Milberg's Blog

Just another site

We were painting leaves green

A really wonderful piece on Badlands and Terrence Mallick, told entirely through quotes.
And every quote paints the brightest picture.

(I had so many thoughts reading this. I felt strangely liberated learning Sheen knew what he knew that day in his Mazda. It seems a rare thing, that kind of clarity in the midst of the now.)

When Terry learned I could twirl, we went straight down to Hollywood Boulevard to a music store and bought a Starline baton. Lo and behold, I was in his back yard twirling my baton, never having imagined that that talent of mine would be useful in any way.

Terry called one night and said, “I want you to play the part.” I had to get up very early the next morning to go to work, and I was driving along the Pacific Coast Highway in a little Mazda. I was listening to a Dylan album I was fond of, and the song “Desolation Row” was playing, and the sun was rising, and it hit me that I was going to play the role of my life. I had been a professional actor since I was eighteen. I was thirty-one, I had four children, I was struggling, doing a lot of television—a lot of bad, silly work just to make ends meet—and I wasn’t having any luck in features to speak of, and here was the part of my life. And I was overwhelmed, and I pulled off to the side of the road, and I wept uncontrollably.

JOAN MOCINE (art department):
He even knew what kind of linoleum he wanted in Sissy’s father’s house.

DOUG KNAPP (best boy):
On days they shot in shady areas, there was almost no lighting to be done. Terry would tell me, “Here, take the camera, go off and have fun! Just get pretty pictures!” He said he was looking for the shape of the land. The cloud cover in Colorado is sparse, and it moves quickly, and if you’re high enough and the land’s irregular enough, you get these patterns of shadow moving across the land.

I remember there were people trying to take advantage of Terry because he’d never done a movie before. They would say, “You can’t do this,” or “There’s not enough light for that.” Terry would say, “I want to do it anyway.”

JACK FISK (art director):
Every time we finished shooting on a location or a set, he would say, “I might come back here and shoot something.” That meant we couldn’t do away with it. We had to maintain it. I remember at the end of the film, it had gotten to autumn and we were painting leaves green, because they had turned color.

DAVID THOMSON (film critic):
They’re a little bit like dogs that attack people and the film says: Well, yeah, dogs attack people sometimes. After all, the dog is close to the wolf and it’s in the breed’s history. Not much you can do about it—of course, you’re gonna have to shoot the dog someday. And the dog sort of knows that.

(tip from Ambrose Heron)


Knock knock

On keeping 22 notebooks.

I’ve been going through my notebooks today. I found 22 semi-active ones and decided it was a few too many. So I looked through them and got rid of stuff that no longer applies, shopping lists bought and consumed, lyrics I know by heart by now, addresses where no one I want to reach can by reached no more.

I have a huge soft spot for notebooks. Cheap, expensive, panda-shaped, colorful, plain.
Which explains why I have so many.

Usually when I flick through them I know exactly what I wrote where and why.
(But sometimes I have no idea. My hand must have been possessed.)

So it’s lyrics, shopping lists and addresses.
It’s also bumper stickers, quotes, thoughts.
Wish lists, book and music tips.
To do lists, appointments and drawings of dogs, trees, my own name in swirls.
The usual stuff.

Here are some of today’s finds.
Some brought me back, some brought tears to my eyes (Yahtzee scores), some brought pink to my cheeks and some made a lot of sense of things.

More than anything though they made me realize I am a sucker for a handwritten note.
And I will always have 22 semi-active notebooks at any given time.

These three are by my friend Kyle. There were loads of them and they made an entire trip we made come tumbling back into my mind.

Thank god for these notes.

Oh are they now.

This is the best thing I have ever read on the subject of notebooks.
By Joan Didion, of course.

Magic Meryl


Another sleepy dusty delta day

Kurt + kitten