I did the first page of the new Boschen and Nesuko chapter yesterday and it wasn't easy. Which was frustrating, mainly because it didn't make sense for it to be difficult. I mean, I was a good boy and finished the script on Wednesday, storyboarded the first four pages on Thursday, so ought to have been sitting pretty for Friday. But I think I was sick or something.
I was strangely tired and was brained by the dinner I had with my parents and sister at Olive Garden. All that pasta seemed to weigh me down. In the middle of the day I'd had a pretty easy time with the first two panels, which I thought were gonna be the most difficult, and then after dinner I was struggling to put down one line after another for what ought to have been easy panels.
I will say this, though--yesterday was a peculiarly good day for hands. Some days, no matter how many times I erase and start over, pore over photographs and look at my own hand, I can't manage the hand shapes I want. But yesterday, hands were my bitch. Seemed I could make them do anything I wanted which, come to think of it, may merely mean my perception was fucked.
I actually, honest to goodness, gave up halfway through inking the damn thing. Which is like stopping at the 87% mark. I couldn't help it; I felt like there were tons of dishonest lines.
I asked myself what I felt like doing and realised I simply wanted to lie around and watch a movie. I started watching Hellboy but realised what I really wanted was to see a movie I hadn't seen. What I wanted was fresh discourse with an artwork, which, I realised last night, is absolutely vital to my existence.
So I put in High Noon. I liked it a lot. Definitely my favourite Gary Cooper performance so far, although I still don't think I'm appreciating in him what I'm supposed to be appreciating. He usually seems to me just timid and sort of lifeless. I mean, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda had the thing where they could pull back into a kind of bashfulness but, unlike Cooper, they could also spike up into focused passion. That's the thing--Cooper never seemed like he could focus.
His performance in High Noon was helped a little by the fact that he actually had a bleeding ulcer at the time, so there was an extra bit of honest, wincing pain on his face. But mostly, he was merely good enough. Which may've been best in the movie about an ugly, hot, hopeless day in a shoddy little town. Grace Kelly was also a wonderful presence, kind of a good counterpoint of anachronism with her perfect prettiness and accent.
I saw Howl's Moving Castle on Thursday, which was better than Roger Ebert's review had made it out to be. Sure, it wasn't as innovative as Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away. But it was a nice, plain, decent fantasy.
What sort of fantasy? Well, if you have to be an old woman, what would be the best way you could image being one? Perhaps where you're only an old woman because of a curse--you're really young and beautiful--you live in a beautiful wilderness, but can magically reach any shop quickly, and helping you is an obedient and cute little boy who seems to serve no other purpose than being cute and obedient. And also, there's a gorgeous, powerful young man living with you and falling in love with you.
So maybe there's a bit of indulgence in this story. But that's okay. I mean, how many fantasy stories do we have glamorising young manhood? This was kind of a neat change of pace.