Friday, July 14, 2006

Brief Life Update No. 4: Work Work Work

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. - So I haven't updated much this past week, partly because I've been getting more matinee (day) shifts at Megamovies, partly because I've tried to catch up with movie-watching at nights, and partly because I haven't been much in the mood to update. Strangely enough, I have a very light schedule---too light for my liking; I'll get to that in a bit---coming up this coming week, so I might be updating a bit more...if I feel like it.

Today I had a matinee shift, but they put me at the much less busy East Box Office. And after about three hours of occasional bits of business followed by long dull stretches, the manager on duty today decided to spare me and send me home early.

This is not the first time this has happened; this usually happens to me whenever I'm placed at the East Box Office during the day. I guess I should be happy about going home early, but at the same time...I wanna earn money, you know.

The manager told me that he would talk to Mr. Brady, the guy who does the scheduling, and suggest that anyone he decides to put at the East Box Office in the future should perhaps come in at, say, 2 p.m. instead of the morning and let that person stick around until around 9:30 or 10 p.m., when the Brunswick Square Mall closes. It sounds like a good idea to me, and hopefully Mr. Brady will be receptive to the idea, although, since I guess a 2-10 p.m. shift straddles both matinee and evening hours, I wonder if it would pose a problem for him scheduling-wise somehow.

By the way, it's $6.50/hr. like I originally thought. It's less---rock-bottom minimum wage, $6.15 an hour. Whoopee.

I'm also considering whether I should consider continuing this during the school year somehow. I know someone at Megamovies who only works one or two days on the weekend. I wonder if Mr. Brady would allow me to do something like that in the future. That said, because of my projected new duties as Inside Beat film editor, I'd probably not be able to work Sundays, at least during the day. And what about future movie reviews? I'd need the Saturday to see a film and then write about it. So I'm not sure how flexible I could actually be during school weekends. Well, I still have time to figure that shit out.


New Pulse article here! It's ostensibly about this series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), but actually it's more about Alfred Hitchcock's eternal classic Psycho and what makes it not just an effective horror thriller, but a deeply disturbing look into the madmen in all of us. I saw the film again on DVD recently in preparation for the article, and I really noticed a lot of new things this time around, especially Hitchcock's framing. In the scene where Norman Bates talks to Marion Crane just before she steps into that fateful motel shower, I couldn't help but notice the way the stuffed birds in the room were framed to look as if they were looking directly at Norman, wings spread, ready to swoop in at any moment. (Those stuffed birds certainly don't look harmless to me!) Many of the shots in that one scene are framed with a bird either right behind a character or to the right of the character, I think often out of focus. (Notice Marion's last name, too---"crane." Not sure if I've figured out how that fits in with Hitchcock's scheme of things, but it's an interesting touch.) Alfred Hitchcock really was more than merely the "Master of Suspense," and it'd be a great disservice to his art if people simply looked at his films from a technical standpoint, because classics like Psycho, Rear Window and especially Vertigo have a lot more to offer than mere skillful suspense craftsmanship.


odienator said...

Your title makes me think of Governor LePetomane's line in Blazing Saddles: "Work work work work, hello boys!"

I've actually been to MegaMovies, believe it or not. You might have been there, but of course, at the time I didn't know you. You might have sold me my ticket, even, and probably gave me the Kenji face of shame because I went to see something awful.

Interesting Pulse article about Psycho. All the birds were a sneak preview of Hitch's next movie. Additionally, I wrote a small piece on Psycho from a psychoanalytic criticism piece for my grad comm class last year, and that addresses some of the images and themes in Psycho (the cop, for example).

kenjfuj said...


Well I only started working at Megamovies about three weeks ago; dunno if you've been to the theater any time in the past three weeks.

The cop in Psycho is interesting: with those sunglasses and seemingly ordinary manner of talking, he struck me as a police cop made abstract---the fear (and perhaps guilt?) we feel around the police made universal. Or so it seems to me. What did you say about that in your essay?

I really did appreciate this film a lot more this time around, since I tried to look at it in a different way than the other times I've seen it: on a visual and symbolic level rather than simply as a horror film or a thriller. Amazing. And you're right, all the birds in Psycho probably do anticipate his The Birds (I should probably revisit that one too in the near future).