Friday, October 20, 2006

Travel to Santa Barbara

in a plane, to the US. First Class on Continental Airways is quite extrodinary, and always has been in my experience. Sometime back in 1999 I got an upgrade to US domestic first class, from LA to the East Coast. What a huge legroom! I believe it is longer than any other airline first class. But that comes at a cost of the Economy class: when a few months later I flew Continental Economy US domestic, I noticed how small the distance between the seats was - the knee bumed against the previous seat.

A great meal, and I watched movies on the video-on-demand system: "Click", with Adam Sandler, followed by "A Scanner Darkly". The latter movie was a dark depiction of drug addiction in the future. Unfortunately, I dozed off for about 1/2 hour while it was running on that little TV monitor in front of me, so it appeared even more surrealistic to me than intended, since I lost the string of action somewhat. But nevertheless, I would recommend it: it is in cartoon style, but filmed as a real movie, then with some "posterisation" effect (reduction of colors) made to look as if drawn as a cartoon. Quite disturbing from its content...

And then "The Maltese Falcon". I have watched this movie numerous times, on TCM (Turner Classic Movies), and even once in a movie theatre (in West Hollywood, Fairfax Avenue, summer 2000). But I keep forgetting what it is about and how it ends, so everytime I watch it, it seems new to me. It is so stylish, in its "film noir" theme and its seemingly pointless chase of that Falcon. Stereotypes of characters which shaped the career of actors (Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet), paving the way for the ultimate film noir "Casablanca". I could not miss that treat to watch that film again, probably for the thousandth time. (And it did not matter that I again fell asleep for a few minutes, as the sleep deprevation slowly caught up with me).

In Los Angeles, I had rented a car from Fox Rent A Car - they had the cheapest car rentals, starting at $15 per day. I splurged a bit and spent $20 per day - for a PT Cruiser! In the shuttle from the airport to the rental location, every car renter said that they had never heard before from this Fox company, but that they were quite thrilled about the inexpensive price.

At 11:00pm I arrived in Santa Barbara.