Archive for March 24, 2023

Opening Gala

Posted in FILM, literature with tags , , , on March 24, 2023 by dcairns

Hippfest got officially up and running with Maurice Tourneur’s THE BLUE BIRD, accompanied by the weird and charming burbling, tooting and mumbling of ensemble Sonic Bothy, who, as Fiona noted, seemed to be scoring the film damage as well as the film, a cheeky approach which could have been distracting but was delightful.

The film really shone, in all its tattered glory — I’ve always found it gorgeous, but Maeterlinck’s allegory, like a lot of allegory, seemed heavy. What became clearer on the big screen, with a crowd and an artful soundtrack, was that every damn thing in that movie is both beautiful and creepy. Maeterlinck’s fantasy world is most disturbing when it’s trying to be sweet — the ancient dead grandparents waking from afterlife coma because their descendants have thought of them (for the first time in months); the parade of happy dead children descending the stairs; the disgusting palace of luxuries; the zone of unborn children waiting around in veiled heaps for a boat to take them to their respective wombs (apparently they just SIT — for YEARS — and as in the sequels, mysteriously they’re all white). The spooky Palace of Night is actually less unsettling than the purportedly sweet bits. This makes it sound like we didn’t enjoy the film but we LOVED it. For its peculiarity rather than its moral depth or its story.

We learned that the platonic ideal of a cat is a dude dressed in a cat costume, and is STILL an asshole.