Sunday, March 13, 2011

A bit of culture in March

1. I went to see Swan Lake with on March 4th - the first time I've ever seen the ballet, although I've heard the Tchaikovsky score many times. The Pennsylvania Ballet's new production was designed to resemble a Degas painting, and the colors and costumes were wonderful - plus they added another layer to the narrative - telling the story of a ballet company that is getting ready to put on Swan Lake and showing scenes involving the principal dancer (also the Siegfried character). Some of the dancing was spectacular - especially the guys leaping about and doing double revolutions in the air, or the linked-up dancing (I'm sure there's a technical term for it) done by four ballerinas.

I was shocked when I found myself in tears as Odette flies off, stuck being a swan. And really happy to see the lead ballerina and a few more swans re-enter the ballet studio just as the curtain dropped.

2. Tonight, the girls and I went to see the movie Beastly, about which I have mixed thoughts.

On the one hand, I really love the story of Beauty and the Beast, and I really thought that Alex Pettyfer was pretty hot - not just in general, but also in beastly form. In fact, I thought he might actually have been hotter as the Beast. This is, however, not new for me. I also like the Disney Beast better than the transformed prince, so it might just be a thing for me.

I LOVED Neil Patrick Harris as the blind tutor, who had hilarious lines and who got to make fun of some of the more sappy lines of dialogue spoken by the leads. "WASSUP!"

I also laughed at quite a number of lines where (I must report) I was the only person in the theatre to do so. But I believe they were intended as funny lines, and that the other 10 or so people in the theatre either didn't see the humor or didn't laugh aloud.

I thought that the movie could have been far better if they'd made Pettyfer a more realistic jerk at the start and not quite so cartoonishly over-the-top. And instead of having them read a single poem for the duration of, say, four or five months while flowers sprouted around them, they should have shown them interacting in other ways and growing closer over time. Although the single poem in the greenhouse scene allowed them to imply a growth in intimacy, it nevertheless felt slightly pointless.

Also? The product placement in the film was almost laughably intrusive. Biggest offenders: Bulgari, Ducati, and Vitamin Water, although there were others. (I'm calling out Coca Cola for the ending credits, for instance.) In fact, it was only slightly less intrusive than the product placement in the Ethan Hawke version of Hamlet (Blockbuster! Diet Pepsi!) or the extremely (intentionally) funny product placement in Wayne's World.

All three of us agreed that the soundtrack was really good, and we'll probably be acquiring it around these parts sometime soon. I especially like the tracks by Tim Myers ("Today's the Day"),Mat Kearney ("Breathe In, Breathe Out") and Gersey ("Crashing").

Kiva - loans that change lives

No comments: