Gary Oldman in True Romance.
One of my favorite performances of all time.
All time.

Oh, there are the scenes between Hopper and Walken, between Arquette & Gandolfini, Gandolfini & Pitt . . . “Conden-send to me Mother Fucker,” . . . scenes to live for. Literally. And then there’s Val in the bathroom. But Gary’s performance is my favorite. Of all time. All movies.

True Romance is the first movie I saw during the first 24 hours after I touched down in Los Angeles for the first time ever. We saw Prince & his entourage exiting the theater from the previous show. He sauntered his platforms right into a long black limo & rode away. We were in line for seats licking ice cream cones trying to act like we weren’t watching him. Then we saw this gem, gem, gem of a movie. It’s no wonder I moved here 8 months later and haven’t left.

Anyway . . . Enough quotes from What’s On TV Right now, here’s a glance at how Vacation: Day One started out before I got mesmerized with Drexl for the 46th time.

Day One is going to be hard to top.

Started out w/ the cleaning. (The cleaning of the apartment). Had one of Andy’s super mix CDs to scrub by. The man is gifted.

Picked up M&D mid-day. We headed to the Skirball. I had been there once before to see Judd Apatow in conversation with Amy Heckerling, but had never been through the exhibitions. A sweet surprise was encountering photos by Judy Gelles. You can see a few of them here. But her site doesn’t do the exhibit justice.

The permanent Skirball installation, “Visions & Values . . .” is exquisite. I’m looking forward to going back and spending more time absorbing it.

But today we went to see Of All the People in All the World. Um. Wow? Wow!

I never would have heard about this exhibit if it weren’t for Skirball’s blurb on NPR. I’m so grateful my ears were tuned in at the right moment.

” . . . . more than fifteen tons of rice-900 million grains total, equaling the population of the Americas-organized to bring local, national, and global statistics to life. Artists from the innovative British theater company Stan’s Cafe will carefully weigh and pile the staple food to quantify a variety of facts, from the serious and sobering to the lighthearted. Each grain of rice represents one individual. From the few women ever elected to the U.S. Senate to the multitudes who eat at McDonald’s daily to the Southland residents who walk to work, the statistics portrayed will create an evolving landscape of rice, as the artists dismantle old piles and measure out new ones, often in response to the artists’ interactions with visitors.”

Of All The People In All The World (Stan’s Cafe)

And they blog.

Just a small fraction of the statistics covered:

  • (Number of) People in the United States
  • (Number of) People in the city of Los Angeles
  • (Number of) People who drive to work alone in Los Angeles
  • (Number of) People who walk to work in Los Angeles
  • (Number of) People who ride the bus to work in Los Angeles
  • (Number of) Soldiers in the U.S. Armed forces in 1945
  • (Number of) Soldiers in the U.S. Armed forces in 2007
  • (Number of) Grandchildren living with Grandparents on Los Angeles
  • (Number of) People who have walked on the moon
  • The range of topics flows from immigration (starting in the 1600’s) to Civil Rights, from Iraq to the Holocaust, from sporting events to health care, from natural disasters to plastic surgery.

    Part of what’s so cool is the purposeful positioning of one fact next to another. For example:

    (Number of) People who live in gated communities in the U.S.
    is right next to a seemingly equally large pile labeled, (Number of) People living in prisons in the U.S.

    (Number of) People married this year in Los Angeles next to Elizabeth Taylor, her husband, and her former husbands.

    (Number of) Children between the ages of 10 and 14 in Los Angeles [more than 255,000] next to what looks to be an equal pile representing (Number of) Child soldiers in the world.

    It goes on and on. Hopefully I haven’t done a disservice by trying to describe it. It was one of those experiences I wish I could box up and mail to everyone I know. Or just everyone period.

    A genius framework for the whole exhibit is the bowl of rice at the entrance where guests (participants?) are invited to take a single grain of rice to represent him or herself. So as you’re looking at a six foot by six foot pyramid of granules piled up to your thighs, with a sign that says “PEOPLE IN SOUTH AMERICA WHO LIVE ON LESS THAN $2 PER DAY”, you’re holding a grain of rice between your thumb and index finger. You’ve got your life in your hand – a little nub sandwiched between your fingers – while you look at the piles of other lives & circumstances.

    As I commented at the exhibit’s blog: my mother dropped “herself” somewhere along the way, I broke “myself” in half by accident & my father returned “himself” to me at the end of the journey.

    Ruth, 38, Los Angeles, USA