Truth in the Park

I saw A Nice Day in the Park, a new one-act play written, directed & starring Sky Gilbert, from Lunch-on-the-run productions presented at Chez BonBon. There’s another performance Saturday before they “take it on the road”, wherever that might be.

After the show I chatted briefly with Sky, and must say here what I forgot to tell him, namely “wow what an interesting play”, and “thank you Sky.”

But I did tell him that I felt I was learning a whole lot, watching a kind of interaction that isn’t usual in my world, between a gay man and a trans person. And as usual, I did my impersonation of Mime, the dwarf in Wagner’s opera Siegfried. He’s the one who missed his chance to find out what he needs, because he is so busy showing off. So yeah, I was busy shooting my mouth off. I get a little star-struck sometimes around artists who impress me, and Sky is one of those impressive people. Believable dialogue seems to come out of him without any effort, given how quickly he writes and how perfectly he nails nuances & situational power dynamics, given how prolific he has been.

So yes I was showing off, in observing that in a straight romantic comedy, a Feydeau or a Shaw or a Neil Simon will draw things out by means of lies and miscommunication. A character will avoid saying what they feel, or may not even be clear what they feel. And that can help fill the two or even three hours of a show, gradually leading to the moment when they truthfully declare their love and consummate things, or at least seem sufficiently on the verge of doing so to excite all the voyeurs in the audience. But Sky had no choice really because if you add in the usual lies & deception of romantic comedy: there would be no story, given the factoid at the heart of this story concerning a trans person. We’re in a realm of brutal truths, because of course if we stayed in the realm of lies, the story wouldn’t just be dragging on for 2 or 3 hours, it might never get anywhere.

But Sky gave us a very truthful dialogue between SAM and TESTEr. Sky was playing SAM who is an older gay male, while Harrison Browne played TESTEr, a person who tells us that they are trans even though they appear to be a cute male. And while both are working in what might normally be a very safe tolerant atmosphere for two gay males—a fund-raising organization for HIV & AIDS—there’s more than meets the eye in the dynamics between the two of them. I’m tempted to talk about it at length yet I also don’t want to give out any spoilers.

I asked Sky if that truthfulness was typical of his world (and perhaps I took for granted that we both knew what that meant), and he said yes. It’s a different world from what you see in manners comedy or chick-flicks, where miscommunication & lies are a necessary part of the toolkit.   It’s a troubling realization, that the key plot elements from my culture won’t work in such an authentic realm.

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Sky Gilbert

This is a very realistic presentation except for one intriguing stylization, one that makes a whole lot more sense to me since I interviewed Sky last year. I never suspected that he likes opera, that is until we were talking about the opera libretto he created, Shakespeare’s Criminal. And so in A Nice Day in the Park we’re listening to a performance of Donizetti’s overture to Semiramide: or at least that’s what the program says although I could have sworn that the opera is by Rossini

(but never mind…).

This overture sits right on the boundary between hysterical comedy & tragedy, a bit of a cartoon not unlike that Bugs Bunny opus inspired by the Barber of Seville overture. And so throughout the show we’re watching histrionics that become extra funny due to the music’s heightened atmosphere, sometimes campy and over the top with horror, sometimes completely ridiculous because the fast music turns them into robots or puppets.

I wanted to be cautious decoding the show, given those ambiguities. But in fact there was lots of laughter throughout. Full disclosure: I had read a piece that was at least partially about the author that had me thinking about “wokeness” (her wonderful word), about discourse and the changes in our society.

I find myself thinking about the meaning of gender, and indeed the future of gender. I wonder if this piece anticipates what we’ll eventually see from Hollywood, & the mainstream film world.

It’s on again Saturday night at Chez Bonbon, 234 Queen Street East (just east of Sherbourne).  Tickets are $25 at the door or $20 by making a reservation at lunchontherunproductions@gmail.com or https://anicedayinthepark.bpt.me

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Traces of Raffaello: Marco Delogu Faces the Camera

The re-building of University of Toronto Schools gapes at me like an open wound as I walk up Huron St.  Today was my second visit to the show that’s at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Gallery, at 496 Huron Street, just north of Bloor Street West & the University of Toronto.

Of course I had to take a picture as I was again going to confront the artistry of the photographers in “Facing the Camera: 50 Years of Italian Portraits”, an exhibit curated by photographer Marco Delogu.

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UTS is under construction, including some adorable graffiti on that exposed wall. Is it art?

Subtext for me is the whole transformation of photography, from something we once did carefully & perhaps even laboriously with

-film, focal lengths, shutter speeds and depth of field,

-flashes and lens.

-ASA

But that’s a lifetime ago. Phones and computers have changed communication, and the camera is collateral damage, almost an afterthought. We have these amazing tools and mostly we’re taking pictures of our dogs, our cats and ourselves.

Coming into this show is to be back in the realm of art, a place I’ve enjoyed recently with trips to the Metropolitan Museum to see Kent Monkman and lots more besides.

In his curatorial statement Delogu tells us…

“In occasione del 500 ° anniversario dalla morte di Raffaello, i suoi splendidi ritratti, che sono stati visti da innumerevoli ammiratori e che hanno influenzato il lavoro di numerosi artisti, sono il punto di riferimento per una riflessione continua sia sul ritratto che sull’identità italiana.”

Or in other words

“Upon the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, his beautiful portraits, that have been seen by countless admirers and influenced the work of numerous artists, are the reference point for a continuous reflection upon both portraiture & Italian identity.”

Raffaello Fornarina

La Fornarina— Raffaello

The photograph that grabbed me the most is one by Delogu, that I’ll feature when I share this on Twitter:

  • because I think it’s powerful
  • because it seems to echo Raphael.

I don’t doubt that Delogu’s visual sensibility was shaped by Raffaello’s influence.

I’ve got that comparison thing in my head, possibly simplistic, since I wrote about Monkman & the iconic art that we could see as subtext such as the Hiawatha statue or Washington crossing the Delaware.

Maybe I’m being reductive, simplistic.

Let me show you one of the Raphael pictures that comes to mind, namely La Fornarina.  There are of course many paintings one could choose, this one came up because it seems to be relevant to what we see in the show here in Toronto, 500 years later.

A photographic portrait named “Eleonara” has been promoting this show, one of two that  jump out at me, for seeming to demonstrate Raphael’s influence, or at least catching my eye.

Although it may be all in my head.  It’s not the Renaissance anymore, that’s for sure.

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“Eleonara” (2001) Guido Guidi

And here’s another one, this time a photo from Delogu himself.

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“Senada” (2000), Marco Delogu

As I confront the pictures that Delogu assembled, I wonder, particularly after last night’s concert and its reflections on inter-cultural encounters, just what is it to be Italian? Clearly this show holds up a very different mirror to the Italian viewer than a Hungarian-Canadian like myself.

And of course when I look at the details of “Senada”, Delogu’s picture shown above, I see that it’s not an Italian subject at all, but a series capturing a Roma family.  So of course I’m suddenly backing off from making sweeping cultural assumptions as they’re simply not relevant.   A better path might be to focus on the faces & how their composition by the photographer might yet show traces of Raffaello.

Yes, this show is mostly faces, most looking directly into the camera. They require no interpreter. Almost exactly half (21 or 40) are black and white, while the other half have varying degrees of colour, including some that have colour added after the camera’s work was done. I’m tempted to use the word “post-production” which of course is mis-applied to this medium but it feels apt at least by analogy. These pictures are formal, suggesting a process between the photographer and the subject that’s a lot like what happens when a cinematic camera engages with actors or documentary subjects. The colours I’m speaking of appear to have been added after printing.

I am really glad I came back. I love being alone in a gallery with the art or the pictures, unrestrained by bodies & undistracted by conversation or noise or temptation (wine and cheese…).

I think I’ll return again to contemplate Raffaello as seen from half a millennium away, at least through these images.

“Facing the Camera: 50 Years of Italian Portraits” continues at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Gallery until March 27th.

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Mackay’s Indigo Project

Alison Mackay has a knack for making intriguing connections. Every now and then Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra turn to their former bass player to curate a concert, and tonight she may have done her best yet with The Indigo Project at the Jeanne Lamon Hall in Trinity-St Paul’s Centre.

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Alison Mackay, Suba Sankaran (photo: Kevin King)

It felt a bit like a cross between a TED Talk and a concert, the subject—fabric dye—being her pretense for an unlikely moment of intercultural magic. The part that’s like a lecture concerned the history of indigo, a dye that furnished a pathway to talk about life in different places & centuries, while listening to musics from different places & centuries.
I’ve never found the juxtaposition of western & eastern so stimulating, as it seemed that at first we were going back and forth in the narration, but gradually finding a kind of middle ground where both could be present at the same time, where there was a genuine merging.

