph fans".
- Joseph also is constantly telling his brothers about dreams that he's had in which their eleven small sheaves of corn turn to bow to his enormous sheaf (from what the ladies say, I hear his sheaf ain't the only thing that's enormous...and by that I mean his penis). This bowing theme is repeated again in that eleven stars bow before his (quite the feat considering that most stars I've seen don't have waists). Am I the only one that sees Joseph as kind of a cocky bastard? If my nonexistent brother started telling me that I was going to spend the rest of my life bowing to him, I'd sell his ass to a hairy bunch of Ishmaelites in a second.
- Joseph the Ishmaelite Slave is later bought by a captain named Potiphar. Joseph is a devoted slave and is promoted to Leader of the Household (a maximum promotion!). Joseph then goes and celebrates by screwing Potiphar's wife. Potiphar, understandably, goes into a rage and throws Joseph in jail, where he sings a sad but empowering song. And yet, I cannot help but go, "Hey, you fuck the master's wife, you pay the price." (Also, am I the only one who finds it weird that, beyond the paper-thin narrator, the only other significant female character in the entire show is a total slut?)
- While we're on the subject of female characters, why is it that in every production the wives are the same age as the brothers? Was it a case of babies making babies in the land of Israel? And how come Jacob's daughter Dinah, who is clearly mentioned in the Bible, is never referenced here? To busy cooking dinner and getting married off, I suppose?
- The brothers, after selling Joseph off, lie to their neglect-my-sons-and-deny-my-daughter's-existence father, telling him that Joseph died trying to wrestle a goat that threatened their lives. Now remember, they all live in the Middle East. That's the best they could come up with? A killer goat? Especially since they attack a goat earlier in the show, we learn that the Israeli goats are not that tough. Couldn't they say a car bomb or a kimono dragon or Red Buttons? Any one of those makes more sense than a freaking goat.
- In the typical Act One closer "Go Go Go Joseph", has anyone else noticed that the point where everyone starts celebrating comes when Joseph tells the Baker that he's going to die? Is the Baker that much of a bastard?
- The Pharaoh (which, after checking the Merriam Webster website, I found out I've been spelling wrong all this time. Oops. Apparently it's "o" before "a" except after "r") has the following dream that he needs Joseph to interpret: He sees seven fat cows, followed by seven thin cows, who eat the fat cows but stay thin. He then sees seven good ears of corn, followed by seven bad ears of corn, who eat the good corn but continue to be bad. Joseph predicts that there will be seven years of plentiful food, followed by seven years of famine. I'm sorry, but was Joseph really the only one who could figure that one out?
- After interpreting the dream, the Pharaoh decides that Joseph is going to be his right hand man to help his country through the famine. This raises two questions. First off, what is the link between a person's skills at dream interpretation and their skills at economic planning? Second, do you think the Egyptian people had a problem with the Pharaoh assigning someone to that Cheney-like position?
- When we go back to the brothers in Canaan, they are starving victims of the famine. They note, "It's funny, but since we lost Joseph, we've gone to the other extreme." Again, there is the belief that dream interpretation can affect the economy. Even in these days of a faith-based presidency, that's just absurd. I know a woman who can interpret my dreams, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to blame her if I'm going blame her for the national debt.
- The brothers go to Egypt, where they meet an unrecognizable Joseph. Seeing that his brothers don't know who he is, he proceeds to screw with their heads. First he accuses them of being spies, and then he frames the youngest brother Benjamin for stealing a golden cup and throws him into jail. Again, for a title character in a feel-good musical, he's a bit of a dick.
- After finding out that it has been Joseph all this time (in a song called, oddly enough, "Joseph All The Time"), the brothers show no anger, but only happiness. Again, if my nonexistent brother acted like a dick toward me and threw another of my nonexistent brothers in jail, I'd be pissed. But then again, I'm not part of that dream interpretation-economy conspiracy.
- "So Jacob came to Egypt/No longer feeling old/And Joseph came to meet him/In his chariot of gold". Maybe just a tad ostentatious?
