Friday night we watched "September Issue", the movie about the efforts by Anna Wintour's creative team to put out an annual 'big September issue' of the magazine "Vogue". We found the film quite interesting. Although the film focused on the interpersonal matters and the rarified world of high fashion, I found most interesting the way that working to a deadline on a tangible product requires decisions to be made and a business to be run.
Ms. Wintour's most admirable gift appeared to me not to be her very real ability to spot and make trends, nor her wise eye for fashion, but her ability to decisively make a decision and stake her reputation on the finished results. On some level, business is business.
I previously suggested an Australian poet who participates in ccMixter post an audio reading of a poem she wrote about a child's impressions during a drive with her father on her first week after moving to Adelaide. I spent a few hours late Friday night putting together a backing track for the poem, with which I was pleased.
Saturday I went with a young friend to the Dallas Auto Show. The show attendance looked up to me as compared to last year. I like a vintage Nissan car, the new VW GTi, the Subaru Outback, the Ford Taurus, the radio-controlled cars being operated by kids, and the lovely shelter pets up for adoption just outside the entrance to the show. I wish I could adopt each canine pal there. We dined on Mongolian BBQ at a Chinese buffet restaurant.
Saturday evening we gathered with our friends Scott and Donna at the Turkish restaurant near our home. My lamb kebab was very good. We talked, as we do, of politics, movies, music, and events of the day. We headed over to Yogurtville, where we enjoyed DIY frozen yogurts. Then we went to the Courtyard Theatre (a nice facility) in Plano, where we watched the Rover Dramawerks production of the light fare "A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage".
Although the play was supposedly adapted from a Twain short story, I had very low expectations of this work. I am not enamoured of the mello-drammer genre of musical. Yet the play proved a pleasant surprise. As such things usually prove to do, it turned into a simple set of original show tune pop songs, framed with the barest hint of plot. The singing and the songs were pleasant enough. We had a quite good time. The jokes were in the main non-annoying. A co-worker of my wife's did the costumes, which were well done. The band was very good, in their cowboy hats, with the fiddle player in particular providing a good sound. The evening confirmed my belief that volunteer theater groups should eschew the warhorse plays like "The Sound of Music" and "The Odd Couple' and settle on fare less tried and true (and rendered banal) to the audience. A simpler play within the skill sets of the cast satisfies the viewer far more than a failed attempt to perform a well-worn play beyond the reach of the actors.
I finished Michael Joseph's charming story "Charles", about the Siamese cat the author owned in the 1930s and 1940s. The combination of a winning pet narrative with a slice-of-life of upper-upper-middle-class UK life in an interesting era won me over. Now I am reading Jon Katz's "Bedlam Farm", about a 55 year old suburbanite dog writer who buys an upstate NY farmstead so that he can supervise 12 sheep, 2 donkeys and 3 charming sheepherding dogs. I am half-way through the book and enjoying it. I am also reading up on and watching stop-action animation videos ranging from student projects to the interesting plasticine and line drawing animation work of Bruce Bickford (suggested by vuzh). I also indulged this morning's insomnia with views of a passel of lumiere films--60 second fixed-camera video images featuring no fx, no narrative, and no conscious manipulation other than the selection of equipment and perspective. These can be quite interesting, and teach both patience and a watchful eye, all in one minute bursts.