Desolation Town

We Millionaires

Posted in Cave Paintings by Michael Grace, Jr on December 4, 2008

So I have put off writing about the murder that occured in my childhood hometown because, quite frankly, Thanksgiving and a few days off in a row with my girl has put me in an unusually good mood. I know that contemplating this incident (major news in NY for a few days a few weeks back) will instantly sour it, and I’m not even sure I know what I want to say about it…just that I have something to say.

I went to the movies as part of this sprawling post Thanksgiving ‘date’ and saw Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle, the gent who made Trainspotting. Really good flick. If you haven’t read about, it concerns a lower class indian kid (a “slumdog”) who finds himself on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. It had a kind of “feel good movie of year” buzz in the press, but actually has some really brutal moments, with bracing visual honesty about Indian poverty and despair. It wasn’t the easiest movie to get through, but it pays off, and that’s what matters no?

dontwatchslum I like Danny Boyle. Trainspotting was a probably my favorite movie of 1996, the kind of movie you appreciate more for how it speaks to you/about you than on ‘cinematic’ values alone.  In that way it’s kind of like a good pop song. It said something about “the 90s”, and that was a hard decade to understand whilst you were in it…or now. I remember actually being excited about it coming out, buying the soundtrack…talking about certain scenes with my co-workers at the record store where I pissed the days away for $4.85 an hour. I was only excited on 4 seperate occasions that decade, so that’s actually saying a lot. I  haven’t seen his zombie movie 28 Days Later, despite the fact that I really like zombie movies, and particularly british zombie movies (well at least I chuckled through Shaun of The Dead.) I did see The Ocean, a pretty forgettable drama about trustafarian drifters, I think, that came out a couple years after Trainspotting . Leonardo Di Caprio was in it.


So I would’ve seen it probably just to catch up with Mr. Boyle. But it didn’t hurt that it took place in India, which I’m always interested in. I love the colors associated with India, the Indian flag, painted adverts for old Bollywood films. I really love Indian food. There is something so unique about the cuisine, an originality that comes from a myriad of complex factors. I never look forward to a cold beer quite as much as when it accompanies a spicy curry. I also often find myself poking around the web trying to sort out just what Hinduism is all about, and although that is seemingly an unanswerable question, the search leaves one all the more curious. Heck, I even went to see Darjeeling Express. Oh ok, I went for an equally complex set of factors concerning my aforementioned interest in India, my loathing admiration for the director, a brief conjoined prequel featuring shameful nudity, and the chance to observe a pre-suicidal Owen Wilson being Owen Wilson.


But ultimately I may have gone to see it even if it took place in Kansas. That’s because in moments of economic hardship (in New York that means basically the 3rd through the 31st of every month) I frequently fantasize about landing myself on some game show, particularly Millionaire. It has often been remarked by friends and family that I am in possession of a frightening amount of diversely useless information. It is true. I read the better part of 3 newspapers a day, for no better reason than I always do, whilst eating lunch alone.

Thus I await the final answer. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.


One Response

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  1. aria said, on January 3, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Loved Slum Dog Millionaire, too. The brutality and suffering throughout made what would otherwise be a sappy ending as well-earned as it was lovely. Frost/Nixon is a good one to catch, too.

    Happy New Year, Mr. Grace.

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