Wednesday, July 13, 2011

4-H Club: Hip, Horns & Happy Hour

Imagine having an exquisite experience and then months later seeing it captured on film.

That was my pleasure tonight at the Anderson Gallery's Happy Hour, "Now Showing: Jonathan Vassar and the Speckled Bird with filmmaker Jonathan Dodd."

I met a friend in the garden for beer and wine (oh-so reasonably priced at $2 and $3, respectively) and life advice before the performance began. And what a performance it was!

Dodd's new film "Travelogue" had been shot last year and featured various winter  pastimes, including sled hockey, a sport I hadn't even known existed.

It used footage from his leisurely trip out West. And, most evocatively for me, he included film from the JV & SB performance last October done as a tribute to the departing chimney swifts in Monroe Ward, described here.

As the travelogue unfolded, the band, with the superb addition of Paul Watson on horns, played a soundtrack that took the film to a whole different level, a sentiment echoed by Dodd after the film finished.

It was truly moving. Accordions, guitars, clarinet, xylophone, horns, Jonathan's deep voice and Antonia's soaring vocals made for a soundtrack of breathtaking beauty.

After the sublime experience of having watched the chimney swifts float, fly and descend last Fall, it seemed like a gift to see it all again on film.

And Dodd, being a 21st-century photographer, shot in 35 mm, 16 mm and Super 8, making for a fascinating range of moving images.

It was my friend's first time at an Anderson Gallery happy hour and as we walked out, she was fumbling for words to express how impressed she'd been with what she'd just experienced.

But her sense of humor always comes through in the end.

"I kept thinking someone was going to come in and tell me to leave because I'm not hip enough," she said nonsensically.

But you don't have to be hip to enjoy the beauty of local film and music on a sultry summer evening.

You just have to have eyes and ears and be there.

Or, as Woody Allen put it, "Showing up is eighty percent of life."

Personally, I'm shooting for a perfect score.

No comments:

Post a Comment