Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Everyone's got to face down their demons

We all have them, don't we? Demons, I mean. Some worse than others. I guess I should be thankful that mine don't include 1940s era fascism, like the main characters in both the play and movie I saw this weekend. Funny that I didn't make that fascist connection until hours after the fact, because usually I see demagogues everywhere I look. Anyway, I already told you about my glorious Sunday morning run, and the rest of that day was lazy, quiet and relaxed. That's what an autocracy by my design looks like. Not so for Friday and Saturday. Shall we discuss?

Friday night found me at the local production of I Am My Own Wife. Meet Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, and hear her story of survival during the Nazi and then Soviet regimes in Berlin. Charlotte's a dude, by the way. Transvestite. Not a drag queen in the flamboyant sense. More in the Barbara Bush sense, all sensible shoes and double-stranded pearls. Her life is something to see, and not without its sinister undertones, but the real fascination here is the opportunity for the actor playing her. And the 38 other odd parts (admittedly mostly one-liners) that make up the play, because it's a one man show. Bruce Cromer, a local professional, was up to the task. Will you allow me to use "tour de force"? Brother nailed it. He was Charlotte foremost, but there was no confusion as he morphed from character to character with no costume changes. I'm not that bright, so all credit to him. The play won a Pulitzer and the odd Tony. Check it out if it ever comes 'round your parts. Here's hoping there'll be no snoring or farting when you see it.

Saturday night I checked out Pan's Labyrinth at the neighborhood multiplex. OMG, y'all, see this picture! You might think that writer/director/producer Guillermo Del Toro bit off a little more than he could chew when he decided to weave the story of guerrilla resistance to Franco's rule after the Spanish Civil War together with a macabre Grimm-like fairytale of a young girl on a fantastic and frightening quest to save her mother and unborn brother, but you'd be wrong. Like I was. This movie is riveting and the seemingly dissonant storylines are actually one and the same, and seamless. It's scary and it's violent and it's also incredibly moving and beautiful. Check it out. Thank me later.

4 comments:

The Other Andrew said...

I finally saw "TransAmerica" on DVD last night, so it's obviously Dude Looks Like A Lady Month 'round these parts. Fabulous! Felicity Huffman was brilliant (as was the very handsome young man playing her son).

I'm just sorry I waited so long to finally see it. I bought it, so I can make up for my tardiness be watching it over and over. At least the swimming hole scene.

freakgirl said...

I loved that scene, too. Wonderful movie.

Ur-spo said...

I loved Pan's Layrinth! it was so touching especially the ending.
Still, it was quite violent and certainly not for the "harry potter' kiddies.

duane said...

hooray for Pan's Labyrinth... I hope it wins the oscar!!!!