Sylvain Verstricht

MONDAY My favorite waitress is back at Casa del popolo. She’s loud and wildly entertaining. I finish reading Suicide. I go rent 3 Paul Newman movies I’ve never seen. I feel he’s one of the people who helped me figure out I was gay when I watched Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and found myself more attracted to him than to Elizabeth Taylor. He was one of the few celebrities who seemed to have his shit together. He and his wife, actress Joanne Woodward, were married for 50 years (until his death), one of the few long lasting Hollywood couples. He donated all the profits of his food company, Newman’s Own, to charity, which so far has exceeded 200 million dollars. He believed in using one’s celebrity for good, as can be seen in the title of a book he wrote, Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good. He was not afraid to be political and even ended up being #19 on Richard Nixon’s enemies list. He was a supporter of gay rights, including same-sex marriage. He was nominated for 10 Oscars, of which he won one (plus one honorary Oscar and one for his humanitarian endeavors), 11 Golden Globes, of which he won 2 (plus an honorary one and 3 more), and 5 BAFTA Awards, of which he won one. This is only a small portion of all the nominations and awards he has received, which is truly reflective of his talent.

I come back home and make myself some pasta. It’s disgusting, so I throw it out and eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s instead. I finally watch Tsai Ming-liang’s The Wayward Cloud, which I got from Amazon a few months ago. It’s one of his least popular films with critics, but it’s actually really good. It has one of the most powerful endings of any film I’ve ever seen. Yet another artwork from this decade that deals with the ways in which human beings interact nowadays, with little regard for human longing.