I think this week is going to be mostly about movies, which is giving me nauseous flashbacks of that new year’s resolution I did that still haunts me. I decided to watch and review a movie every day for a year. It sounds pleasant in theory, but the practice nearly drove me to madness. I still get a bit anxious at the thought of watching a movie. I think I might be the only one who has cinematic PTSD. That has nothing to do with anything, though, I just have a bunch of movies to talk about this week, as beloved Hillary says, “Onward!” So while we were in Mexico City, Jessica and I haunted the hottest gay club, which turned out to be the movie theater at Reforma 222. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know the answer. We were at the movies at least every other day it seemed. The first one we sat down and saw was something called Crucifixion. This drew our attention for very different reasons. Jessica loves a horror film and I love a Romanian hay farmer. One doesn’t get the opportunity to combine these elements very often, but somehow the same team behind the Conjuring series of movies made an off brand horror film that I never heard about called Crucifixion. It does not deserve any accolades, reader. It was hardly coherent, but that is hardly out of the ordinary in the horror genre. This was no masterpiece, but it was a good time, and honestly that’s what I care about when I see a movie. I don’t want some acclaimed drama snoozefest, I want cheesy writing with bad acting but tremendous heart. Crucifixion had that in spades. It could have used a good edit, but the cast and director were clearly having such a good time that it was hard not to love it. And it was gorgeously shot. But I haven’t told you anything at all, yet. Truly not important, but here goes. There’s this girl who is a journalist and her grandfather is an editor, and her mom is dead, and she’s going through some angsty internal battle with god, and so she goes to Romania to investigate a possessed nun…as you do. Any idiot would know this is a bad idea, but this dummy jets off to a gorgeous Romanian village, inexplicably gets a luxurious suite of rooms in a pub, befriends a hot Eastern Orthodox priest who drinks red wine and wears chunky knit sweaters, breaks into a monastery, gets chased by the devil repeatedly, gets scared by masks, delves into the region’s unique holidays, and inevitably turns towards the blessed light of salvation. It was literally every horror movie. But there were Romanian hay farmers and I could understand three of the words and my heart never ached more to spend the summer in the Romanian countryside, doing very little, restoring my psyche. It’ll happen soon, I hope.
It’s not often that I get to talk about possessed Romanian nuns twice in one week, but it’s happening this week and will surely never have occasion to occur again! The same team that put together The Crucifixion is responsible for The Nun, the story of an altogether different possessed Romanian nun. It’s in the same world of the Conjuring universe, and thus Jessica and I were both turnt to see it. I couldn’t wait to see if there would be a hay farmer! SPOILER ALERT: there were no hay farmers, but there was a pile of hay and a dreamy French-Canadian tomato farmer…so pretty close. You should go see the film if you have a chance, even though there are plot holes wide enough to drive a semi truck through. The visuals are delicious, the special effects are good, and did I mention that French-Canadian guy? Like he was truly the star, reader.
His name is Jonas Bloquet and he’s on my shortlist for potential husbands. For those of you not keeping up, the list is as follows: Harry Styles, Joe Jonas, Rami Malek, Nyle DiMarco, and now the stunningly attractive and TALENTED Belgian actor, Jonas:
So, anyway, the film. It’s about a cloistered convent outside of a small Romanian village that the villagers don’t talk about because of indescribable evil. You know, the usual thing, so of course the Vatican ends out their best detective priest and an uninitiated nun who saves the day, but also it’s never satisfactorily explained why she was selected. When they arrive in Romania, they find the dreamy Frenchie, who discovered the body of a nun who had apparently hung herself. He takes them to the possessed convent, even though it’s never well-explained why he’s there and not in Canada and why he is delivering root vegetables to a seemingly empty convent. But whatever. Once there, they speak to a shadowy abbess who is of course long dead and the young nun commingles with other nuns who are of course ghosts and Frenchie gets possessed and there is a demon nun and then the blood of Christ makes an appearance and there’s an unsettling appearance of a young boy possessed by a demon. And it’s really not that scary of a film, rather, it was a hoot. Maybe save this one for Netflix later? I love these Conjuring movies, but this was definitely the weakest installment. And they had such potential for a good Romanian hay farmer. Still, for Jonas, this film makes the list.
