Saturday, January 14, 2017

Musical Watch: Pennies From Heaven (1981)

It's literally impossible to imagine this movie getting made in the last ten years.  A studio film that's a musical wherein the leads are actually lip-synching to mostly tin pan alley versions of 1930's era songs, and, by the way, it's more or less a depressing late-1970's story that maybe is deconstructing the conventions of the movie musical.  Cheerfully titled Pennies From Heaven (1981) and starring the lovable duo from The Jerk, Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters.

We wanted to see it as The Alamo Drafthouse had included clips in the La La Land pre-show as a modern musical we might not have seen.  And I was curious why I had heard of the movie, but it's not discussed much and I don't recall anyone ever telling me to check it out.

I think if I'd been clued into any of this before the movie, I might have enjoyed it more than I did.  But I spent the first thirty minutes trying to figure out what I was even looking at, and then adjusting to what they were doing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The 2016 Kryptos - Television

way more effort went into this graphic than I want to admit

2016.  It seems so far away now.  Heck, Christmas was, like, two years ago at this point.  But let us remember that all too vital part of all of our lives - TELEVISION.

Oh, you don't own a television?  You haven't had cable in ten years?  Well, la di dah, mister fancy pants.  Some of us stay in touch with the people.

Between cable, internet streaming options and sports, it was certainly a year in which I watched a metric ton of TV.  You couldn't not be told you had to watch this show or that show by your friends or co-workers.  And some of them you didn't try, some of them you watched and didn't like and just prayed they'd never ask about whether you'd tried it or not, and some of it was maybe not the best thing but you still tuned in.  And some of it you set your schedule around watching.

Here's a quick rundown of some of what we watched:

Sunday, January 8, 2017

NASA Watch: Hidden Figures (2016)

I'd only become aware of the existence of Katherine Johnson and the "computers" at NASA in the early days of the US side of the space-race within the last four or five years.  The internet is pretty terrific when it comes to sharing the sort of information that used to get buried in footnotes or left out of the common narratives shared of our history.

I was pleased to find out that our noon-time showing of the movie on a Sunday was sold-out, so at least the folks in my neck of the woods seem interested in hearing what the movie had to say.  You never really know how a docu-drama is going to play, but it was interesting how many families had come out to see the movie.  And, honestly, it's a good one for the kids to see.

The movie follows the stories of three women who were pioneers in a world that was breaking boundaries as mankind sought to escape the bonds of earth and reach space.  And, while no doubt how the realities are framed will be debated, the overriding drama of the film is how these women pushed back against the racism and cultural norms of 1960's America that very much could have stood in their way.