Sunday, July 27, 2003
Today I saw Winged Migration.
I went all the way out to the Embassy Cinema in Waltham to view it, since it's not playing anywhere closer to my humble abode. I hadn't been there before, but it's what we New Englanders would call a "wicked mad crazy" movie theater. They play all sorts of independent films there. It's like the Hollywood Hits in Danvers, only more so. Neat little theater, if I knew how to get there I would say that it's the perfect place for me and my movie-obsessed friends. Alas, my legendary sense of direction (or lack thereof) rears its ugly little head.
Anyways. Saw Winged Migration. It was incredible. Incredibly glorious. Incredibly, gloriously, wicked mad crazy. A great, big, enormous 'woah'.
The movie is beautiful. The scenery, the birds, the flying... gorgeous. Sumptuous material. And it is filmed in such a way that you find yourself sitting in the theater with your mouth hanging open. And your eyes are wide. Maybe you are also shaking your head in disbelief. But you had best be believin'!
You see, they didn't use any special effects to film the birds. None at all. Yet some of the shots which they managed to get... mon dieu. Just... mon dieu. They are so close to the birds that it's as though you are the birds. You're flying with them. You are seeing what the birds are seeing. You can feel the wind in your feathers. You can feel your wing muscles working. You're frikking migrating, for cat's sake!
Some of the shots are so close-up that the birds don't look entirely real. After all, we're not used to seeing birds that close. They're wild critters, and while you don't really think about it too much, when was the last time you got all in-yo'-face with a bird? Unless you own a parrot, I don't think it was very recently. So when the camera gets that close, the bird looks... computer animated. But it isn't. It's real. And that, folks, is a-frelling-mazing.
Oh, and on the parrot note... if you see this movie, you won't ever want to own a parrot. Ever. The sight of parrots in pet stores will make you cry. You will despise the entire parrot industry. Seriously. You will also want to destroy all hunters.
So, the movie's got parrots in it. And penguins and puffins and artic terns and skuas and gannets (thems all bein' artic-type birds). And it's got lots of geese in it, 'cause geese are power fliers and any movie about migration is going to have to have geese in it. And some ducks. And some very loud yet elegant cranes (and storks). One very bad-ass cowbird chick. And lots of other birds as well. And a couple of other animals. And a couple of people.
the strange-looking sage grouse is also featured. it makes one hell of a retarded noise
Yeah, OK, so the very few scenes with people in them were probably (almost certainly) staged. But it's not something you worry about during the movie, it's just something you notice afterwards and shrug off as artistic license.
But most of the movie is just birds. Birds doing what birds do. And you know what? These birds are so masterfully filmed, so masterfully captured, that it's more emotionally gratifying than most human-acted movies you see these days. You'll laugh out loud at some of it. You'll gasp in awe at some of it. You'll cry at some of it. I definitely got teary at bits, and if you know me you know well that I'm not a crying-at-movies sort of person.
I most definitely got more emotional reaction from the birds in this movie than I got from any of the human actors in Identity, the Real Cancun, 28 Days Later, or Pirates of the Caribbean. This is not because the birds are better actors, although that's arguable for some of the actors in the aforementioned films. No, it's because Winged Migration is filmed so perfectly, so beautifully, so ________ly (insert own adjective of awesomeness), that emotion is wrung from scenes in it in ways that most other movies can only dream about.
Go see Winged Migration!!! That was me screaming at you to go see this movie. You are a damnfoolidiot if you do not. It is so good that, despite all the ranting and raving I did above, I still cannot convey the totality of its goodness to you. YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE.
*ahem* Of course, there will be those poor sods who are simply incapable of enjoying this fine, fine, fine film. If you are at all, in the teeniest tiniest way into birds, you will love it. If you are at all, in the teeniest tiniest way into filmmaking techniques, you would have to be an idiot to not appreciate this film. If you like to see things which are beautiful, you will like this movie. If you are of an artistic temperament, you will like this movie. If you are of a scientific mind, you will probably like this movie. If you are a moviebuff, you should know enough about movies to like this movie (otherwise you are a faux moviebuff and, as such, should be beat about the head with a bundle of sticks).
You probably know if you would like this movie or not. I suppose it's not for everyone. I'm pretty sure that most people have a good enough idea of what kind of movie they like to know whether or not this is for them.
But it comes to you, from me, the Feline Anarchist, EXTREMELY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Vurry vurry much so. It gets 4 Paws Up, and a Tail as well.
Oh! I almost forgot. It's got a French guy narrating, but he speaks in English the whole time, so it's entirely narrated by someone who sounds like Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther movies. Gloriousness.
Then I came back to the home area, and the family had dinner out at this new restaurant in Salem called Rockafellas. It's pretty cool, it's right in the center of downtown Salem, and the building it's in (that being the Daniel Low building) used to be a bank, so the restaurant keeps their wines in the vault. And the front door is neat, because it used to be a revolving door but they removed it after the Coconut Grove fire (you all oughta know that story... Boston night club, bad fire, revolving doors which no one could get out of, lotta crispy folk), so the door is in a sort of round alcove.
The food was pretty good too. The service was less than exemplary... most of the time the waitstaff could be seen wandering around with desperately confused expressions on their faces. They also didn't seem to know which table number went with which table, so they were forever bringing the food to the wrong table. But I'm inclined to cut them some slack, I think they've only been open about a week, and all the waiterfolk looked terribly young, so I'll bet noone's really trained up just yet.
And hey! They had live jazz music! Hot diggetty!
Then I came home and drew a grasshopper.
Last night Jess and I went to Richardson's, but I drove. Creepy, ja? No one died, though, and we even managed to get a good parking spot. Then we came back to S'scott and were cornered by Noah, but then all initiative to get out and do something died, so we all spent the evening sitting in my den with my entire family, watching TV and laughing our buns off.
Noah spent a good 15 minutes trying to tell us a story about making some guy stop short in his car and thusly spill the food on the seat next to him. It took him that long to tell the story because every sentence was interspersed with mad fits of unstoppable giggling. It was really quite worrisome. My dad, I think, was convinced that Noah had lost his mind entirely. It ended up being only a middlingly funny story, but Noah's hysterics over it made it well worth hearing.
After I dropped Jess off I put the car in the garage all on my lonesome, without anyone sitting in the car telling me how close I was to the sides of the garage or how far I should pull in. See, we've got a fairly small garage, and we've got a fairly large car. The one fits in the other, but it's a fairly tight fit. And I have absolutely no sense where the sides of the car are when I'm driving it. So my putting the car into the garage is fraught with many taking-off-the-side-view-mirror sort of risks.
But lo! it was done. And the angels rejoiced, for they are theological and lo! so did the angles, though they be only geometrical.
I have no idea what that means, but it's that time of the night again! *evilly insane laughter*
Found a brand new Internet game for you. Did you ever play Myst? Did you ever wish you had? I had both Myst and Riven, and I played 'em both, and they amused me greatly. Anyways, this here game is rather like Myst, only of course it's on a website rather than a CD, and it features slightly stranger creatures, and it's trees in space. It's called Samorost, or maybe that's the name of the person who made it. Quoiever.
It's got awesome graphics and you've gotta figure out how to move through the levels, like in Myst. I got up to the level with the anteater in it, but that one stumped me. Couldn't figure it out. If anyone does, please let me know, otherwise this will probably eat at my soul until I am a mere shell of a human being. Also, maybe not recommended for non-cable folk, I've no idea how long it would take to load for you poor sods. But you're really missing out... (the previous sentence was said in a cajoling singsong voice)
Go see Winged Migration! gogogogogogogogogogogogogogogogo.