Zippy and I just returned from our weekly date. It was his turn to choose and he chose Guillermo del Toro’s THE SHAPE OF WATER. I would not recommend the film. However, Sally Hawkins’s performance was lovely and the movie was so visually pleasing that I debated whether to recommend watching it without sound. Alas, I believe the heavy-handed characterization and plot line would still sledgehammer their way into your consciousness even without audio.
As a writer, I’m kinda pissed. The characters were lazy stereotypes, including Michael Shannon’s character who was so over-the-top I nearly burst out laughing. That character didn’t have one shred of decency. Not one. Plus, there wasn’t a whole lot of nuance in the film and absolutely zero question as to justice vs injustice. Zero question.
And you know that quote from Chekhov about the gun? (“One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep.”) Yep, THE SHAPE OF WATER committed that sin when a hard-boiled egg didn’t go off.
Zippy and I have been taking turns picking out a date each week. This week was my turn, but the days had passed by without me making arrangements. This morning I invited my mate to go bowling.
Sunday mornings at our local establishment are very inexpensive. We each bowled three games plus rented shoes for me, and only spent about $14. Woot!
Despite getting four strikes in the first game, I only bowled a 134. The next game was lots of spares and a little higher score (144). The last game, I threw a whole bunch of gutter balls and ended at 108. It was time to go home.
All in all, not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning.
It was Zippy’s week to choose our date and he chose LOVING VINCENT.
It’s the first ever fully painted feature film, painted by a team of over 100 artists.
That’s 65,000 painted frames.
Visually, the movie was stunning. Narratively, it was a bit bumpy.
Still and all, I’m glad to have experienced it. Vincent Van Gogh felt things very deeply, and any celebration of sensitive people can only be a good thing for humanity.
It was my turn to choose our “date night” activity, and I chose the AMERICANA juried exhibition at Colorado Photographic Arts Center. CPAC is Denver’s only nonprofit dedicated solely to photography.
There are 32 photos in the exhibit. Images include a man holding a Confederate flag, groups of people at small town parades, dead coyotes in the back of a pickup adorned with a U.S. flag, a girl and her goat at the county fair, and cell phone towers that are camouflaged as a eucalyptus tree in one photo and crosses outside a church in another (two of my favorite photos in the exhibit).
This powerful photo (Alister & Sherie) is from Michael Joseph:
Zippy chose this as one of his favorites, should a mythical Uncle Mortie show up with a blank check to buy one of the photos. I, too, admire this image, but don’t think I could summon the emotional courage to look at it every day.
This week’s date night was Zippy’s choice. He chose bowling.
Here he is tonight, displaying his inscribed “Willie” ball. Our friend Willie gave it to Zippy years ago after left-handed Zippy told Willie he really liked bowling with the right-handed ball.
We bowled two games and they were both pretty bad. On the up side, we got a few strikes. On the down side, we threw gutter balls. Oh, and there were also ugly rental shoes.
All in all, it was a pretty good date.