This film is being hyped big time, and I don't even watch TV but I knew about it. So did a LOT of other people who totally filled the Cape Cinema yesterday afternoon, even it's tiny balcony was opened and used. Given it was a rainy Sunday afternoon and a lot of people who might have been out on the beach or golfing, or sailing, or barbecuing decided to come to the movie.
I expected something more documentary and less a scripted movie with a story that seemed like too many families -- which I suppose was part of the point. It was very well done, the acting was fine, the aging boy was totally believable at all points, as was his sister, who in the final scenes was the real sister.
I think everyone knows that director Richard Linklater followed his son's life from 6 to high school graduation; although it was clearly scripted there was a sense of authenticity. The audience liked it and I heard a variety of "we should talk about this movie" comments.
I'm a bit of a Scrooge. I mostly don't like kiddy movies or books, if says, "coming of age" on the cover or blurb, I don't buy it. Frankly my own adolescence and teen years are such ancient history I don't relate on a gut leverl -- anyway life for these kids is light years different. And even though I had two children who went through those stages, most of that is light years different too. I'm not sorry I spent three hours yesterday watching it because I'll be able to contribute to conversations that are bound to pop up. But if I'd obeyed my first impluse which was to skip it -- I might have it weren't such a gray, gloomy day -- I wouldn't have missed anything that moved me.
Rachel and I went to the Museum of Fine Art today in Boston, to see the show of 114 paintings by Jamie Wyeth. I've seen a couple of shows of his father, Andrew's work, and was eager to see this show. I was not disappointment. Many of the paintings are quintessentially Maine, some are fine portraits, many of animals or landscapes. One called the "Hay Bale" was so simply what it was we were not surprised to read in the note that he had spent a month dealing with that one bale of hay.
The picture here is one of a series we saw of the Seven Deadly Sins (which sin, here, I'm not sure). There were many people at the show and I didn't want to stand in front of the info plaque on the wall long enough to get clear which of seven paintings of gulls described which sin. It's clear he has been a close observer of gulls
The exhibit was crowded in two senses: many people were there and the pictures seemed to be crowded uncomfortably close in the rooms allotted to them. I would have liked a little more space between paintings. It was, nevertheless, a fascinating show and a Google search just now has convinced me it is only a mere sample of the work he has done.
We were especially fascinated by a video that showed him painting a large piece which was also on exhibit which I think was called "the Inferno". It was painted on cardboard as many pieces were. He used his fingers more often than a paint brush. I wish we could have watched it and compared it to the finished painting over a half an hour instead of five minutes. What a family the Wyeths are! I very, very much enjoyed the works, mostly drawings, by Jamie's father Andrew. And Rachel has a book that includes many book illustrations done by Andrew's father, N.C. And we both were curious about the aunt who was Jamie's first teacher, a fine artist herself. It was very much worth dealing with the heavy traffic going and coming.
As most of us have noticed the middle of July moon seems to have grown bigger and brighter. We've mostly had clear skies but a couple of evenings ago, I glanced up before I went to bed and saw that a small, whispy cloud was hanging over the face of the moon like a lacy bridal veil. This is not a professional quality photo but it is close to what sent me quickly in search of my little Sure Shot to get this picture. Then I just stood and looked at it for while.
I love true adventure stories, well told, about places I know I'll never visit but wish I could -- although some of the stories convince me I wouldn't enjoy what they experienced. Such is the book I just finished Impossible Journey by Michael Asher who crossed the southern Sahara from Mauritania to Egypt with Marianantoinetta Peru, his new wife. A journey of 4500 miles, 271 days, incredible hardship.
I especially love true adventure stories when they are told in wonderful spare prose with the appropriate occasional moments of lyricism. Asher has the kind of amazing vocabulary I ony read Englishmen writing. It seems many Englishmen also have his kind of grit and insane determination to make a journey never made before and recorded. He and Miriam got married because he was attracted to her, she was determined to prove to herself and the world that a tiny woman (5 foot 1) could do very difficult things. They had not even consumated their marriage when they began. They were determined to use only camels --in 1986 when there were roads and vehicles. I loved reading of the many varieties of landscape are in desserts, what a variety of guides they hired, how incredibly strong the camels were, and how they faced, extreme heat, extreme cold, sand and dust storms, bandits, large hyenas (that sometimes attacked camels and men), how they dealth with border guards and other officials who were suspicious, sometimes could not read their permits, thought they were crazy, were spies, were illegal for any reason. They hired sequential guides, very different men, some incompetent. I love reading about the people who live in elemental places in the direst hardship but who always offer a traveler tea, help him water his camels.
As a very comfortable tourist, I saw a bit of Sahara in Morocco, slept in a comfortable tent among Morocco's highest dunes, visited a woman and her children in a camel hair tent, saw a small oasis with date palms. Compared to Mike and Miriam this was nothing at all but having had such an experience gives me a peek through a very small window so that I could enjoy living their desparate moments, the long days of walking and riding, their very spare diet.
The book sat in my to-read bookcase a few years. I now see from Wikipedia that Asher has written other books and I'll keep an eye open for them. He's a writer I totally trust and admire.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!