- The last song in the show is called "Any Dream Will Do". I'm still trying to figure out this song's effect on the Middle Eastern economy.
- The last line that is sung in the show is when the entire cast (brothers, wives, kids, etc.) sing "Give me my colored coat, my amazing colored coat". Isn't this what sets the plot in motion? The fact that only Joseph was given a colored coat, and everyone else was left out in the dust (literally. We are in the desert here)? Does this mean that nothing was accomplished in the show, and that the brothers still feel like they're playing second fiddle to an pompous, dream-interpretating ass?
So go see the La Habra Depot Theater production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (opening Friday and playing through February 13th) to see these irregularities and more!!!
P.S. After doing some research, I found that the brother Simeon, the character that I play in this fine show, has a sorded history. He is originally the brother held prisoner by Joseph in exchange for Benjamin (more reason to hate the guy). He also, along with Levi, massacred the Shechemites for raping his sister Dinah, who he later married. Um......eww. This is one screwed up family.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
The power of emotions and words will never cease to astound me. Recently, I witnessed a couple of relationships where problems stemmed from either words that were used, or the inflection of said words.
As a writer, I understand the power of words. A combination of words, when put together in the right way at just the right time, can inspire us, devastate us, anger us, make us laugh, make us cry, start wars, make peace, bring us love, or bring us death. Words are my favorite playground.
However, I also understand that words are intangible and lifeless. That is what fascinates me. It is not the speaker that inspires, angers, hurts, etc. It is the interpretation that the listener takes that is what gives the words life.
Let's take the "vulgar" words that we know: Fuck, shit, asshole, bitch, piss, slut, cock, pussy, fag, nigger, cunt. These are words that can get someone into serious trouble (not to mention some huge FCC fines). But if we wanted to, we as a society could make these words obsolete. All we'd need to do is say, "Abracadabra! Those words aren't offensive anymore." If we wanted to, we could say that the new vulgar words are "banana" and "scat", and then characters in movies would be saying, "You're a scatting banana, and I'll put a scatting bullet in your scatting head!"
I was inspired recently by a good friend of mine who was angered at what their significant other had said about them. Then after telling me about it, they suddenly said, "You know what? I'm over it. I'm not mad anymore." It really is as easy as that. They understood, as I do, that words are only as strong as you make them.
So I send a message to everyone out there who find themselves easily offended or hurt by what those around them may say (a group of which I have been an occasional member of): You don't have to listen to everything that is said to you. If you don't like what someone says, ignore the words. Resist the human temptation to indulge in our immediate emotions. Just say, "Whatever" and move on. In that one move, you will have killed those words. Think of what would have happened if millions of Germans simply said, "Don't listen to that nutty Hitler guy," or if people stopped analyzing Oscar speeches. A dismissal is more effective than a rebuttal.
Just remember, it's not the speaking that causes the problem. It's the listening.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
These are my favorite quotes from the past year in film. Try and see how many of these you know (It's fun AND educational...except for the educational part...and the fun part):
"I'm a hedonist. That means we like to have fun. I read it in an encyclopedia."
"You're not a bad person. You're a terrific person. You're my favorite person. But every once in a while, you can be a real cunt."
"No, if anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!"
"So now I'm in deep trouble. I mean, one more jolt of this death ray and I'm an epitaph. Somehow I manage to find cover and what does Baron von Ruthless do? He starts monologuing! He starts this, like, prepared speech about how 'feeble' I am compared to him, how 'inevitable' my defeat is, how 'the world will soon be his', yadda yadda yadda. Yammering! I mean, the guy has me on a platter and he won't shut up!"
"Boom, boom, boom, boom. What film?"
"Doggie fart, gladdens my heart."
"I invented masturbation."
"Professor Kettleburn, our Care of Magical Creatures teacher for many years, has decided to retire in order to spend more time with his remaining limbs."
"Behave yourself, will ya? Go find real work."
"No, I shot him. The bullets and the fall killed him."
"Thank you, thank you for honesty. Now fuck off and die, you miserable old slag!"
"Yeah, it's kind of itchy. And it rides up in the crotch a little bit, too."