You’d have to hear it to understand what I mean, but it’s truly remarkable. There are three more concerts this weekend (Friday & Saturday night plus Sunday afternoon) at Trinity St Paul’s plus another on Tuesday March 3rd at the George Weston Recital Hall in Meridian Arts Centre.

Tafelmusik orchestra were joined by their chamber choir, the choirs of Earl Haig & Unionville Secondary Schools, as well as Suba Sankaran (voice, percussion, solkattu), Trichy Sankaran (mridangam, kanjira, solkattu, voice), and Cynthia Smithers as narrator & vocalist.   Ivars Taurins & Suba Sankaran led the choirs.

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Suba Sankaran, Trichy Sankaran (photo: Greg Locke)

Smithers added an additional dimension that I didn’t see credited in the program, namely as a dancer. There is a great deal of passionate energy in all these words (not just the lecture but also the texts of the songs), that finally cries out for the physical release of dance, and gets it in the final number of the program.

I hope Tafelmusik will consider doing such a thing again.

If I have one quibble –and it’s a tiny one—it’s that I wish the lights had been on to permit me to follow along with the text of the singing. Yet I was swept along in several places where I have no idea what they were singing.

The great thing about this concert is how it seems to expand the possibilities, knocking down walls of expectation.  What will they do next time?  I’m looking forward to finding out what Mackay might program next.

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#popstarplay life lessons

I heard a wonderful interview with Vivek Shraya on Q earlier today that gave me some  clues as to what I’d be seeing and hearing tonight in her one-woman autobiographical show How to Fail as a Popstar, aka #popstarplay in the realm of the tweet.

In the first moments of the interview we hear a song called “Music Ur the 1”, co-written by Shraya and James Bunton.

I learned to sing to please my mother
I learned to sing to please God
I learned to sing to please the pretty girls
But along the way I fell in love with music

It’s the first of many moments of insight.  Without knowing the particulars I knew that Shraya has acquired a great deal of wisdom in her journey.

When I heard this little sample on Q, I was reminded of people I know who might have talent but who have lost their way. Music has become work because they no longer sing or play as though they love the music. Whether you’re singing a pop song or Pagliacci that sense of love is indispensable.

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Vivek Shraya’s How to Fail as a Popstar (photo: Dahlia Katz)

It’s funny to be back at the Berkeley St Theatre where I’d been just last night for AF, seeing another show from Canadian Stage that was like a complementary opposite. Where AF is all physicality & rhythmic verve in the now, Shraya’s show is one person’s retrospective. The story-telling & singing take us on the most vulnerable exploration of a sensibility while leading us on a kind of magical mystery tour through recent cultural history.  It all seems so effortless & fluid that I want to give all the credit to Shraya although director Brendan Healy must surely have had a hand in it.  The time flies by on the wings of song, with lots of explosive laughter along the way.

The way Shraya described it beforehand is a clue as to what you get.

“This is my story growing up in Edmonton as a brown, queer kid and being obsessed with Much Music and wanting to make it as a pop star,” says Vivek Shraya. “The joke I’ve made is that it’s kind of like ‘A Star Isn’t Born.’ That’s what this story is. I was also watching a lot of music biography movies and most of them follow a similar narrative.”

You might never have expected it to go where it went, given that we were listening to Shraya sing bhajans, a kind of devotional song from India: and sing them very beautifully. I was reminded of Leontyne Price & Whitney Houston, two of my favorite singers. Both of them found their true voice in church glorifying God. It may sound obvious but if you sing to please God you can’t go wrong. You may never sound as good as Leontyne or Whitney but at least you will be making a positive sound.

In the interview Shraya worried that the title might sound negative. But if anything the piece might be a bit too positive, upbeat & joyful & fun throughout. How could that be bad? I worry that Shraya might be letting us –mainstream white culture—off too easily, leaving aside the more complex questions of gender, choosing instead to focus on suburban life & our love of popular music, and yes it is a genuine love-in (if you’ll indulge me for using a word that’s half a century old & that’s fallen into disuse). Where AF at times seems to express a kind of visceral rage, touching a nerve what with my guilty white conscience, Shraya lets us off the hook. While we hear of the occasional jerk calling him “faggot” in school, our experience is mostly a happy one, propelled along on a series of wonderful songs and blissful memories of a sweetly supportive family.

