Me estás matando Susana

I woke up and watched CBS This Morning chef segment.  Some of Jason Vincent’s signature recipes include Giant’s sweet and sour eggplant, Mollie’s Biscuits, and Whiskey Smash.  Vincent said that if he could share this meal with anyone past or present, it would be Barack Obama.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend.  The Top 10 songs on February 16, 1974 were “Rock On,” “Boogie Down,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Let Me Be There,” “Americans,” “Spiders and Snakes,” “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do),” “You’re Sixteen,” “Love’s Theme,” and “The Way We Were.”  I went out to Target to buy the CDs of Beyoncé and Miranda Lambert, and then I shopped for groceries.  I went to the movie theatre twice.  Early in the afternoon, I went to see the Oscar-nominated animated short films.  Everyone seemed to like “Piper.”  I went home to have lunch and watch an episode of “The Quest” before taking a nap and going back over to the theatre.  A lot of people were there to see “Fences,” but I was there to see “You’re Killing Me Susana.”  My only reason for seeing this movie was that there was going to be a Q&A session with the director Roberto Sneider after the screening.  This was a twisted romantic comedy that reminded me of parts of “That Obscure Object of Desire.”  Gael García Bernal was the immature Eligio, who one day discovers that his wife Susana has disappeared from their home in Mexico City.  He tracks her down to a university in Iowa and sets about bringing her back, only to discover that she has a lover who is a Polish poet.  The scenes in which Eligio deals with the airport security and the cab driver are meaningful in this Trump era.  The movie certainly had its hilarious moments, although Eligio appeared to have a masochistic streak.  Verónica Echegui was the woman who played Eligio’s wife, and she reminded me a bit of Rose Byrne.  Eligio had his crazy moments, like at a shooting range, that were a bit like Robin Williams, but with less of that crazy energy.  The big moment when Eligio seemed stupid enough to lose our sympathy was his speeding down the icy street, which inevitably led to an accident.  I thought the movie became less interesting and less funny as it headed towards its conclusion.  I got tired of this woman.  I thought it was funny to see Gael García Bernal dealing with an unfamiliar and cold setting.  I wouldn’t say that the movie was any better than many other similar comedies, though.  It’s not something that I’m likely to remember for the rest of my life.  As the end credits were still running, Anthony Lucero, the director of “East Side Sushi,” introduced Roberto Sneider to us and starting talking about the movie we just saw.  One of his questions was about the difference between the film and the novel.  Roberto said that the novel focused on Susana’s point of view in the beginning, and then switched to Eligio, but he thought it was better to show how Eligio saw Susana’s disappearance right from the beginning.  Otherwise, the movie followed the book.  Roberto said that the book was published in 1982 and that he read it when he was 18 years old, but I read that he was born in 1962.  Something didn’t add up.  The comments and questions from the audience focused on whether or not Eligio was a jerk, and whether he changed at all over the course of the events in the story.  Did he develop at all, or become more mature?  Roberto liked leaving interpretations up to the audience.  He wanted to keep the character of the Polish poet mysterious, and thus didn’t give him any lines of dialogue at all.  He also compared the ending to the ending of “The Graduate,” which concluded on the uncertain note of where the couple would go.  Roberto also said that the audiences for this movie seemed more or less homogenous in Mexico and more diverse in the United States.  Some American audiences took the film seriously, while others laughed all the way through.  The audience last night seemed somewhere in the middle, although a woman sitting behind laughed uproariously at every joke.  Roberto also discussed the controversy of the spanking scene.  After some of the things that his wife put him through, the spanking did not seem so heinous to me.  The woman behind me kept lavishing praise on Roberto, saying he did a masterful job of using the Spanish and English languages in a comedic way.  I enjoyed spending this bit of time with two film directors.  I was getting tired, though, and I was glad to head home.  I listened to some of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” album, and it was his birthday.  When I returned home, I watched the end of a Star Trek episode which concluded with Spock helping Kirk to forget troubled thoughts about a woman.  The Svengoolie movie was a Japanese monster movie from 1971 with bad dubbed dialogue.  I saw a lot of Jodie Foster on the news.  The A’s got two home runs in their first spring training game, but they lost to the Cubs, 4-3.  I was starting to look forward to the start of baseball season.  I did listen to the first two innings of the game.  Rajai Davis drew a walk and stole two bases in the first inning.  I brought out the Abbey Road album and listened to “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun.”  The night got really cold, and so I was content to just wrap myself up in blankets and go to sleep.  I didn’t want to stay up for the end of that monster movie.  Some of the people who died on February 27 include Frankie Lymon (1968), Lillian Gish (1993), J.T. Walsh (1998), Fred Rogers (2003), Van Cliburn (2013), and Leonard Nimoy (2015).  Today is a birthday for Jeff Smith (57) and Joanne Woodward (87).

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