Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Know What I Did Last Summer

by jaydro
Summer is over. I was going to post this a while back, especially when Nick returned, but then Nick beat me to it. I spent a long weekend last week at the beach, my last beach trip of the summer. Wait a minute--that was my only trip to the beach this summer. Where did the summer go? *sigh*

This past summer I managed to pretty much avoid seeing any new movies in theaters. (You know, I may have snuck a few in there, but right now I'm not remembering them, which also says something.) I'm not sure how I did that. It was perhaps my worst movie-going summer ever in what looks like my worst movie-going year ever. I still want to see Pirates of the Caribbean II, and came close to seeing it last weekend. Seems like my movie buddies and I are all too busy and we all have conflicting schedules or something. I know there were times I turned down a movie outing just because I wanted to enjoy the late summer evenings outdoors.

Yes, outdoors--I meant to post about this back in June to advertise it to a degree, but I kept putting it off, and, well, here goes:

Movies Under the Stars

This past summer I reacquainted myself with the joys of outdoor movies. The NC Museum of Art had a great schedule this year, and my biggest regret is that I didn't see more of them. I did manage to see Good Night, and Good Luck, Pride and Prejudice, Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and Lawrence of Arabia. It's always great to see movies with a big crowd, I think, and being outdoors adds something more. It was great to hear the spontaneous clapping for one of Murrow's speeches in Good Night. It was sublime to see as many shooting stars as I did while watching movies on the lawn. And it was also awe-inspiring to see Lawrence on a giant screen; it reminded me why I've watched it on video so few times--the immense landscapes with their tiny figures just don't captivate the same way at home.

So, next summer you all should make a point to check out your local outdoor movie screenings. The art museum here started it more than fifteen years ago, and now we have several going on every week during the summer. (Note: I'm not counting drive-in theaters because I'm one of those traditionalists who insists on sitting in the car at a drive-in. I'm not yet one of those who brings lawn chairs and a boombox and sits out of the car at a drive-in movie.)

What else did I do this summer? Well, I watched every episode of Veronica Mars. I also watched all but the last two seasons of Six Feet Under--I plan to finish those up soon.

Oh, yeah, and I also continued work on the eighteen-months-and-counting remodeling of my bathroom. It all started with a broken tile in the shower and culminated with it stripped down to the wall studs and the subfloor. This is what happens when you watch too many home-improvement TV shows. I just got the lights up yesterday, so we're making progress.... If I'd known it was going to be this epic, I would have hired a documentary film crew.

What did I not do? Wow, a lot. I had really meant to sneak out to a matinee weekday showing of The Proposition, since I knew I'd most likely have to see that one alone anyway. I never did. Now it looks like Miami Vice might be my sneak-out movie, but time is growing short.

I've gotten into this quandary ever since a few local Carmike cinemas debuted their excellent digital projection system: if a movie plays one of those screens, I must see it there, even if it's at an inconvenient location or time, and if I miss it then I lose interest. It's silly, but there it is. :-/


Blogger jaydro said...

One other thing I did: I started reading the 9/11 Commission Report last weekend. I read bits of it when it came out, but I'm actually reading it cover-to-cover now, and I'm surprised at how readable it is, and also at how many still-accepted versions of events it corrects. I highly recommend it.

9/14/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Didn't see too many films this summer either, nor much tv or dvd or anything. Discarding the computer and living as a monk (well, close to in this day and age) was very relaxing, I can recommend it for those who feel stressed, as I did prior to this summer. Just worked, and when I came home I either read books or went out for a jog. Having been an asthmatic for most of my life I was happier than I've been in a long time when I managed to run a mile (metric) without stopping for the first time in my life.

There were lots of festivals this summer in Stockholm, it's a new trend, which meant a lot of outdoor cinemas around the parks in town. Regrettably I only went to see one (Dagur Kari's Dark Horse). Most of the other ones were showing when I was otherwise engaged, work or otherwise. The other ones were like Saturday Night Fever and Grease double-features.

But seeing Dark Horse, a black and white art comedy, in a circus tent with half-drunk people of similar sentiment and place in life as myself was nice, and something I would like to do more often.

9/14/2006 07:05:00 PM  

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