Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Sy and two of his people have joined us thanks to the skills of our intrepid Tomas. But they brought with them an even greater tale of deliverance.

One day behind us, they were also caught in the region of the earthquake. They had been spotted and pursued by an army patrol. Cornered in a dead end canyon they had given up all hope – when the earthquake struck. Before their eyes the ground split and swallowed their adversaries. Closing over them with a crash.

After a brief rest Sy and Tomas went down to our observation lookout.

They brought back the news that a truck had arrived with a huge crate strapped to its bed. And an automobile carrying Mawuli.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Both Elijah and I agreed that today would be the day, and though we were prepared, we were not expecting deliverance in the quarter from which it came.

Tomas had returned and I confess my focus was totally on what he had to tell us.

He had neutralized the artillery quickly. Then he went beyond his assigned task and scouted the near elements of the army of the North.

As he described their configuration, a picture formed in my mind’s eye, and I saw Elijah and me easily trekking our way through to our destination.

Before I could even consider the “how” the Supreme Commander rolled in and asked if we could curse the army of the north for him.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas was dispatched to the north this morning to pinpoint the whereabouts of the army of the world government – especially those units operating in the vicinity of Babylon.

The Supreme Commander wants to knock out the artillery that has been compounding his problems. And perchance head off any further instances of the purple fog.

Consequently, Elijah and I have been restricted to our building. All for our safety of course, but I have more a sense that it insures the return of Tomas.

Strange, for I thought that the Supreme Commander was more confident in the loyalty of Tomas than of ours.

Perhaps it makes little difference for at base we are all hostages.

And we look for our deliverance.

Day Five Hundred Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Both the Captain and Tomas were thankful for their deliverance, and the Captain contrite about his attitude of yesterday.

They had been swept up by a patrol when a merchant raised a hue and cry after our friends tried to make a purchase without the mark.

Thankfully such a fervor has not spread out to this area. Yet.

For now the two are content to stay put and consider their options.

Just after noon the darkness returned. I thought it providential in that it would hide us from any pursuers. Elijah, however, considers it a finger pointed directly at us. But he says that without any concern.

Certainly we see no one walking about in the murk.

We’ll know tomorrow.

Singing in the Rain in Seattle

Singing in the Rain in Seattle

I may have been beginning my junior year in college, but I was probably at the post graduate level for viewing films, all thanks to the Harvard Exit.

Around town the latest features were:

The French Connection – still racing down the suburban screens after opening the year before

The Godfather – packing them in at the 7th Avenue

Deliverance – floating down the river at the Music Box

Superfly – jiving at the Town

Ground Star Conspiracy – at my dad’s theater the Renton Village Cinema (bet you’ve never seen nor even heard about that one)

And as I mentioned last time, I was tearing tickets at the Cinerama for Woody Allen’s “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask.”

My girl friend and I did see five of the six listed above, but we were more interested in films of an older vintage. Films that were in good supply at Seattle’s premier revival house, all (or almost all) in glorious black and white.

It was at this time that we caught up with the film that beat out not only The Maltese Falcon but also Citizen Kane for the Best Picture Oscar for 1942. That film was John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley. I must say that I think Kane was robbed, but I also can see why Valley won. Both had stunning cinematography and magnificent ensemble casts. (And yes, I do love Ford’s films very much). Obviously in the mind of the voters, one just razzled while the other dazzled.

We took in a comedy double bill of Duck Soup and Horsefeathers, following the serious drama of Valley. Cinematography was not the distinctive for the Marx Brothers films. The sparkle came from the antics and patter of the madcap quartet. It was a good portent, for now I was anticipating catching the brothers (pared down to a trio) in A Night at the Opera. I say that I was anticipating it, not so much Karen, whose taste in comedy runs along different lines. Hurrah for Rufus T. Firefly.

In the comedy line, we both enjoyed Buster Keaton in The General which popped up on the Exit’s schedule a few weeks later. This had been on my Must See list ever since reading about it in Brownlow’s The Parades Gone By. And it did not disappoint. One marvels at Keaton’s comic genius, a genius which can engineer comedy gold out of large inanimate objects. Every time we pass by Cottage Grove down in Oregon, I long to get off and go in search of the places where Keaton filmed what many consider his masterpiece. It was the only place in the US at the time that had the right track gauge for the trains he wanted to use.

And now, for the whole reason for this post. (It seems I have veered, -I swear it was unplanned – into the comedy genre). What I want to blog about is the best comedy film of all time, and the best musical film of all time. They are one and the same. And I will define it even further – Singing in the Rain is the most perfect movie made under the Hollywood studio system.

I can state truthfully that neither of us knew what we were in for when we took our seats at the Harvard Exit that night. Right from the opening credits through which Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor sing and dance the title tune, all the way to the HAPPY ending, we were treated to a rollicking good time. It was exhilirating, and dare I say intoxicating, in the best sense –  a joy and a delight to see Kelly dance (not only in his famous solo reprise of the title tune, but throughout), and jaw-dropping wonder at O’Connor’s solo turn that made us laugh. And sweet, winsome Debbie Reynolds won our hearts completely.

And the contrast with the black and white films we had seen could not have been greater. The colors popped off the screen. I could say that the colors “sang and danced” too. All the elements came together – cast, crew, sets, costumes, writing, songs, choreography to make a sweet cinema confection.

We were not alone. Leo the Lion roared at the beginning and the audience roared its approval at the end.

Note – we recently saw the new release The Intern, a film directed by Nancy Meyers and starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway. We were delighted that a clip from Singing in the Rain was used to effect as the title character is remembering a time when he and his now departed wife had watched it together. It was a poignant moment. (And it was all my wife could do, not to burst out into song along with it).