"That's why whenever I drive by McDonald's with my kid, I'm gonna punch him in the face."
"I heard their period attracts bears. They can smell the menstruation."
"By the way, it says 'balls' on your face."
"...and yes, I will dance with you on your wedding day."
"She's right next to you."
"Don't have sex, because you will get pregnant and die! Don't have sex in the missionary position, don't have sex standing up, just don't do it, ok, promise? OK, now everybody take some rubbers."
"Your MOM goes to college!"
"I am scared of...ghosts."
"Can I say no?"
"They'll be performing what I can only assume is a hymn. From the show 'Sweeney Todd', 'God, That's Good'."
"I'm making a birdhouse."
"Please be cancer, please be cancer, please be cancer..."
"I'm in my tree, I'm talking to the Dixie Chicks and they're making me feel better."
And my favorite quote of 2004...
"Show me all the blueprints show me all the blueprints show me all the blueprints show me all the blueprints show me all the blueprints show me all the blueprints show me all the blueprints show me all the blueprints..."
Monday, January 10, 2005
A few points...
- Don't watch "Collateral" just before going to bed. You'll have dreams about men in nice suits trying to kill you.
- Why is it that I cannot seem to get to sleep before midnight anymore? I cannot remember the last time I went to bed in the P.M. It's becoming habit for me. You shouldn't be able to watch Conan O'Brien when you have to get up at 5:45 in the morning.
- "The Aviator". Pros: Great direction, awesome cast, compelling story. Con: Long-ass running time. Result: Best Picture Oscar nomination. Just wait and see.
- I'm glad that I have NPR in my life. I watch the morning news, which lately seems to have a central message: "The top story is all the rain in Southern California. Then we'll go to Weather to talk about all the rain. Then we'll go to Traffic to talk about how the rain will affect your drive. But first, rain!" Then I listen to NPR, whose central message is this: "People have been dying by the thousands halfway across the world because of a huge-ass tsunami that turned a whole section of the world into something worse than a war zone. Oh, and California's been getting a little bit of rain." World news really puts things in perspective.
- Brey, discussing the opening credits of "Bad Education": "It reminded me of a Hitchcock movie, with how it looked and the music and everything." One of the many reasons why I adore this woman. The movie is also just as good on a second viewing. I'm telling you, if you want a film that will completely knock you on your ass, this is the one.
- It astounds me how well-educated people can be Bush supporters. When I talk to them, they seem to agree with me on most of the issues. And yet, they voted for Bush. I think the reason is that, like Bush, they only care about specific factions of the country, rather than looking at the whole picture. So they overlook issues like free speech, foreign relations and environmentalism, and focus on national security. They don't seem to understand that neglecting those aforementioned issues threatens the national security.
- I procrastinate way too much. I'm going to work on it...starting tomorrow (yes, I'm aware that's the oldest joke in the Procrastination Joke book, but I still like it).
- You would think that after years of dance training I would be able to do a freaking double pirouette. But no amount of teaching has ever been able to get me to do more than 1 1/2. It's extremely frustrating.
- I realized this post sounds very negative. I'm actually quite happy right now. Please ignore everything I said here.
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Happy sixth year of the decade, everyone! My resolutions this year are to be more involved backstage in theater, to have a piece that I wrote performed on stage (as is my resolution every year) and to stop investing in the tired tradition of making resolutions at New Year's. Anyway, on to business...
* Did you know that there's an Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition? Oh, yeah, it exists. Apparently, the Federal Government is considering taking wolves off the Endangered Species List, which has several environmentalists and animal rights advocates worried that they (the wolves, not the environmentalists) will soon be wiped out, since their numbers are still rather small.
However, one group that is excited about this is, that's right, the Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition, who do not like seeing wolves eat deer and livestock (apparently, we're the only species that is allowed to eat other animals). Ron Gillett, who heads the coalition gave this quote to NPR regarding the environmentalists who oppose the killing of wolves: "We've had it. We don't put up with these people anymore. And anybody that gets in our way, we'll leave footprints up and down their back, and you can take that any way you want."
