Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Minor Miseries

So much on my mind that I'm a day late in posting.

Mirroring my feelings lately, a gallerist wrote to me, "You, more than most, must hate not being able to go out in the evenings!"

You know it and it was time to correct it.

Yesterday's epic walk to the Criterion - down the middle of Leigh Street, necessitating climbing snow mounds and the occasional splash from speeding cars - to see Charlie Kaufman's stop-motion "Anomalisa" delivered puppet porn and a consumer culture theme seemingly meant to echo the tragic world we now live in.

And while I can feel superior all I want about my simplistic lifestyle, all too often I am listening to new music, i.e.consuming. Guilty as charged.

And if I am lost - the person who subsists on the fringes of current cultural norms - all is lost. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

My date found "Anomalisa" to be too depressing for entertainment, but my pleasure came in admiring the puppets, the stop animation, essentially the craft of it all. This is a film not about the performance of the actors, but about the art of puppetry.

Of course, there was also the premise: Sadly, there's so much sameness surrounding us in the 21st century that something different becomes jarring ("What, you don't have a cell phone?" people ask me in horror or, "What do you mean you don't watch TV?") or, for the lonely, irresistibly attractive.

As in real life, a happy ending was impossible - even after our heroine sung "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" - so we were left with a sense that we as a society are too far gone to dare hope that things might work out satisfactorily in our lives.

Tragically, in 2016 that no longer seems to be an option. Everyone seems to be older, fatter and tireder, meaning the collective passion of youth is spent and happy endings impossible.

Dwelling on this sad fact is pointless. It is what is is.

Did I mention how impressed I was with an hour and a half of state-of-the-art stop-motion animation? If "Rudolph" or "Gumby" is your frame of reference for this art form (as it was mine), prepare to be bowled over.

Just don't expect that an enthusiastic male suitor, even one portrayed by a puppet, can sustain devotion.

After a fruitless high-speed walk to TheatreLAB to see "Nine Circles," only to find it closed down tight due to snow, we punted.

That meant razzing the familiar faces shoveling snow in front of Max's on Broad and then drinks at Quirk Hotel where the liveliest table was a group of male West Enders who'd refused to allow Storm Jonas to crush their birthday celebration plans.

The bartender let slip that rapper Macklemore had been staying there as a lead-up to last night's performance at the Altria, keeping busy writing during the recent snow storm.

Devoted fans stopped by on their way to the show, downing Lemon Drops (I kid you not) and Tres Generations Tequila (different duo, this one with a babysitter at home) to prep for the show ahead.

Whatever it takes, kids.

Since Macklemore isn't my thing, I enjoyed watching the arriving guests - my favorite being the couple who loaded cases of wine on the luggage cart because they weren't willing to risk a shortage - as well as the bored kitchen staff (not a single reservation for the night) and the punchy servers, many of whom, like our bartender, had stayed the past few nights at the hotel so as to be on the job when required.

She said her only mistake had been in forgetting her boots. Not so me and my green and pink flowered rubber boots, which reliably garner compliments for its wearer while allowing me to wade through the deepest puddle.

I'm still hoping to be the one who walks in the sun, but Charlie Kaufman has convinced me that that's unlikely.

That's life, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment