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Nicholas Thurkettle
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Nicholas Thurkettle [userpic]

Just to make things official, I am now going FRIENDS ONLY on Livejournal. My new website is up and running, and I will maintain a public blog there:


I have begun the laborious process of moving my movie review archive over there; and as they are posted I will Friends-Lock them here in order to divert attention in that direction. The idea is that, if people want to discover what I do, they can do it over there; while I can keep this journal alive for talking with the people around whom I feel more comfortable opening up.

If you want to be added as a Friend and you know me already, send word telling me who you are behind your Username. If you don't know me already, comment through the public blog, and give me the chance to get to know you there first.

This is a new phase. I am curious to see the results.

Update: Since LiveJournal has decided recently to be unnecessarily generous in allowing spam comments, I have had to bar comments from anyone who is not a registered LJ user. If you are a friend of mine and want to read the more personal stuff I still post here, you should have some means of contacting me and letting me know your LJ identity so I can add you. If you are not a friend of mine - you don't get to read my personal journal. That's how that works.

Nicholas Thurkettle [userpic]

It was a long and lovely holiday. I could tell you about all that. I might tell you about all of that. But I am headed for an early bed tonight, followed by a couple of days in LA, and you may not hear much from me. And I still owe you Disneyland pictures, plus I am all of a sudden five movie reviews behind all over again (what did that take, like a week?), and we all know how this works by now, don't we?

So here's a quick laugh - while the family was out at a joint birthday dinner for my father and I last week, I discovered I had received three text messages in quick succession from a number I do not recognize. It was not intended for me, unless I am doing things of which I am not aware.

The three texts constituted a single long message, which, as a public service, I now reprint for you:

"What time r u off? U obviously dont give a shit about me. Why should i care if u get fired. Im fucking homeless too. But u have 20 dudes to sleep with. If we sleep not sex together tonight I wont give a shit about money. I just want us back together. Ill be waiting when u get off. Please bring a water out. Im not leaving."

Why do I feel like I just got a peek into an amazing story? Or is amazing the word I'm looking for?

Nicholas Thurkettle [userpic]

Well, what could I do but prove to my donors that I was putting their generosity to good use?


Okay, so there isn't much there yet, but I am still learning to navigate. My next goal is to sort out how I am going to handle the blog publishing side. My goal is to be able to still give you guys the LiveJournal blog you know and love, while duplicating un-filtered entries over there for the public at large to enjoy. I intend to get the whole movie review archive up and running over there - the Blogspot duplicates have been quietly generating GoogleAd traffic for me for years without my even needing to advertise them; time to bring that eyeball-attracting potential home.

Obviously the simplest way to do that is to just double-post, but I am hoping I can configure some widget to handle it for me. Investigations will proceed. Once that's accomplished, I will probably just go fully Friends Only on this journal, direct others to the website, and only add to the Friends list here once I have gotten to know people.

I am excited.

Nicholas Thurkettle [userpic]

From Wikipedia:

"Coital cephalalgia: Also known as "sexual headaches", coital cephalalgia is a rare type of severe headache that occurs at the base of the skull before orgasm during sexual activity, including masturbation. The pain usually moves from the base of the skull through the head towards the frontal lobes. Extremely severe and sharp pain behind the eyes is also a symptom. The headaches usually have an immediate onset, with some gradually worsening during intercourse and others (referred to as "explosive headaches") occurring almost instantaneously at the moment of orgasm. These headaches typically last for a few minutes to a few hours, although it is possible for such headaches to last up to a few days."

If that isn't enough to make an atheist out of you, I don't know what is.

