Friday, February 27, 2004

And Give It Did

Nancy Myers’ Something’s Gotta Give is a delightful film about love in the latter years, starring Diane Keaton as a successful but romantically stuck-up playwright, and Jack Nicholson as a rich bachelor who’s into younger female thangs.

I’m not one who’s normally first-in-line when it comes to romantic comedies. These films just ain’t my cup of tea unless there’s someone in the cast worth watching. (I saw Notting Hill because of the Brit slant, not because of Julia.) And in this film, it was Diane Keaton, a very capable actress who gives her role in this Hollywood lovey flick the proper depth despite the film’s genre. Despite my not having seen most of this year’s Oscar Best Actress noms, I’d say that Keaton deserved the recognition.

Jack Nicholson appeared the total jerk here, but you can’t help but feel for his character as the film progresses. An A+ devilishly charming guy with a human heart. The chemistry between him and Keaton is wonderful to behold, and I must admit that I felt giddy for them both. It helped a lot that the writing was top notch, with a lot of witty banter that’s not too high to go over your head. Because of this, the sudden Hollwoody feel-good denouement was forgiveable.

Aw, heck, I was totally super-duper kilig with this movie!! For most of the film, I’ve been fighting the urge to dissolve. The last time this ever happened to me was with The American President (Michael Douglas, Annette Benning), and yet that old film couldn’t match the melt-factor of Something’s Gotta Give. Keanu Reeves was totally un-Neo here, and it’s safe to say that he’s still got what it takes to make an audience swoon with girlish delight.

What an apt title for this movie. ‘Cause if there was something that gave in Something’s Gotta Give, it was me.

My Rating: 8.5 stars

Reengineering Brain Activity

The situation at work has been great, with a veritable flood of projects coming in, keeping everyone on their toes and productive. I’m aghast with disbelief over the number of current duties in queue, and I’ll be one with many-a-conviction that having lots of projects is a good problem. And it is. But this flurry of activity has prompted me to do some systems reengineering as far as our three-man design section is concerned.

I’ve noticed that chunks of my already depleting brain cells have been evaporating by the day, resulting in more frequent bouts of forgetfulness and, sometimes, stupidity. Thank the Lord God that nothing majorly ugly has set in. Activity bursts have been happening at work since the last quarter of 2003 with no signs of letting up. We’ve managed to hold our own in the interim, but still, the advent of chaos looms, and the threat needs to be dealt with right away.

This is the challenge posed by being one who is tasked to supervise and initially oversee the work of two designers of varying degrees of skill and, at the same time, do designing and coordinating work from start to finish. On the design side, the need to continuously outdo oneself creatively adds to the pressure. It’s no ball given the extent of my resumé, but it’s got that tinge of excitement in its urgency.

The task is to reexamine our processes and thereafter further streamline the system of our section. To lessen unnecessary pauses in the workflow and be more expedient in accomplishing things. In turn, to increase the amount of time in design development. I’m a bit finicky with these things; though most of our output is generally impressive, I’ll be the first to point out where design output needs to be improved.

Now this ain’t no work of an artist, or a creative, especially when the idea of planning and implementing a paper trail with complementing systems(apart from documenting the basic design procedures) becomes one of the top concerns. A lot of artists simply don’t want to deal with that, and rather focus their energies on being artistic and creative. Just give them the rules and they’ll follow. I’m tasked by necessity through self-imposition to deal with it and it’s no joyride.

But this is the only way to ensure that the design section doesn’t find itself falling into a quagmire, wherein a spurt of growth could lead its implosion, and to promote consistency in the years to come. The worst thing a company can impress upon new employees is the notion that the system is at best crude.

The only disadvantage this whole reengineering has is that it’s taking a toll on my creative writing time. Planning a systems reengineering demands a reengineering of thought processes and a redirection of brain resources. But that’s life; we can’t be everything all the time. We choose our challenges, and right now I’ve decided to focus on this one.

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