Saturday, October 25, 2008

A not-so-silent film review

This evening I donned my new polka-dot blouse, my platform heels and my Audrey Hepburnesque black raincoat, and strolled the three blocks between my apartment and St. Anne's Church to watch the silent version of Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera accompanied by Larry Molinaro on the church's magnificent organ music starting at seven in the evening.
It was quite an experience. I had never seen a silent film on any screen bigger than my computer before so that in itself makes it memorable. For an hour and a half I, and a score of others, sat mesmerized (despite the discomfort of the pews) and entertained by the alternating sepia, black and white, and occasionally the red or blue images on the screen in front of the altar. To call the famous drama a comedy is perhaps a strech, but the composer/accompanies Larry Molinaro swept the story along with the beautiful-yet-not-to-be-taken-too-seriously score which included variations on the cancan and Pick-a-little as well as other famous pieces that I couldn't quite put the name to.
All in all it is the best movie I have seen in a long time due, in great part, to the surround sound and the fact that I haven't been to see a movie since my return to the States.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

On Locales

Everyone knows about Townies and Bumpkins: those particular people who simply cannot live without __(fill in the blank)

a. neon lights shining down on their repose, the gentle lowing of taxi horns and uncontrolled radio decibels, and the company of those so rich that if they were a garden they could feed a small country and can locate planets with their very high noses.


b. crickets (and other creatures far too small to be able to emit sounds at the volume that they do) hosting raves, winds sweeping through the plains and the shutters, and the cracks around the door, a wake-up call performed far too early by the sun, and the company of quadrupeds.

Such categories as City Slicker and Hillbilly are easily defined, and those who fit into them are even easier to spot. But I fit into an entirely different slot. I am a Suburbanite. A Cul-de-sac-ee. One who was born at the end of the asphalt, but could look down the street and see one of the last pairs of horses actually kept within city limits. My family was made for this kind of life. There was the perfect "field" for us to play in, until the builders actually developed that two-acre plot. And there were trees that were climb-able as long as we weighed less than 50 pounds, but really, one shouldn't expect too much from a tree that was only planted twenty years ago. And then there was my family. We were made to live in a neighborhood. Large and friendly, we were absent-minded in that way which necessitates borrowing sugar from the clan next door because no one remembered to put it on the shopping list. The children of the street formed a docile gang whose dangerous activities included playing Uno in the middle of the street or a round of Truth-or-Dare which forced someone near the outhouse the construction workers had been using all month. When we felt particularly edgy, we would attack a house with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. Our logic was that we could trick everyone into thinking that we were innocent if we merely TP-ed one of our own houses. Of course the next morning we would have to clean up our own mess, but we never seemed to mind.
With this sort of background, it is no wonder that I have some trouble adjusting to life downtown. I've learned that between the loud talking or singing stumblers, the high heels on bricks which sound as though an old fashioned horse and cart is walking through my room, and the streetlamp perfectly positioned to shine like a very close and very unfortunately unmoving sun directly in my face, sleeping in the city is a skill. Fortunately my day expired around 2 1/2 hours ago, and so I will have no need to work particularly hard in order to sleep tonight. Right now, actually.