It’s been very cold here the last couple of weeks. We’re talking less than zero degrees Fahrenheit for days at a time, with wind chills of much lower than that. A friend of mine was joking that we might see temps so low that weather men in Canada and the States would be saying the same number. (The Celsius and Fahrenheit measurement systems coincide at -40°. Ha ha!) I have a warm down coat with a hood, long underwear and gloves, so my five-block walk to and from work hasn’t been too bad. Last night, though, the wind was gusting strongly, from various directions, as I trudged home. I seriously began to worry about getting frostbite on my face before I got home. And we’re talking a less than ten minute walk!
It just isn’t right. This is the type of weather that calls for one thing: watching movies in a dark, warm room.
So that’s what I did last night with Orson, Becky and various other folks at Orson’s office space. Orson’s officemate Paul played the DVD on his laptop and piped it to an LCD projector. From there it was pointed at a large white dropcloth hanging from the third floor mezzanine. (Orson was assigned the duty of ironing the dropcloth ahead of time.) The result was a large and fairly clear image with a somewhat distracting line through it where the two halves of the dropcloth were fused together. I wouldn’t call it theatre quality, but it was pretty damn good!
The movie, however, was a problem, at least for me. We watched Swimming Pool, starring Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier. I had the impression that I would like this movie, so I was disappointed to find it fairly boring, both in terms of plot and character. The fact that there was a layer of “metacommentary” plastered over everything — to the point that you have no idea at the end of the movie what has actually happened and what hasn’t — doesn’t make me feel any more happy about it, literary though I may be. The thriller plot is still a silly thriller plot, even if it’s a commentary on a thriller plot. And the main characters were still caricatures of an uptight, voyeuristic Englishwoman and a wild, sensual French teenager. It was somewhat intriguing to try to figure out at the end if Rampling’s character was artistically inspired or just plain nuts, but in general I agreed with Orson: the best thing about the movie was the setting of southern France. Vive la Provence!