2003-03-25 - 11:03 a.m.
Adaptation, Copenhagen, and some other stuff
Ah, where to begin.
First off, just some random mass media I've absorbed recently, and my reactions to it.
Adaptation is the kind of movie that I like to see Hollywood make. Because it's weird. It's damned weird. It's so far outside the normal Hollywood pap that it's encouraging. It makes me think that maybe someday movies won't all be the same low-brow cookie-cutter crap. Adaptation took risks, and went in strange new directions. Nicholas Cage's character (one of them) was at times the most realistic character I've ever seen on screen. Nicholas Cage did a damn fine job in this movie.
All that being said, I didn't really like the movie all that much. There was this random, wandering pointlessness to it all. Which, actually I was okay with, because it was still holding my interest, and it seemed to me like that was the point. But then, in the last twenty minutes, it turned into every bad, poorly-written B movie thriller I've ever seen. And all the great characters they'd built up were reduced to shrill, stupid caricatures. I feel like they wimped out at the last minute and tacked on the Hollywood ending. Still and all, it was worth seeing.
Next up, I went this past weekend to see Copenhagen at the Denver Center Theater Company. It was freaking amazing. It's about Werner Heisenberg's visit to Neils Bohr in 1941. These two men were instrumental in creating Quantum Mechanics (you may have heard of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle). But when the war broke out, Bohr, a Dane was suddenly in an occupied country, and (being half-Jewish) waiting for the axe to fall. Heisenberg, a German, was put in charge of Germany's nuclear program. The visit is one of those historic moments that's shrouded in mystery. Was Heisenberg trying to recruit Bohr to work on the bomb? (Bohr fled to the US in 1943 and worked at Los Alamos.) There is speculation that he was trying to convince Bohr that scientists could derail bomb programs on both sides. Indeed, the German program obviously never produced one, and Heisenberg was in charge of it till the end of the war.
The thing about this play was its simplicity, and at the same time, its overwhelming complexity. There are only three characters (Bohr's wife Margaretta being the third), no props, a minimalist set, simple lighting, really nothing to get in the way of the story. There is no action. No fights, no jumping around, no dancing, nothing. It's just talk.
But, oh the talk. Physics, politics, history, psychology, interpersonal relationships, and they way they change during war-time, the loss of children, the nature of self-reflection, the malleability of memory, love , loyalty. By God, it's all in there. It is one the best-written modern plays I've ever seen. I loved it beyond my ability to describe. This is what theater should be about. Something to make you feel, and make you think, and leave you a better person for having experienced it.
I'm not going to talk about the war today. It's my own little personal hiatus. Because it makes me sad.
Speaking of masochism, it looks like I'll be hanging out with ShyGirl this weekend. The optimistic, "assume positive intent" part of me says that, well, we're friends and that's what friends do. The cynical, bastard part of me says why is it that she only needs me as a friend when she's feeling down, and things aren't going well with FuckFace?
I'll let you draw your own conclusions.