Staying Alive -- and warm.

January 20, 2008 by susan
Statue of Liberty, being hauled through rice paddies

Brrrrr. Here's a post to cover up the long one below about customs in Dallas -- and to get the tacky Debby Does Dallas poster off the top billing. Sorry about that.

Two toasty indoor recommendations if the national pond hockey tournament taking place on a Minneapolis lake leaves you cold. (The temperature here just nudged up to 4 frigid degrees.)
Here they are.

1. Maybe you have to be of a certain age or sensibility to enjoy Julie Taymor's film, Across the Universe, but I loved it. (Even though many film critics shredded it for some legitimate reasons.) Taymor, the genius behind such visual feasts as Lion King, weaves over 30 Beatles songs into a sugary Vietnam-era love story, with the songs performed by the characters in the film, including cameos by Joe Cocker, Eddie Izzard and Bono. Sounds kitchy, I know, and at first I fought it, then gave in and enjoyed the ride. Most films about that era tend to self-parody -- the get up, the language, the sappy ideals, the self-indulgent sex and trippiness and so on.
Taymor doesn't manage to skirt this entirely, but at least she doesn't trip all over it. Well, I take that back. There is a gorgeous trippy quality to the special effects, so if you missed the, ah, trip back when, here's another chance -- and with no damage to the synapses. Forget the plot, just slip into the visuals and the music and go with it. As an added bonus, it's showing in Minneapolis at the Riverview Theater, a late '60's moderne single-plex, with new, comfy seats, adequate popcorn and good prices. Check local listings. The Riverview runs their films in tandem with other films, so there's just one showing per evening.

2. If you live in Minneapolis/St. Paul or environs, make your way to the Guthrie Theater's stunning production of Peer Gynt, translated by poet/translator Robert Bly (bias disclosure: my neighbor and friend) and acted with astonishing virtuosity by British actor (alas not my neighbor, but Wisconsin-born at least.) Mark Rylance. Henrik Ibsen's notoriously long bleak script has been cut to a manageable two-acts and it brims with humor, insight and deft satire. The language is vivid and poetic, and Rylance's performance so engaging that, unlike the interminable production of Peer Gynt I saw years ago, I didn't want this one to end.

There you have it. Or, stay inside and watch thousands of beer-soaked, schnapps-stoked Green Bay Packer Cheeseheads, including my own Mr. Clothesline, wedge their generous down-swaddled behinds into the seats of Lambeau Field to see grown men run into each other at full speed in helmet-shattering below zero temperatures in order to move an elliptical leather ball up and down an ice-stiff field of grass in order to do what? Oh, make money. Well, tonight they'll earn it I suppose.
Go Pack. (That one's for you babe.)

Posted in


Anonymous (not verified) | January 21, 2008 - 4:34pm



Orv Lund (not verified) | January 25, 2008 - 10:48am

Shouldn't there be another apostrophe in the headline above?

And a film recommendation back atcha: "Away from Her" is a beautifully rendered story of a man's suffering when his wife progresses with Alzheimer's. What a genius the young Canadian actor Sarah Polley must be, to have written and directed this film about aging. Well-cast, especially Julie Christie who is both beautiful and talented.



susan | January 26, 2008 - 9:13pm

Hey Orv, I liked this one too. And I love Julie Christie. (And yes, there should have been another apostrophe in that goofball's comment. But pay no mind to them.)