James Bond – The Spy Who Loved Me:
In all my life, I’ve never cared to watch any of those James Bond movies. Espionage doesn’t thrill me the same way drug cartels do in telenovelas. I have few memories of my early days, but I do vividly recall being somewhere and playing a James Bond video game on a Nintendo 64. I have a particular loathing for video games, so I’m not sure why this ever occurred. Until watching The Spy Who Loved Me, that was my only experience with James Bond. And that’s odd because whilst growing up, I was all about everything British. James Bond seems very quintessentially British. I was aware of Daniel Craig’s performance as Bond because of that swimsuit he wore that everybody lost their shit for online, which as a gay didn’t seem all that thrilling…do people not wear trunks on the beach? I also like a shaken martini and I’ve long been convinced that I’d be an amazing detective. A spy isn’t much of a stretch, I suppose. I got this DVD — isn’t that bizarrely archaic now? — from Netflix because part of the film takes place in my beloved Egypt. I am determined to do and see everything ever involved in that wonderful place that I’m constantly homesick for. I’m not going to go on about Egypt now again, fret not darling reader. The film didn’t make tremendous sense, but it was a lot of fun to watch. The shaken martinis that I was drinking to feel authentic surely helped. There was something about a massive tank full of sharks and and underwater lair and sex in the Alps and secret weapons. And I honestly can’t recall the point of the film. Still, the scenes in Egypt were delicious and made me long to be back in Cairo and Luxor. I have a particular obsession with films that show no clear continuity of place. Bond was walking through Karnak and then all of a sudden he was strolling past Abu Simbel as if they were feet from each other instead of an eight hour drive in convoy through the desert. Death on the Nile was equally nonsensical, which is such a hoot. Anyway I think I’m done now. I won’t watch it again, but it was fun.
The Spy Who Dumped Me:
Now that I watch almost nothing but Spanish dramas about drug cartels, I feel that I’m probably pretty knowledgeable about the black market, so I’m pretty sure I’d be a great spy. I would be amazing at infiltrating organizations…unless reality is nothing like La Reina del Sur, and if that’s true, well I don’t want to know. I guess that has nothing to do with this movie. Kate McKinnon is a comedic genius and I worship her and I’ll see anything she does. So Jessica and I went to the theater the other night and cackled for an hour and a half. Like, reader, obviously it’s not going to win any awards — unless they give out trophies for best sequined jumpsuit, and they really should — but it was a hoot. The last film that we had such fun at was Snatched starring Goldie Hawn and her fabulously snatched face. It was poorly written and had no reason to exist, but it was such a fun time. The Spy Who Dumped Me was cut from the same cloth. Kate McKinnen and Mila Kunis star as best friends who inadvertently get mixed up in some spy business that’s preposterous but worked to advance the plot. Mila’s boyfriend goes missing and she discovers that he’s a spy and then she decides she and her best friend have to flee to Austria to complete his last mission. Honestly, I would have done the exact same thing. Wouldn’t it be divine to jet off to Europe on a mission? There are few things I’d like better. Anyway things go wrong and there’s tremendous violence and there’s Paris and eastern Europe and a very skinny woman on a balance beam and then Cirque de Soleil and then there are people who aren’t dead. It doesn’t make tremendous amounts of sense. You’d be surprised how often you need to hide USB drives within your body and Edward Snowden is pretty easy to reach and can crack spy codes in a couple seconds. It was hilarious. I’d see it again. You should just as soon as can. Serious movies are a snooze.
Reading German with Some Confidence:
Any Egyptologist worth their salt can fluently read French, Italian, German, and English. Without mastery of these tongues — at an honest minimum — it is nearly impossible to give proper respect to the historical documents that birthed the field that I’m so passionate about. I can read French and English with no problem. Italian is a struggle but one I can muddle desperately through. German has always been absolutely gibberish and that mortified me. Horrified me to a degree that was shameful, to be honest. Well, darling reader, the most marvelous thing happened to me last night. I have a bizarre collection of books in my possession, but for reasons I can’t truly remember but vaguely recall, my grandfather gave me a book called Der Führer. I acquired it when I was very young and I promptly forgot about it. All I ever remember was the bizarre font that German was written in and assuming it was some kind of biography of Hitler. Last night for reasons I can’t remember, I came across the book whilst scouting my shelves. Opening it up I realized it was a lesson book for German learners and I could read the entirety of the first lesson without trouble. I was reading in fluent German. This is hardly going to unlock the archaeological files of the early German expeditions in Luxor and Giza, but I’ve made such an improvement! I adore learning languages more than anything else in this wonderful world. To fluently read that book that I once looked on with complete befuddlement, well, reader, it was wonderful. After all these years, that mysterious text was all about a water glass. Seriously. It was that unimportant. Nothing about Hitler at all. Reminds me of the first time I understood a French conversation without having to think. It was in the Louvre food court. Two ladies were just talking about how bad the wine was, but in French it sounded like just the most important and riveting exchange in human history. All people are quite the same all over the world, language taught me that with more clarity than any other cultural studies I ever did. I implore you all go spend decades in pursuit of your passions. It is worth it with more rewarding sensations than I can honestly explain. For a second it was a century ago and I was in Amarna and I was digging in the ruins of a sculptor named Tutomoses, mumbling in lyrical German, and before me was the unforgettable bust of Nefertiti. But that was fairly dramatic for reading a passage about glassware. Forgive me. It was still major.