Shraya is an amazing singer, whether in the realm of the religious bhajans of childhood, or the wonderful array of songs we hear through the show. There are thirty credits listed for this 80 minute show. Some are tiny, such as the little bit of “Jump” we get, some are much longer. Don’t let the title of the show fool you. Shraya did not fail as a popstar for lack of ability.

There’s merchandise in the lobby including a couple of recordings & a book or two. I’m a sucker for this kind of thing. When I’ve seen a show and I don’t want it to end, I can’t resist the opportunity to prolong the magic at home.

MINE

What we brought home

The time flew by, the show was over before we knew it. Even so it’s still there upstairs at Berkeley St Theatre until March 1st.

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Vivek Shraya’s How to Fail as a Popstar (photo: Dahlia Katz)

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AF and why

Huge preamble coming. If you want to skip to the review itself, look under the photo.
I went to see AF and am daring to review it. I feel I need to say this after having read Yvette Nolan’s piece, responding to Yolanda Bonnell’s injunction.

Did you hear it? Bonnell made a demand that I can’t dispute, that her play bug (on at Theatre Passe Muraille) not be reviewed by white reviewers, but only by reviewers who are Black, Indigenous or people of colour.

And so while I might have thought I could review it fairly I chose to skip it, wanting to respect her wishes.

I came to the opening of AF, a new show created by Red Sky Performance in partnership with Canadian Stage, treading carefully. I could point anyone seeking to take me to task to my critical statement of principles that I put out almost a decade ago, with the title “Steal this thought(?)”, where I think I make it clear I would never be the kind of critic that Nolan speaks of in her piece. I have the highest respect for her work, although I try to be respectful of everyone.

Criticism and dramaturgy are really the same thing in my opinion. I embrace Eugenio Barba’s definition from one of his books that I read back in my days at the U of T’s Drama Centre. He called it “the workings of drama in context”. Isn’t it awesome to have such a clean and concise definition? Any criticism that is helpful and not merely self-serving or destructive must come from the same place as dramaturgy, looking at two things really:

  1. Context (and all that this entails: a huge topic)
  2. How does it work (an even bigger cluster of topics, including the mechanics of the discipline, the choices of the performers and its reception: which connects to #1 of course)

I may dare to speak to how an opera works because I’m fairly confident about the medium, having performed it, coached it, written a couple and studied a whole bunch as well. Even so that doesn’t mean I understand the context, nor that I’d really grasp an original work trying something new. Coming to a piece such as AF which straddles boundaries, I’m mindful of Bonnell’s admonitions, wanting to be careful.

But I’m always careful. I can now say what I really felt about Hansel & Gretel, (now that my words won’t hurt the attendance), that I only hinted at in my 2 reviews + an interview. The dramaturg is supposed to have the director’s back, but clearly let Joel Ivany down, in not observing that his adaptation was getting a bit too loose, was full of inconsistencies (for example if you’re so poor that you’re starving why would there be a pile of Christmas presents? Why not, instead use –for example—tinsel or cheapo ornaments from a dollar store, that might signify wow to a child yet signify poverty to an adult…And then there’s the illogical search for strawberries in an apartment building, which could have been mitigated somewhat by better surtitles). The critic must be careful because they can be destructive, whereas the dramaturg is in the creative realm and therefore can try to fix what’s not quite right.

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Eddie Elliott in AF (photo: Dahlia Katz)

I may not understand AF, a daring piece of theatre, but it’s the best thing I’ve seen in 2020 so far. [inserting a morning after correction] I had been under the impression that AF comes from Orwell’s Animal Farm but that’s incorrect I’ve been told, AF means Anishinaabe Fire.

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Marrin Jessome, Eddie Elliott, Miyeko Ferguson, Michael Rourke in AF (photo: Dahlia Katz)

