So obviously this last week was completely insane. I’ve never seen so many different strange, scary and tragic things unfold in such a short period of time. Maybe I just wasn’t paying close enough attention in the past, but I’m pretty sure this was the craziest week in America at least since 9/11. At least there was some comic relief in learning that the guy who tried to attack politicians Heisenberg-style made his living as an Elvis impersonator. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
After the triumphs of Friday night’s capture, I was finally able to rest easy after a week of abbreviated sleep due to lots of work and unfolding shootouts in adjacent towns. To continue to set myself at ease, I decided to set out into the gorgeous, albeit a bit chilly, weather and take a trip to the Harvard area of Cambridge. Ironically, I was going there to see a movie, so I guess the nice weather wasn’t a big part of the experience. But it was pleasant during the trips there and back.
My goal was to unwind after the long week by relaxing with a movie called Upstream Color, a new independent movie that’s been getting rave reviews. To celebrate its debut in New England, it took up a full week of screenings at the nearby Brattle Theater. I always see the theater’s flyers, advertising the wide variety of new and classic movies it shows, mixed in with all the Tufts publications. Yesterday, I finally found the time to go.
The Brattle Theater itself was incredibly cool. It occupied part of what looks kind of like an old schoolhouse. While the building presents itself as “Brattle Hall” from the front, the entrance to the theater is off to the side, marked by an awning labeled “Cinema” in a small alcove just below street level. Outside is the box office window, inside is the concession booth, and up a narrow flight of stairs is a sole comfortable theater. There was a quite a vintage elegance in its simplicity. I found a seat in a sparsely populated row, and the movie started about 5 minutes later (without any commercials or previews).
As it turns out, I chose the wrong movie to give my brain a break, because it took all of my thought and attention to even attempt to piece together all of the flitting camera shots and jagged transitions between totally unrelated scenes. If I had to classify Upstream Color within the framework of any semblance of existing genres, I’d say it was a romantic psychological sci-fi thriller. Since I’m just a guy who likes movies rather than a film analyst of any kind, I’ll refer you to this review that I enjoyed if you’re interested in getting a somewhat clear representation of what it’s like.
I certainly can’t pretend to understand the majority of Upstream Color. But it was a thought-provoking and challenging, and in my eyes that’s enough to constitute a successful work of art. Confusing as it may have been, it was an aesthetic roller coaster with characters you really felt for, a particularly impressive feat considering some of them were only in the movie for about 5 minutes. And if nothing else, it served its purpose as one of the countless things to do within 15 minutes from campus to take my mind away from a full week of shock and fear.