Sunday, April 26, 2009

once upon a time...

These elaborate pop-up book installations by Su Blackwell make me want to dive into her fantastical cut-out world and dance with paper dolls!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Sound of Music makes me happy-sad.

The above photograph is one of my most prized digital possessions (they are rated second only to wedding photographs and a picture of my husband dressed up like a German baker). It was taken in Austria while on my 2006 European vacation with my Mother and Grandfather. It was also taken in front of the gazebo where Liesel von Trapp sang "I am sixteen."
Being lifelong fans of "The Sound of Music," my mother and I dragged my grandfather around on a 4-hour Sound of Music tour throughout Salzberg and the surrounding towns. While on the bus with fellow fans, songs from the film blared through overhead speakers and we sang our hearts out. Little old ladies with plastic raincoats, japanese tourists, my mother, and I- boy, did we sing! Even the bus driver was embarrassed for us.
Before this musical bonding experience, I never really knew how far-reaching this childhood relic of a film was (or how many other children hold onto the same relic). I don't know why; I mean, obviously, if there is a whole tour in Salzberg devoted to the film, there were others who knew the songs inside-out.
Maybe I thought I loved it better or differently- like it was a special little ritual between my family and I that others just didn't get.
As though the unifying bus-tour wasn't enough to convince me of the universal adoration for Sound of Music, I was recently forwarded this youtube video by my best friend.
I watched it with my husband and cried! He did not understand why- it wasn't sad, so why was I crying? Because "The Sound of Music" makes me happy-sad. The songs shine with the melancholic beauty of nostalgia and the place it holds for so many makes me feel part of a world that appreciates something happy and sweet.
Then I forwarded this video to another friend, who forwarded it to her sisters- and they cried, too!
All this crying made me happy-sad.
but mostly happy :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Watchmen: A Good/Bad Movie

Going into the theatre to watch this movie last week, I was fully prepared to scoff during brief intervals of my boredom. I have never liked comic books, graphic novels, the funnies, or any other literary/art form intended for kids that becomes a nostalgic nerd's collector's item.

It begins with a trip down America's cultural memory- but this time with super heroes- and we move through the social movements of the sixties, Watergate, and disco fever. I loved how this introduction exaggerated the way history can be manipulated and made up. It was a great way to slowly warm up my suspension of disbelief.

If art is supposed to imitate life, then "The Watchmen" is art. I am aware that, in reality, there are no naked blue super heroes towering over NYC. However, this movie is filled with so many different genres, archetypes, fictions, and facts, that it appears to be its own, self-contained reality. The mash-up that is "The Watchmen," is also its downfall. For a movie- there is too much going on. For art- it's perfectly sprawling, vast, and open to interpretation.