remember in middle school when your social studies teacher showed you nanook of the north? and you briefly fell in love with eskimoes, if only for nothing more than the fact that you loved saying the words, "nanook of the north?" well, here's a film for you that takes that thrill to a whole new level. without giving anything away, the fast runner is about the rivalry between two inuit families. in one family are two handsome brothers, amaqjuaq the older one, and atanarjuat the younger, and also the main character. in the other family belongs the leader of the village, along with his children, son oki and daughter puja. oki has been arranged to marry atuat, but atuat loves atanarjuat. in a physical strength challenge that involves punches to the head while all their family members sit around and watch, oki ends up losing atuat to atanarjuat. that's where things get interesting.

the movie is shot in inuit time, which after seeing the movie means the pace is very slow compared to standard hollywood films. the movie itself is almost three hours long. it's shot slow enough that sometimes it feels like i'm watching a documentary and learning about inuit customs by watching them go about their daily lives. and interspersed between these long scenes of documentation is where the story actually takes place. a lot has been said about the cinematography of the movie, the great white north, barren icy landscapes as far as the eyes can see. sometimes you can't even find the horizon, land and sky becoming one. what i found interesting was even in such a desolate environment, where the people who live here seem so alien on the surface, once you enter their lives and see their stories, you realize right away that the human condition is universal, and emotions such as happiness, sadness, jealousy, angry, betrayal, revenge, happens everywhere. though they seem so different from us, they are underneath it all just the same. and that's the lesson i take from this film.

the actor who plays atanarjuat, natar ungalaaq, he has such a kind and interesting face. throughout all the bad things that happen to him in the movie, he continues to go down the path of goodness. and he doesn't seem to be alone. the portrayal of the inuits in the film is that they are all good people. i suppose when you're living in such an extreme climate, people look out for one another, and don't have time for pettiness.

i love those inuit hunting goggles! first time i saw them in the movie i was taken aback, because they seem so modern and trendy, but it makes sense that they'd wear some sort of eye protection so they don't get snowblind from spending all that time surrounded by nothing but whiteness.

it was an interesting film, but it might not be for everyone. you have to be really patient with the movie, and let the inuit culture slowly seep in. i don't necessarily agree that it's the masterpiece that a lot of critics have been making this movie out to be, but it does have an uplifting message about the human spirit, whether its striving to do good in the face of evil, or our will to survive.

being unemployed sort of puts a damper on social events. having to pay a mortgage while unemployed is even more of a damper. not to say that i'm confined to my house until the bright skies of gainful employment peeks through the dark i-have-no-job clouds, but i find myself gravitating towards anything that's free or cheap, more so than usual. so it's under these conditions that i went to kendall cinema this morning to see the matinee showing of the fast runner, the hot new inuit movie that's currently sweeping independent film nation. instead of buying an inflated priced soda at the theatre, i opted for the cheaper convenience store bought variety of favorite drink. being back in kendall square was weird. even though i was just here yesterday, it felt like i haven't been here in a long time, everything seemed strange to me somehow, like i was looking at things in brand new light. it is my sincerest hope not to come back to kendall square very often in the near future. it feels awkward being back here, i guess i identity the station too much with my previous job, and right now i don't want to be reminded.

when i came out from the mit bookstore with my contraband beverage, dan was already waiting outside. he's been consistly on time lately while i've been consistly late. when did i become the late guy? i never use to be the late guy. i use to be the guy who always gets there too early.

at the theatre, we were behind this elderly couple buying tickets for the fast runner as well. the husband was trying to validate his ticket but the validation machine ate it up, and he was voicing his concerns loudly off on the side, while the ticket seller tried to both sell tickets and coach the husband on how to get his ticket out of the malfunctioning machine. although i didn't buy the theatre coke, i did get the theatre popcorn, a medium, no butter, heavily salted (i love powdered popcorn salt) with a touch of sugar (real sugar, not nutrasweet). kendall cinema also has a special popcorn spice rack (try cheddar cheese! cajun! barbecue!), but after sniffing a few containers, i went with my usual instead of something fancy.

the movie was long, almost 3 hours, and when it was over, it felt like most of my day went along with it. afterwards, dan and i parted ways, our next scheduled movie appointment this monday. i returned to belmont, where i basically lounged around the house, watched the red sox game in bed, faded in and out of consciousness to check up on the score, and when the game was over (red sox lost), i turned off the television and took a nap.

after dinner, i went with my mother and sister to the expo in burlington, that home furnishing division store of home depot. unfortunately we got there too late, they close at 8pm on saturdays, so we opted for a little bed bath & beyond action instead, to see what items i'd need for the new house. i didn't buy anything but made a mental checklist. it's funny, but bed bath & beyond has a way of making you want to buy stuff you never thought you needed. we stayed until the store closed, the only thing i got was some grease removal foam that i'm going to use on the never-maintained kitchen stove and oven. by the time i'm through sprucing up the house, i will be a cleaning expert.

the remainder of my quiet evening got a little bit more exciting when i heard this strange noise outside that sounded like something breaking. i quickly raced outside to take a look, and i saw this large 10+ feet long broken tree branch across the lawn and the driveway. my mind immediately though, "who the hell dumped this tree branch in front of the house?" but then i realized it had broken off from the tree by itself, helping by the rain and the wind tonight. we were lucky that my father was at the cafe buffing the wooden floors, otherwise the branch would've probably smashed up the rear of the ford explorer. i tried pulling the branch onto the lawn just to get it out of the way, but it was too heavy to drag. i got the pruning saw and started removing lesser branches from the main branch. everytime i'd get to the end of my cut, i'd hear this crack and the branch would tear itself off under its own weight. finally, with the branches disassembled, i was able to drag all the pieces onto the lawn. monday morning i'll call the town highway department to have them come by and remove the branches.