Sunday, March 2, 2008

Neville and the cinematic arts

Neville has had the upper hand these last three days.  I have a lot of things in my arsenal to deal with Neville, but I must use them randomly because Neville adapts.  It feels like I'm engaging The Borg.

Fortunately for me, a couple of distractions have arrived:  The entire series of Blackadder from the library, and The Darjeeling Limited from Netflix.  I'm quickly becoming a fan of Wes Anderson.  I loved The Royal Tennenbaums, and I found Darjeeling to be as wonderful.  Anderson lets the audience discover his characters through visual and verbal clues; both movies are the sort that one watches several times because there are so many subtle things.  You have to pay attention. 

For some reason, after watching The Darjeeling Limited, I was suddenly homesick for the Harvard Exit.  This was my favorite theater when I lived the single life in Seattle.  Housed in an old (supposedly haunted) building on Capitol Hill, the theater hosted terrific film series' like MGM Musicals and Films Of Akira Kurosawa.  They had a Mixed Foreign Film series which included Diva and Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears.  Babette's Feast may have been in there, too.  Three wonderful films.  Foreign films tend to take their time with a story, and the humor comes from the everyday interactions and relationships.  And now I know why I'm homesick for the Harvard Exit.  The Darjeeling Limited is a lot like those foreign films of my movie-going past.

The MGM Musicals series was great fun.  It included Singing In The Rain, which is just about the only movie that makes me laugh out loud.  Every time.  The Seattle Public Library had a book with the choreography for the famous scene where Gene Kelly sings the title song.  The book listed every step of the scene, allowing anyone to learn and perform it exactly as it was in the film.  I checked it out and several of us attempted to learn the routine.  We decided someone would have to be mildly demented to actually accomplish this dance.  The book went back to the library well before its due date.

A friend once told me that he wished his life was like a musical, where people could break out in song any time and nobody would think it strange if he danced in the street.  I agreed with him up to a point, but what if your personal musical was more like West Side Story than The Music Man?

This post has meandered around a bit and not a word regarding Other Natural Curiosities.  Maybe I'll get to those curiosities next time.  Stay tuned.

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