Archive | June 2019

June!

How I do mourn your passing each year, my dearest June

So much rests in your welcoming arms,

those brief weeks when all is as it should be in these local environs, this fantasy of a world gone right, when we humans and our animal friends seem to flourish happily in the petri dish of ideal conditions, euphoric from the off-gassing of the perfect weather for being out of doors, when each half-hour at your bosom enlivens and recharges hearts and souls; all the while a miserly, little clerk from some Dickensian counting house is ticking off the days before the sticky throng of humid slimery descends like evil, stifling cling wrap to mummify us under muggy, clammy layers, or else imprison us behind pollen proof windows and the labored wheezing of the window air conditioner well along into its feeble retirement pension, across blistering months too long to make sense of, until the coming of the dank, and the cold, and the dark that follows.
 
I miss you before your are fully gone, and live the year ahead banking on the slender salvation of your return, you cruel, cruel mistress.

The Actor’s Nightmare

It’s been years since I’ve had the full-blown actor’s nightmare.

I awake on a picnic-strewn blanket in the center of a brightly lit stage behind a traditional proscenium in a 300 seat theater. Not only do I not know any of my lines, I do not even remember rehearsing with these people.

Early twentieth-century dress. Ah Wilderness!? Chekhov? But no, there is no improvising my way through this one. It is Shakespeare. Measure for Measure, Act II.

My blanket-mate has a copy of the text hidden in a book! But I can never find exactly where we are in the script.
As people stomp this way and that with their arguments, I realize maybe I am part of some director’s concept about the general public waiting to judge those who had down judgement from positions of power. So I start acting in that manner, a member of the jury. Until my blanket-mate suddenly stands up to become Isabella.
 
My turn to “enter” is coming but I still don’t know I am, until the action stops and people glare at me for missing my cue.
 
And then a loud demanding meow tells me I have missed my real cue and Nisa New is heralding certain death from starvation if I do not get up and put food in her bowl.
 
I awoke on a sweat-strewn blanket, feeling like I need eight hours sleep.
There are few dreams that stay with me. Some I remember from decades ago, including various renditions of the actor’s nightmare, going back to my teenage years.
Actor's Nightmare stage

Dunkirk Done Right

Today, 79 years ago, the siege at Dunkirk was at its savage height

The small screen managed to do a better job of it than the big screen

I wanted to recommend a VERY good dramatization about Dunkirk that I saw recently – and I do not mean the cinematic Twilight Zone episode that got all the hype two years ago.
 
It is a three-part mini-series (three hours in total) from 2004, which is currently on Britbox. But it may be findable elsewhere.
 
Part docudrama narrated by Timothy Dalton, part scripted drama, it gives a much better idea of what a shitstorm it really was, compared to the artistic license version we saw in the cinemas.
 
And Benedict Cumberbatch is featured in the last part, when he was just starting to be recognized as someone special. “Bennie” loses his celebrity status quickly and is truly terrific as one of the real-life lions in those dark hours.
 
Not that the 2017 film wasn’t a good movie. But as my review puts it back in the day, it was a creative way to try to tell the re-examined metaphysical tale, rather than spend the zillions required to tell the actual one.
 
And in case you haven’t seen the movie yet, my review doesn’t spoil very much at all.