Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Going as Far as You Need

And Dash makes four.

As in, Dash, the new restaurant in the middle of VCU is the fourth iteration of a restaurant I've visited in that space.

I also fainted there twice, but I've already told you that old chestnut.

And, I'll give them credit, it's a clean-lined, quick in and out space. although today the staff was sizable and the customer base small since they just opened, and that may have been a factor.

We'll see how speedy it is once the place gets discovered.

Six wines on tap (although no names, just the grapes listed on the paper on the wall, boo, hiss), two kombuchas (it's everywhere!) plus beer, but I chose Boylan Soda root beer and a Louisiana "lobster" roll of spicy crawfish salad on two New England-style split top rolls with a bag of Deep River kettle chips for a side, but only because they don't yet have the apple slaw I really wanted.

A server told me that once the dust settles, they'll have milkshakes and once they master milkshakes, they'll get liquor and then they'll have alcoholic milkshakes.

Oh, happy day, calories and intoxication in one glass! Count me in.

When I left there, it was for Black Iris Gallery again for night two of the pre-festival James River film fest screenings.

Pre-festival also means free and we know how I like that.

Walking over, I saw a friend getting out of his car and called out to him so we could walk together.

I knew he'd just seen the Kraftwerk reunion tour show in D.C. and I was curious to hear about it. We took seats in the third row and he told me all about the filmmakers' forum I'd missed and the controversy a couple of filmmakers had stirred up with their films.

We agreed that you never know what's going to offend people.

Showing tonight was the inoffensive black and white 1950 Jean Cocteau take on the myth, "Orpheus," set in post WWII Paris, considered one of his masterpieces and inspirational to the surrealists.

The opening credits were drawn by Cocteau himself (showoff!) and included such dated terms as "script girl."  Because god knows in 1950 you wouldn't assign that lowly job to a boy.

Most interesting to me was seeing Juliette Greco's name listed since I'd only discovered the singer recently at the French Film Festival when I'd seen a documentary about the Parisian cafe scene in the '50s and here she was acting, too.

She's easy to spot - to me she looks like a young Cher with a better nose- but my Juliette Greco knowledge is increasing exponentially lately.

The movie began in the Cafe de Poets, a place I only dream could exist in the world where I live. I couldn't help but be fascinated by the world depicted, one where a poet was so popular that young women mobbed him for autographs on the street. Poetry comes through on a radio station.

When Orpheus' wife Eurydice is worried that her husband's head has been turned by another woman, she is reassured, "Yours is a perfect marriage but men can lose their heads."

Isn't that the truth?

Then Orpheus has to go and fall in love with Death, complicating everything. "I'd follower her to Hell," he whines. "You need not go that far," his spirit world guide assures him.

During the reel change, my friend leaned in and observed that it was funny how Cocteau's camera tricks had been recycled in the music videos of the early '80s. For that matter, the guards at the underworld tribunal where Death and Orpheus went on trial looked straight out of Daft Punk.

The entire cast was dazzlingly beautiful and handsome as if from the world of perfect people, but then the whole film came off like a dream, not far off since at the end Orpheus and Eurydice are sent back from the underworld to the real world with no memory of what they'd been through.

It was all very poetic and only slightly tragic. I loved every minute of it.

Sigh. I was born to be a poet's groupie.

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