holy silence: the art of movie theaters

Tonight's a bust. I over-napped after work and now, as I listen to some Josquin des Prez, I think the most I can do tonight is write a little blog post and then go out for a beer.

I saw "The Artist" this weekend. I don't give a rip about critics and awards, etc. but, having said that, this one reaches the heights of sublimity.

movie poster for The Artist

This is the first time I've seen a silent, well mostly silent, film on the big screen. Big images and big music. It was really beautiful and sorrowful to think how this has been sublimated to talkies and now the "everything must be in 3-D" way. It's a good reminder in general, but also in the library context, that new and newer technology isn't necessarily better. It's just different. With every gain, something is lost.

Watching the film also reminded me of a newsletter entry and interview I worked on during my time at SCIWAY.net. I interviewed John Coles and Mark Tiedje of SCMovieTheatres.com about their research into South Carolina movies and movie theaters of the past. You can read the newsletter entry here and the interview here.

When my co-worker Cedric and I interviewed John and Mark, we did so at the Majestic Grill in Charleston, SC. Sadly, like many old movie theaters the restaurant and all its crazy film memorabilia are no longer being shown, as it were. The interview lasted well over four hours; there was just too much great stuff we learned. I still remember I'd talked to John and Mark about watching some old Saturday serials together. In particular, we talked a little about this Batman serial from the 1940's I'd recently seen and how it was total war propaganda replete with racial slurs toward the "enemy".

Well, I'm feeling like George Valentin from "The Artist" – old and washed up in my nostalgia for the past. Like him, I think I'll turn to the bottle, but for me it's going to be of the beer variety.

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