The five dancers (and that’s how they are identified in the program even though I’d be just as comfortable calling them “actors” or “performers”) are Eddie Elliott, Miyeko Ferguson, Thomas Fonua, Marrin Kessome, Michael Rourke and Sela Vai (we had five dancers perform tonight, presumably one person is an alternate). This was my second consecutive opening night, inviting all sorts of comparisons in my head. AF sits on the boundary between theatre and dance, the performers employing movement sometimes to signify & represent someone or something, at other times doing dance as dance. The movement vocabulary may be drawing upon something Indigenous, which is something beyond my knowing. I was reminded of all sorts of media, including the expressive hand-gestures you see from the Bolshoi, or the jagged physical movements we saw in Revisor, choreographed by Crystal Pite (whose new work opens at the National Ballet in a few short days… I hope she comes to see this). Director Sandra Laronde & choreographer Thomas Fonua accomplish something bold & new to my eye, encompassing theatre & dance but also ritual. At times the moves remind you of break dancing, but at other moments we’re watching humans moving a bit like animals; or is that just my weak attempt to connect the Orwell story? (AND, please note my assumption about the title was wrong, as noted above)

You will see athleticism to make you want to burst out in applause in the middle, but this nerdy theatre audience stayed quiet & focused until they erupted at the end.  There are periods of tension brought about by the extreme physicality, people leaping and gesturing and using immense amounts of energy, followed by calmer reflective moments.  The “dancers” are for me on the boundary because they’re more than dancers. At times the athleticism feels like circus performance for its power, its energy, its sculpture of bodies on the stage.  This is stunningly beautiful, jaw-dropping work from all five.

There’s a live musical score performed by Rick Sacks & Joyce To, with vocals from Jennifer Brousseau as well as To. We’re told that Eliot Britton & Rick Sacks are the composers.  In addition there are recorded performances further enriching the mix. Sometimes it feels Indigenous, especially during the vocals, sometimes it feels more like a highly rhythmic composition that straddles ethnicities & cultures. Whoever is responsible, I’m reminded of Christos Hatzis’ Juno award winning score for Going Home Star, a composition for Royal Winnipeg Ballet encompassing Indigeneity & European music in its story-telling. I hope they record it, as the music & sounds are already a wonderful achievement.

Answering the “why write” question is intimately connected to the “why see it” question, at a time when reconciliation has never seemed so pertinent, so urgent. The conversation with Canada’s Indigenous community must continue. We (speaking as a descendant of immigrants) have much to learn.  And there is no society, no community without conversation: meaning especially the listening part.

AF continues at the Berkeley St Theatre until March 1st.

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AF (photo:Dahlia Katz)

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Jacqueline

Tonight a rapturous audience welcomed the world premiere of Jacqueline, a new opera from Tapestry Opera at the Betty Oliphant Theatre.

It’s a deceptively simple piece exploring the relationship of cellist Jacqueline du Pré and her instrument.

She was a prodigious talent who had to abandon her performing career at the age of 27 when she developed Multiple Sclerosis, and died at the age of 42. What if that story were told by a singer & a cellist, where the cello were represented as if it were an actual character, given that the instrument was one of the great passions of her life?

We hear of her mother, her sister Hillary, her husband Daniel (Barenboim).

After the applause begins there’s a lovely little film clip of Jacqueline & Daniel. Watch it to the end.

We will hear about an incurable illness.

For close to two hours we were immersed in a poetic world. But I don’t think anyone in the theatre had any trouble making the imaginative leap. The stage is bare, Camellia Koo’s set design wonderfully suggestive as things develop , again through a very simple use of the materials.

I’m tempted to talk about a collaboration between a man and a woman. But whether it’s composer Luna Pearl Woolf working with librettist Royce Vavrek to create the opera, OR soprano Marnie Breckenridge as Jacqueline working with cellist Matt Haimovitz to make music & enact the opera, we’re talking about productive relationships. I think of Director & Dramaturge Michael Hidetoshi Mori as a midwife, bringing both the text & performance to life. The work & the performances are fully formed & mature, well-conceived and in no way seeming incomplete. The tension in each pair whether it was between the words & music, or between the singer & the instrument, was palpable, the root of this very deceptively simple piece.

I’m not sure who had the tougher night, between Breckenridge singing, dancing & crawling about the stage, or Haimovitz playing literally for hours, mostly while seated but also acting as well. Both of them are in virtuoso territory, whether we’re speaking of her high notes & vulnerable portrayal, or his beautiful sound. There are humorous touches, there is a touch of bawdiness and a great deal of romance. If you like cello music you will love this opera, because Haimovitz is making some wonderful music on his instrument, sometimes seeming to go off into long cadenza-like soliloquys, sometimes playing melodic & dissonant phrases, occasionally becoming disjointed as though mirroring the horrific experiences of his owner, cellist Jacqueline. Yet he is mostly in support of the illusion, in support of the story-telling, the expected arc of plot for someone known to have become sick & died young. At times it felt like film music as if Jacqueline were speaking rather than singing, as her vocal line was wonderfully sensitive to the rhythms of speech, and the cello becoming self-effacing.

