Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Night at the Movies

A Tad Icky

The past three Mondays B and I have gone to the movies. Not to see schlocky multiplex-in-a-mall blockbusters with phony-looking CGI (how I hate CGI and multiplexes), but to see indy films that are sadly ignored. B tracks these small films, waiting for them to hit Portland; otherwise I'd probably never know about them either.

A few weeks ago we saw a documentary called Man on Wire about a guy--a French guy--who managed to string a cable between the World Trade Towers in New York City and then walk across the cable from one tower to the other. This was back in the early '70s, shortly after the twin towers were built. He walked back and forth between them a number of times before police, responding to a complaint officially registered as "man on wire," finally were able to convince him to get off the wire. They promptly arrested him for, I think, disturbing the peace or for disorderly conduct. They had no sense of humor or wonder about the whole thing. As the guy himself (sorry I don't remember his name right now*) said what he did was "impossible." It really was. He was something like 1400 feet up. There was no net. Just imagine how strong the wind was up there at the top of the twin towers and how unsteady the cable must have been. The amount of planning and intrigue and subterfuge involved is mind-boggling, too. A truly fascinating study of a guy who absolutely marched to the beat of a different drummer. Even as a kid he rode all around Paris on a unicycle wearing a top hat and dressed all in black. That's the type of guy he was.

Last week we saw Frozen River, which may have won some awards at Sundance or some similar film festival.** I recommend it very highly. It's not a documentary, but I have a feeling it hits pretty close to the truth of what it's like to live below the poverty line and, for example, to have to buy gas for the car two dollars at a time, because that's all the cash you have at the moment. Without giving too much away, it's about a middle-aged white woman with two children who lives in a broken-down trailer near the Canadian border. She has a dead-end job at a dollar store. Then an opportunity presents itself for her to make some pretty big money working, somewhat acrimoniously, with a young Mohawk woman, doing something dangerous and illegal. I won't say what it is. I know I haven't made it sound very intriguing, but take my word for it--it's excellent and possibly the best movie I've see this year. And see it on the big screen if you can. OK. I think all movies should be on seen on the big screen, but this one especially. It's still playing in Portland at the Laurelhurst and maybe the Academy, too.

We're off to see Tell No One tonight, a French thriller. I know nothing else about it except that it's supposed to be good and that it's playing at the Hollywood Theatre--one of Portland's theatres that is dear to my heart, despite the fact that most of the seats are a tad icky (you have to watch out for sprung springs and unidentifiable schmutz on the floor [and sometimes on the seats themselves--see photo above]). But no matter. The screens are huge, the audience is small, the price is right ($4), and they get movies that play nowhere else and that often don't get released on DVD.

But first we must walk down to the Laurelwood Public House or a pint of hoppy ale and some pretty good nachos.

I must say going to the movies (and drinking beer either before, during, or after) makes Mondays a lot more palatable.***

*I could look it up, I guess, but I'm that lazy.
**I could look this up, too.
***Sorry this is such a hasty and poorly crafted post.



Post a Comment

<< Home