Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Batman Lego movie

I went today with my wife and grandson to see The Batman Lego movie, a very clever piece of cinematic programming, composition and vocal acting.  It is very clever and witty on split levels - little kid and adult.

This kind of programming is becoming more prevalent these days as movies target the global youth - adult market and is highly financially calculated.  Still, some of these sorts of movies are crafted better than others.  They are all "team" made projects, rather than individual visions, I think: movies by committee, large-scale mixed media projects that operate on the literary level of a television situation comedy, with violent overtones.

As good as they can be, not many of them remain in the mind, appeal to me on a real artistic level, a real emotional level, or function as much more than woo-woo for kids. I can think of a few exceptions, but none that I would go out on a ledge to promote here.  I did like this movie, entertaining in a very clever and crazed fashion and appealing to the longtime "Batman consumer", which I certainly am.  I read Batman in the fifties and sixties, watched the original TV series and many of the other Batman productions.   This movie touches on nearly everything that went before in both a charming and arch manner, trying to be campy and homespun all at once.

The last movie I saw, "Fences" was an artistic success on every level.  I guess its good that such variance exists in "Motion Pictures", but I would like to see more "Fences" and less "Lego".

Friday, February 10, 2017

My geographically challenged inner flywheel again thwarted my momentary destiny in DC this morning when I got off the Metro too early and walked out on the wrong side of town.  It took a half hour of circumperambulation in fairly frigid weather before I reoriented to a bus-stop and used my Senior Citizen Metro Card to get back uptown to the Convention Center.  Adventures in getting there in a roundabout way.

Actually, it was a good experience. I saw a lot of the area south of the capitol and got some legwork in.  Also, I made it to the Gwendolyn Brooks Golden Shovel reading just in time and caught some really inspiring activity.  I got to meet Sandra Beasley and Major Jackson, two poets I really like.  They were really nice and their readings were polished and authoritative.  Wham.

This was my first AWP and it was right cool.  Thousands of writers swarming around.  Poetry at the book sale area as far as the eye could see.  Lots of African American poetry readings.  Catharsis.  All that sort of thing.  I'm overwhelmed by the number of poets there are.  Who knew?  Also, I got to meet people from three or four MFA programs.  I attended two why do an MFA discussions.  A lot of input!

At times, I felt like a snowflake, sometimes a cog in a giant wheel, turning.  You know, like that.

I was there for two of the 3 1/2 days of the conference and didn't attend anything after 4:00 either day.  I was limited by lodging far off-site.  For the future, I will book early and stay on-site.  It would be ideal to be able to go upstairs for awhile, go to evening events, etc.  Have folks upstairs for chats and brews, etc.