Art, Music, & Film: March 2009 Archives

I don't properly remember the title and I must confess to having been somewhat disappointed. It is not as though everything good was in the trailer, but it didn't pull off the high comedy I had hoped for. Nevertheless, it is fun and entertaining and certainly diverting for a ten-year-old.

First, the quality of the 3d was absolutely amazing. Best of all, except for one sly reference to some of the old tricks of 3_D (a little paddle ball episode) the use of it was quite in tune with the story and not at all "in your face." The process gave a fully rounded appearance to characters and made the whole thing much less like animation. Still a gimmick, but rapidly becoming a highly effective one. If this could be perfected for mainstream film, film would become more like attending a live performance.

Now to the plot--there's no real need to describe it--suffice to say that there is an alien that wants something that has landed on Earth and transformed the life of one of the characters. In the process of flowing through the natural results of this we meet General W. R. Monger--a man true to his word and the only one who appear to have any sense; a president who has designed a failsafe system with two buttons exactly the same shape and size, one to unleash a nuclear holocaust on the world, the other to deliver the perfect latte; and a score or more of other more or less amusing characters.

One thing I will treasure and carry away from the film is the sharp (extremely barbed) satire of the way that those in charge of things communicate with those of us who are not. The alien who has found this lost substance broadcasts his image to Earth and says something like the following, "People of Earth, I come in peace. I mean you no harm. However, it is highly likely that the majority of you will not survive the next few days and those that do will become my slaves. Now let me summarize--Come in Peace, no harm, most of you will die horribly--yep, that about covers it." When I heard this I couldn't help of thinking of so many things from our involvement in Iraq to the current bank crises to certain statements issued to the underlings by corporate elders (among the larger banking companies). So, for that alone, the movie was worth having seen.


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Dance Competition


We spent most of Saturday (8:00 am -9:00 pm) at a Dance competition in which Samuel was in three dances. (For those to whom this means anything--two high golds and a silver star.)

In the course of the day, I learned several things. First, I had been dreading this, as who would not--12 or more hours with a half hour break for lunch. And I wound up having a fantastic time. It amazed me what these young people could do, and it gratified me to see so many giving so much of their time and energy to the arts. That was deeply satisfying. Second, I learned how many ways there are to be illiterate. To be honest, I saw a lot of dance (that was rated very highly) that I just didn't "get." The motions seemed hurky-jerky, arms and legs akimbo and in awkward positions, music choice not the greatest, and coherence simply not there. I realize that I am not in the realm of professional choreographers, but I've noticed the same in dances that are professionally choreographed. I watched ballets in which dancers "pas de chat" all over the stage and it just looks like some kind of weird affliction that one might better expect in the medieval ages. I just don't have the vocabulary and grammar of dance clear--I don't understand it and that disturbs me. And so, I conclude that I must spend a good deal of time studying and coming to terms with it.

Finally, I was amazed at the professionalism and caliber of some of the dances. One poor dancer had her music vanish about midway through her dance and she took it all in stride, continuing throughout the entire routine and completing the dance as though nothing had happened. There was one male dancer who took most of the awards for the competition and who looks like he may have a wonderful career before him as a dancer.

But to come back to the first point--it was fantastic to see so many young people celebrating the arts. Even if they did not understand that they were doing so, and even though the majority will not continue in the arts, for them to have this enriching experience so early in life can only be an advantage as they continue on. It is my ardent prayer that each dancer come to know his or her own ability and use it to celebrate the arts in a way that gives God glory.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Art, Music, & Film category from March 2009.

Art, Music, & Film: February 2009 is the previous archive.

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