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Showing posts from October, 2017

Fences – Denzel Washington’s filming of August Wilson’s play.

Fences played in our local theater years ago and I wanted to see it then – and wanted to see it again when it came out on the screen last year.  Watching it in the intimate theater of the small screen in our home recently, we finally became acquainted with the play – and this movie production seemed confined by the play – it seemed to be bursting at the seams of the small movie set that was created for it – but also not to be quite big enough for the screen that it would burst out onto. It is a powerfully intimate play that should not be as broadly populated as a movie screen allows.  The production thus interferes with the pleasure – if you can call brutal confrontation with the realities that our circumscribed lives dump on us a pleasure – of engaging with this material because it seems oddly remote, unreal, and therefore, as it were, staged.  And this is too bad, because this really is very good theater.  I am glad to have had a shadow experience of it – though rue not having seen…

Edward Abbey’s The Brave Cowboy

When I first landed in Albuquerque, I felt like I might as well have landed on the moon.  A sophomore in college, I had transferred from the “home” campus of my college in Annapolis, Maryland, to the campus in Santa Fe.  Never having been to the southwest before, I was unprepared for its austere beauty.  Riding “The Roadrunner”, the van that carried travelers from the Albuquerque airport to Santa Fe, some 60 miles away, I noticed every new scrap of green that appeared as we travelled higher up into the mountains – out of Albuquerque’s dustbowl and into Santa Fe’s, by contrast, verdant high desert.  During my four years there – school and one more where I tried to join the tiny middle class in a city that includes many poor and very wealthy citizens often living cheek by jowl – I pined for the lush green of the Midwest.  My friends would claim that I just needed to slow down – that the mountains around us were waves that were cresting and, if we could slow enough, we could see that th…