I think the house guests are leaving to-day for which I'm glad. I don't hate the guy for having autism, but I miss having time alone in the evenings. I think this has illuminated for me the true, primary reason for my sleeping schedule; as Miss Garbo put it, I want to be alone.
So last night, with the guy, who's name is Justin, who wanted to sit close to me, I watched Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Justin was quiet for the whole movie which makes me wonder how much he understood. Hell, I don't know that autism inhibits comprehension that way. Honestly, I didn't know anything about autism until a few days ago.
When I first met Justin he didn't talk very much so I was compelled to fill the uncomfortable silence with my babbling. Somehow the subject of obsession came up at which point I delivered my standard line, "Obsession's a good thing. I think it's very healthy," said with utter sincerity.
Justin got a vaguely incredulous look on his face and said something about how he had a kind of obsession. "Good!" I said, "That's very good. Very healthy."
Yesterday, I was making myself some lunch when I overheard my grandmother talking on the phone about my aunt, Rumi, "Justin's obsessed with her! He can't go to bed without a hug from her--well it's part of his autism." And I smiled to myself wondering what malignity I may spread in this world. But then again I wondered where this philosophy could go when applied to an actual mental impairment.
So what did I think of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? I think Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, and Sidney Poitier are great actors. I particularly enjoyed Poitier's edgily unpredictable gesticulations. His conversation with his dad, which Roger Ebert is rightfully uncomfortable with, was barely audible for me, fixated as I was on simply watching Poitier move. This is only the second movie I've seen him in and I'm hoping one day I'll actually see him with good material.
For 'twas the three actors that made Guess Who's Coming to Dinner any good. The supporting cast were almost thoroughly awful, especially the gratingly perky Katharine Houghton, Hepburn's real life niece. How Poitier's character could possibly have fallen in love with her is truly mysterious. Then there's the stereotypical catholic clergyman and the stereotypical black woman maid.
Stanley Kramer again shows himself to me merely to be a basically competent, uninteresting director. The best thing you could say about him is that most of the time he's not doing something stupid.
Before the movie, I watched MGM's 1939 cartoon "Peace on Earth", a movie that cheerfully points out that after mankind destroys itself, there shall indeed be plenty of peace on earth. Really lovely, I thought. And great animation, from the cheerful grandfather squirrel to the dying human soldier sinking into the mud.