Nicholas Thurkettle [userpic]

Big Fan
: Robert Siegel
Writer: Robert Siegel
Producers: Elan Bogarin, Jean Kouremetis
Stars: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Corrigan, Michael Rapaport, Marcia Jean Kurtz, Gino Cafarelli, Matt Servitto, Jonathan Hamm

After each solemn boom of the bell in the tower he shakes a little toy noisemaker or rattle as if to express the tiny spasm of man in contrast to the sustained power and dignity of the Almighty.” – The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams

Every man is the hero of his own story. He has a cause, a worthy prize to seek, and a nemesis. Paul Aufiero (Patton Oswalt) is a devoted fan of the New York Giants of the National Football League. If the fan’s mission is to provide, through devotion and exclamation, a launching pad of positive karma for the home team, he would blast his all the way to the championship himself if he could. And his personal role in the great tapestry of fandom is to defend his beloved G-Men against the taunts of “Philadelphia Phil” (Michael Rapaport), a fan of division rival Philadelphia Eagles. They spar nightly on the radio during a late call-in sports show, and “Paul from Staten Island” spends most of his shifts as a parking lot attendant carefully scripting his rants in preparation.

Paul’s family despairs for his life. He is in his late 30’s, lives in a small room in his mother’s house, and makes no apparent effort to court success, independence, or a mate. His day begins when he catches the bus for work, and it ends in his single bed with his nightly engagement in the practice euphemistically called “interfering with one’s self”. All this changes on Sundays in the fall, when he and his best friend Sal (Kevin Corrigan) are called to their sacred duty to worship the Giants, and scorn fate, their opponents, the surely-biased referees, and any other force denying them their rightful glory.

You will think I am silly to speak in such grandiose terms – but the point is that Paul is a man who is, seemingly, entirely fulfilled with his seemingly-sad existence, because he has constructed it in such a way that gives him a heroic and necessary role. He has a place in the world. It asks something of an audience not to judge the particular pillars on which a person has built their world, like Paul’s in Big Fan. But through this small but effective dramedy, the viewer understands that one of the greatest cruelties in life is to have one of the pillars, whatever they are, knocked out.
Greek mythology is full of stores about mortals who spy on Gods – and the violent misfortune that usually follows.Collapse )

Nicholas Thurkettle [userpic]

I've made a decision.

I keep a lot of lists. Lists of movies to see, lists of rollercoasters to ride, lists of stories to write; I make lists and then review and procrastinate about them. One list in particular I am adept at making excuses about. It is the list that answers the question of why I never have business cards to give out at events.

The answer is that, before I get good business cards, there are other steps in the list to complete.

I have long intended to build a personal webpage, and move or at least re-post my blog there. This way I can build a web presence for applying for crew jobs, for making announcements about developments in my career - hell, just to build some Google-able credibility should I ever decide to put together an independent screenwriting class to raise a little money.

And eventually, this site would host the short films that I intend to make. That would be a lot easier to attract crew for - if I had business cards. That would direct people to a website. You start to see how it all lays out.

But even that $20-or-so startup investment to register a domain is an expense I have avoided. You have heard enough of my laments about my monthly bills versus my monthly income. I live with a narrow margin. But this list lays out a series of important long-term investments that, once begun, are really not as awful as I let myself think. It's sure cheaper than buying a Quiznos franchise, isn't it?

So here is my decision - any money donated to this blog through my PayPal account, I pledge not to use it on bills, meals, DVDs, or anything personal. Whatever money finds its way there, I will use to a) build a website, b) invest in the tools (web-publishing platform, new cheap laptop computer, etc.) that will expand my on-line professional profile, and then c) make short films that will feature on that website.

That's my pitch, Jimmy. You get to be a patron of the arts.

Nicholas Thurkettle [userpic]

That's the detail that gets me. I have felt no desire to write about the death of Michael Jackson, but sometimes the story just starts writing itself. I imagine this scene - a doctor and a man; the man pleading for six hours straight for a drug. The doctor stays up all night with him, hour by hour putting an encyclopedia full of other drugs into his system, but not that one. The man says he cannot sleep without it, it is his milk. Who is the doctor to deny his patient what he needs? Who better than the man to know if he can sleep or not, if he is in pain or not?

There's nothing black-and-white about medicine like this. Any man, even a man with an MD, would find his confidence in his own judgment battered by six hours of agonized begging. And did I mention the doctor is being paid $150,000 a month, and being jetted around the world, to act as the man's personal physician? That money isn't so he'll tape the man's ankle up for a dance rehearsal.