Okay, there's three jokes that immediately come to mind for this coalition. Take your pick which one you like...
1). Do you think the wolves have an Idaho Anti-Redneck Bastard Coalition?
2). Is "Little Red Riding Hood" the Coalition's Book of Genesis?
3). Does their anti-wolf credo extend to Lon Chaney, Jr.?
* It was decided that the Anaheim Angels, World Series champions and the pride and joy of my little town (300,000 population), are going to be renamed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This is being done in an effort to attract more Los Angeles fans to the team.
This is one of those examples where a moron is surrounded by more morons, and somehow a really absurd idea manages to come to fruition. The name is awkward and clumsy (try saying "The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" three times fast). It is untrue, since the Angels have nothing to do with Los Angeles (for those who don't know, Anaheim is part of "the O.C.", and is separated from Los Angeles by about 25 miles and a county line). And most of all, LOS ANGELES ALREADY HAS A FRICKIN' BASEBALL TEAM!!! Have you already forgotten about the Dodgers? I know you want to deny their existence (who can blame you), but how selfish can you get? You already have two basketball teams, now you need two baseball teams? Are you really that greedy?
I think we should do this to everything now. Don't forget that we have a hockey team. They could be the San Fernando Valley Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. We should also have the Albany Yankees of New York and the Oakland Giants of San Francisco.
I'm not even a big fan of the Angels (except for when they're winning, which is not often), but it is a source of pride for me to live in a city that has, amongst its many offerings, World Series champions and Stanley Cup finalists. And I don't like a city that already has its fair share of sports teams (not to mention almost the entire motion picture industry, Theater Row and several wonderful concert venues) trying to lay claim on it.
* I saw Pedro Almodovar's "Bad Education" a couple of days ago. It is definitely one of the best films that I have seen in the past year. It is a funny, painful and brutal look at the reunion of two men who were in love with each other when they went to the same boys school, and how an affair with a priest at the school changed their lives. It features a genuinely surprising plot, assured and stylish direction from Almodovar, and a great central performance from Gael Garcia Bernal (who looks great in drag, by the way).
The film - along with almost all of Almodovar's films - reminded me that, although I am a straight man, I have an obsession with gay culture. Growing up in a drama background, I have had several gay friends since I was very young. Upon getting to know them, I started becoming fascinated with their culture, which has faced a great deal of persecution and discrimination over the years.
It is a world of sad, beautiful women. Chisel-bodied men. Special clubs. Weepy ballads. Footlights and makeup. Living fast and dying young. Confused childhoods and disappointed parents. It is a world that I am familiar with, though only as an observer. Nevertheless, it's a culture with phenomenally good taste, and I have no qualms educating myself in it.
I was never "One of the Guys" at my school, and though I have always liked women, I've never had a masculine nature (five years of jazz dance training and a couple of Sondheim albums will do that to you). Fortunately, my gay friends, without them even knowing it, showed me that I shouldn't try to change what other people will think of me.
Now I am secure in the fact that I am thinner than most women that I meet. That I tour jete better than I can bench press. That before I could name five famous athletes from any one sport, I could name every Oscar winner for Best Picture (from "Wings" to "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King"), five famous Broadway musical actors (Bernadette Peters, Harvey Fierstein, Susan Egan, Roger Bart and Idina Menzel) and AT LEAST ten shows currently playing on Broadway ("Avenue Q", "Democracy", "Phantom of the Opera", "Rent", "Twelve Angry Men", "The Producers", "La Cage Aux Folles", "Hairspray", "Wicked", "The Lion King").
I always look up to these guys who from minute one of meeting them I know are gay. They didn't just come out of the closet, they leapt out. I'll meet them while doing shows, and during downtime they'll practice their pirouettes and stand on their toes. Nearly everything they say is funny, and they always look stylish. I'm extremely happy with who I turned out to be, but just for a moment, I want to be in their dance shoes.
But I guess the next best thing is to watch my copy of "Cabaret" and listen to Rufus Wainwright's "Want Two". Oh, and wait for the next film from Almodovar.