March 2012 Archives
Yesterday, I finally got the opportunity to see Pina, which I have been waiting for since December. I was not disappointed in the least.
I saw the 2D version, so I couldn't say whether the 3D aspect was used effectively, but I don't really care for 3d, so that was a feature, rather than a bug.
Overall, I thought it was brilliant. I am not a dance connoisseur, modern or otherwise. I had not heard of Pina Bausch until I first saw the trailer for the film. That being said, it really spoke to me. The dance was a constant juxtaposition of the graceful and the awkward, the beautiful and the homely.
The version of The Rite of Spring that basically opened the film was a violently powerful display of sweat and dirt and fear. It set the tone for obvious effort and exertion.
One thing that struck a chord with me was how many of the movements and gestures reminded me of things I do when I'm feeling a little silly. Pina took that silliness and pushed it to the edge, stretched it, exaggerated it, and it became art.
The soundtrack was also a big winner for me. I think it was the use of Jun Miyake's "Lilies in the Valley" in the trailer that first grabbed my attention. It all really worked.
One more thing: I don't know much about Wuppertal, but man, I really want to ride on their tram now. Wouldn't you?
First off, if you ever have the opportunity to try the cheesy pub fries at Laz Bistro and Bar in Stoughton, WI, do not let the moment pass you by. Those are some amazing, tasty chips. However, unless you plan on making a meal of nothing but them, plan to split them with at least one friend. While it may be found in the "tapas" section of the menu, there was nothing "small" about this plate.
Secondly, the Stoughon Opera House is remarkable beautiful venue, both in terms of looks and in sound quality. Even though it was a bit of a drive to get there, I will gladly go again. (And now I am extra sad that the Carolina Chocolate Drops show there last fall sold out before I got tickets. It must have been an astonishing show in that space.)
Finally, even with a hint of laryngitis roughening up her voice, Dar Williams remains as luminous and buoyant as ever. It was an intimate show, just Dar with her guitar and a piano accompanist on some songs. The last few times I'd seen her she had a band along. As nice as the bands were, I definitely prefer her solo (or almost solo) sound. I have always been fond of the way she interacts with the audience and introduces the songs with little stories. It's that kind of thing that gets me to live shows.
She also looked fantastic, and gave me a great idea for what to do with my hair when it gets a bit longer. I think I've always had a tiny girl-crush on her unassuming hippy-goddess rockstar style. She never goes over to top in any direction, but nails it with confidence. Considering her severe stage fright in her early career, it really inspires me.
It was a great night.
Kirby Ferguson, a New York-based filmmaker, created an interesting and engaging 4-part short video series called Everything is a Remix, in which he discusses the process of creativity in which we build on the work of others to make something new, and in turn have our work built upon by others. He also talks about the original intentions of both copyright and patent, and the effect that the modern ideas of intellectual property are having on the process of creativity.
It is well worth a watch. He also has a new project in the works, called This is Not a Conspiracy Theory, which is going to be about politics. I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes with it.
Not practical. Not practical at all. And yet, how fun would it be to have a lovely wall display of your CSA bounty? Perhaps if you were also making sure to eat what you have very regularly. After all, refrigeration is a fairly new concept.
Jihyun Ryou doesn't seem to actually be trying to replace the fridge, so much as to get us to think about the role of technology in our lives, and how we interact with the world around us through that technology. In what ways does it help us, and in what ways does it keep us from connecting with that world.
Non-refrigerated food for thought, as it were.
I guess the poster for Walt made a bit of a stir around the net, as people thought perhaps it was real. I'd certainly go see it, if it slipped out of that alternate universe into ours.
I sing in a large chorus (over 150 people) that performs large works for chorus and orchestra. Over the years, we've sung a number of Requiems. I've developed a fondness for the Dies Irae movements.
Tonight I was thinking about the Dies Irae from the Benjamin Britten War Requiem:
It is anything but comic, yet it reminded me of the type of scene that would appear in a 1930's comedy, like the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup, when characters are sneaking around at night, tiptoeing through the dark, only to have their stealth interrupted by something crashing down.
In this Dies Irae, the chorus is tiptoeing up to Judgement Day, only to have all that wrath come crashing down on them in spite of their best efforts. Voices, brass, and percussion all explode into fortissimo, and nothing is going to stop it.
Needless to say, I really like this piece of music.