Monday, December 19, 2016

Come Play with Me

Let the record show that it was 67 degrees today and every window in my apartment was open.

Let it also show that despite having known Nate for five years - we met on February 12, 2012 at Globehopper when I first heard the Richmanian Ramblers - it was only today that I first ate his bagels, a mission accomplished by being first in line with Mac at the new Blue Bee Cidery.

Let it show that our walk from Blue Bee to the Byrd was tropical-like, if not downright beachy, and that the theater was surprisingly full for an afternoon matinee at this late stage of the holiday madness (I know a guy who went to three holiday parties today alone) when everyone there probably had something else they should've been doing.

Not Mac - who'd never seen this classic all the way through - nor me, that much was clear. Our misfortune was sitting next to a couple of women who believed that we'd rather hear them belting out the musical numbers than hear the actors doing a far better job.

Let it show that when you have seen a film, say "White Christmas," every year since you were a child, it's not enough to sit back and enjoy (always a relative term when applied to the torn and spring-popping Byrd seats) the familiar plot and dazzling mid-century visuals of VistaVision (reddest reds you've ever seen).

Curiosity seeker that I am, I must see something new.

1. In the final scene, how had I never noticed the tenth anniversary sign on the cake (Happy 10th anniversary 151st Division)? The 10 candles, always, but the sign? Not once.
2. Pre-safety match usage was rampant. Bing strikes a match for his pipe on his shoe, with his fingernail, probably with his teeth in a scene that got left on the cutting room floor. 1954 was pre-safety concerns, clearly.

Let it show that walking back to Scott's Addition marveling at the still-balmy air when sunset was only minutes away, our conversation turned prescient when raindrops suddenly hit us, followed by major northerly wind gusts and an immediate and significant drop in temperature.

Frankly, we never should have brought the subject up.

Let it show that I wouldn't have missed tonight's 10th anniversary celebration of the Silent Music Revival at Gallery 5, or the opportunity to introduce a recent conversational partner to one of my long-time favorite events, despite not being up to dinner out beforehand.

The lost weekend - don't ask.

Let it show that lots of my people were there - the film prof, the filmmaker, the woman at the Byrd I'd told about the event months ago, the Turkish pop songstress - and on time, which is more than I can say for some of the newer fans.

Creator Jameson always says 8 sharp! on the invitation because he means it, kids. Take note for the future (April, in case you weren't paying attention).

He had, of course, picked a terrific holiday present for the crowd with Russian director Ladislas Starevich's 1913 black and white "Night Before Christmas," and nothing like the Clement Moore poem we know.

The herky-jerky antics of the peasant village as well as the editing (and brief bits of early stop-motion animation) couldn't have been better suited to Rattlemouth's odd time signatures and global beats ensuring that their improvised soundtrack nailed the madcap action.

Instead of Moore's sugary take on Christmas Eve, we had a witch whose cottage was known for "entertaining willing visitors" and a hirsute demon with a tongue that presaged that of Gene Simmons, along with dry humping and homo-erotica, men stuffed in bags and a young and solidly-built peasant beauty looking for the man who truly loved her.

She claimed she wanted shoes like the tsarina's, but what she really wanted was a man willing to go to great lengths to get them for her to show his love.

Let the record show that I saw two holiday classic films today, and they both came down to love stories. Because the best things really do happen when you're dancing...or entertaining willing visitors.

Before you can say Merry Christmas, you're a goner. I know it must be true because I saw it on the big screen. Twice in one festive day.

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