We know that if you are rich (in money or in friends), there are a different set of rules in this country. You're not even supposed to have propofol outside of a hospital - yet no one is interested in the question of how he got it. The money wanted it, the money got it. He called it his milk. I was talking about this around the breakfast table with my father, reiterated my belief that any rich person's drug-related death is essentially a suicide. My father agreed: "Suicide by doc," he called it.

I remember reading Marsha Norman's 'night Mother in college, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a woman preparing for her suicide, and explaining her reasons to her mother as she does. Even just reading it pummeled me; it was so decided and inexorable, I felt dread through the last page and all night afterward. What a two-person play this last night in Jackson's life was - I don't think that doctor needs to go to jail. He'll spend the rest of his life remembering his starring role.

Nicholas Thurkettle [userpic]

Inglourious Basterds
: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Producers: Lawrence Bender
Stars: Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard, Jacky Ido, B.J. Novak, Omar Doom, August Diehl, Denis Menochet, Sylvester Groth, Martin Wuttke

Every movie that Quentin Tarantino makes is a love letter to the movies; going all the way back to when Mr. Blonde punctuated a standoff with “I bet you’re a big Lee Marvin fan, aren’t ya?” It’s likely impossible any of us not afflicted with his particular savant-hood could ever be summoned to the state of bouncing jabbering geekstasy which inspires him to these genre orgies, movies of careening tone and color he somehow holds together with sheer manic fervor. But you can sure sense him hoping we will get that same high.

His urgent desire to both articulate to and provide for us the bark-at-the-moon joy movies provide him leads to one act of daring after another in Inglourious Basterds, an experience astounding in so many ways you are not likely to even notice on just one viewing. Who else but Tarantino would not only imagine using the cinema as a literal weapon of mass destruction; but get the audience cheering for the characters doing it?

Not only does he do this, not only does he provide a feast of laughs, shocks, blisses, vulgarities, and cult culture dog whistles, he asks the question so subversive it would not even occur to serious directors: why can’t a movie re-write the ending of World War II? If that movie screen is meant to catch the whims of our imagination, what’s wrong with letting it display a punk revenge fantasia that supplies a blood simple solution to the problem of Nazism? In our dirty places, we have to admit, it’s a hell of a lot more satisfying than The Reader.
…the romance of its higher forbearers, and the horror-show splatter of its meaner.Collapse )

Nicholas Thurkettle [userpic]

World’s Greatest Dad
: Bobcat Goldthwait
Writer: Bobcat Goldthwait
Producers: Howard Gertler, Ted Hamm, Richard Kelly, Sean McKittrick, Tim Perell
Stars: Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore, Henry Simmons, Evan Martin, Tony V., Mitzi McCall

It struck me, during the endless paroxysms of media triggered by the death of Michael Jackson, how so many of the people on camera were essentially congratulating themselves over feeling so deeply about his demise. I am equally sure they were congratulating themselves on their taste when they bought his albums, and congratulating themselves on their virtue when, during his life, they hounded, condemned, and insulted him.

There is a breed of comedian – and I am thinking of people like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin – who realize a secret to what they do. Many become joke tellers to be liked, but what they don’t understand is that they still aren’t liked, the audience just likes themselves for laughing. The good comedian recalls he is still a misfit, and the audience is always ready to chase him into a burning windmill if he should cease to entertain; or worse still, tell them the real truth about themselves.

“Bobcat” Goldthwait has successfully lurked around the entertainment industry, prodding peoples’ comfort zones and stirring up laughs at the edge of the spotlight, for well over two decades. He acted in three Police Academy movies, opened for Nirvana (imagine trying to get laughs out of that crowd), directed over 200 episodes of Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show, and once set Jay Leno’s Tonight Show guest chair on fire. You learn a few things about audiences in a career like that, and I think those lessons live in the heart of World’s Greatest Dad, a movie about a lie that brings shallow people ecstasy, and the liar who hates himself for pleasing them.
… overwhelmed by tears when staring at, of all things, a rack of porno magazines.Collapse )

Nicholas Thurkettle [userpic]

So I just turned in the second of the two webisode scripts. And I have just been informed that the producer wants me to direct them as well.

Going to be an interesting autumn, Jimmy.


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