Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pompeii: The dream and the room

Jon Snow and Ghost (by Tei Iku ©)
I did a quick little search for actual Pompeii poems -- just in the spirit of thoroughness -- and of course there are some. I like this one by Charles Bernstein. (I'm very sad I read Charles Bernstein's bio, for it made me feel wholly inadequate to write anything ever again, even a grocery list.) But I digress.

What got me thinking about Pompeii was the movie trailers last night. We wanted to see American Hustle, but snap, movie times had changed and it only had one showing at five and for working people that just didn't ... work. So we ended up at The Monuments Men because of a more convenient time and hello, George Clooney. Also because, as Greg requested, 'I don't want to see that slave movie,' meaning that as important a statement as Twelve Years a Slave makes, a Valentine's Day movie it is not. Also I don't think it was playing. (And I did like The Monuments Men, not because it was great movie-making, but because it told a story that deserves to be remembered, about people we shouldn't forget; sometimes movies can be used like that. )

But I digress again. (I'm still hung up on Charles Bernstein.) I love movie trailers, unlike many of the people with whom I go to movies; they think the trailers last too long, but not me: anticipation is the thing, and lots of trailers means lots of anticipations. (And I like the very last thing with the popcorn popping and the Coke getting poured over the ice cubes, it works on me every time, I want a Diet Coke.) But the trailers -- we don't really get to see many movies in the theater so when I see the trailers it's like mini-versions of everything I want to see but probably won't get to.

Not that the trailers we saw last night were of movies I'd want to see -- Robocop? ANOTHER Spiderman? Tom Cruise saving the world (again) (I forget the name)? The marketing research for the demographic audience for The Monuments Men must have skewed action film all the way.

The best trailer was for Pompeii, and this one had me at Jon Snow, and by Jon Snow I mean Kit Harington. I have no idea how good or bad this movie will be -- from the trailer, it seems to involve some intrigue, and fighting, a love story, and stars Mt. Vesuvius in a rousing if predictable ending. (The movie tag line is 'No warning, no escape'; that may be as true for the future movie audience as it was for the poor Pompeii residents.)

BUT! What do all these action movies have that proved to be helpful to us -- especially Pompeii? CGI. What does CGI do? Makes pretend stuff seem real. How did that help us? By busting us out of the surly bonds of reality that limit our imaginations and possibilities. We might not like action movies, but just watching Peter Parker fly or Vesuvius blow or even Robocop wreaking havoc loosens some uptight valve stuck inside us. For a minute, anyway. Enough.

I guess it's all about inspiration -- lots of people get it from music, me too; solitude, people, quiet, noise, walking, running, nature, reading, different times, different measures, different writers. Bad movie trailers, who knew.

It's bad news for you, though, errant reader. You know what's coming.

The Dream and the Room (draft)

this is the dream
or maybe the room
so empty so lovely
mosaic ceiling so high
we float
in a room full of story
we might remember, or not;
against the sky
we bump our heads
frightened of the possibilities
furious at the limitations
angry enough to change
kissing the ceiling goodbye
still wondering
is this the dream,
or is this the room?

What else, tonight?

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