While there is one big recognizable quote from the Elgar cello concerto –the piece most associated with du Pré –for the most-part we’re listening to fragments, rarely seeming to be in extended musical passages, as the structure seems to come from the text & the words, with the music largely subservient.

I think Jacqueline will be a big success from what I saw & heard tonight in a sold out theatre. It runs only until the 23rd. See it if you can!

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Moonrise Kingdom on Valentine’s Day

I saw the trailer for Wes Anderson’s next film. Google says it opens in the summer.

Argh, I wish I could see it now, but, hmm, …a seed was planted.

And there we were, staying in on a chilly Friday night. What if we watch a movie at home?

I looked at what was available via PPV, doing a search for the director Wes Anderson.

A list came up including films I had seen before.

Fantastic Mr Fox…Saw it, liked the idea more than the film itself, just like a lot of modern art, where one admires the concept. But I’ve never yet managed to get through the whole film so far.
Isle of Dogs… Ah I loved it to pieces, thinking of it as a thinly veiled allegory of the current American drift to authoritarianism. Bought it, have seen it at least 5 times and will watch it again. And I did buy the book: meaning the Matt Zoller Seitz book that tries to match the film’s creators in its attention to detail.
Moonrise Kingdom…? never seen that one.
Rushmore… My first Wes Anderson. I bought it of course, have found that it grows on me with every successive viewing.
Grand Budapest Hotel… my favorite? I’ve seen it perhaps 7 times, two in the theatre. I haven’t bought it yet perhaps because I find it so powerful, so operatic. But I did buy the book (another Matt Zoller Seitz book)
The Life Aquatic…. Perhaps need to come back to this one. I didn’t fully “get it”.
The Royal Tenenbaums… Another one I don’t fully “get”. I bought it have seen parts of it many times, have sat through it perhaps once. I admire it even if I’m not sure if I even like it.

So…. What about Moonrise Kingdom?

The PPV info tells me…

“MK tells the story of two twelve year olds who fall in love make a secret pact and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down…

One has to click to the next page to see more. But I’d seen enough. I was sold. What could be more appropriate for Valentine’s Day?

How romantic.

And so it unfolds as one of those Wes Anderson films where you see how much fun they’re having filming and playing. Watching one grows envious not just of the magical world they’re creating, but one wishes to be in the film too, part of that fun group of artists. You can see it in the cadre Anderson has assembled, co-conspirators in his plot to have fun & perhaps to recapture the magic of youth, the same coolest people on the planet, the lucky ones who — I suspect– want to come back again and again. Do they pay HIM to be in these films?

Tilda Swinton

Ed Norton

Saoairse Ronan

Adrian Brody

Bill Murray

Harvey Keitel

Anderson seems to be a guy who has a lot of fun, in his stories, in his film-making.

Film-maker Wes Anderson

The children in this film –in all of his films come to think of it– are brilliant while the adults are all somewhat incompetent, hung up on showing us that they know what they’re doing.

The young ones are the hope for our future.

What a perfect metaphor for our world. The romance we see is the civil conduct of 12 year olds.

Do you ever wish you could freeze time and just stay where you are in your development? (of course that’s not so uncommon if you’re in your 60s). Just as I find I wish I could stay inside his films, wishing they wouldn’t end, wish I could prolong the magic.

The wilderness we see is a kind of cartoon landscape, partly as a by-product of Anderson’s compulsive to the point of OCD control of every frame, partly because the story unfolds as a kind of narrated fable, partly because the action is larger than life as people survive the impossible.

Yes (as you can see in the trailer) someone is struck by lightning… and shakes it off. Don’t try this at home, kids. But I won’t break it down further, as I seek to always be spoiler- free, in case you haven’t seen it yet.

There’s some amazing music in the score, not just the ever dependable Alexandre Deplat, but some wonderful subtext in the diagetic music choices. Imagine a film that has a climactic storm & a flood taking place while someone is staging Britten’s Noye’s Fludde..(!?)

Holy cow..!

We’ll watch it again, as there’s lots more to pick up in the parenthetical remarks & in the incidental moments. There are no small parts in Anderson’s movies.

It might be my new favorite, although come July there’s a new one coming out.

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