Thursday, August 23, 2007

New York and the Cinema

I'm a bit of a cinephile.

I always have been. Great nights as a little girl were spent at the video store first picking out a film (we had a great video store with a lot of bootlegs) and rushing the block home to eat and watch it.

I find it immensely comforting to immerse yourself in a great film and completely depressing to find yourself watching a terrible one. Truly gut wrenching depressing.

But my favorite type of cinema are always the ones that take place in New York. Not Los Angeles studio created New York...Actual visions of New York. It's home. And I think it has great life to it. I will watch a terrible movie for shots of "real" New York (I actually did a few nights ago with Factory Girl...Yeesh. And not entirely worth it.) So five minutes ago...

You have to be in a Godspell mood to watch Godspell. If you're not in a Godspell mood you will not really be able to sit still. You may even be cynical...God forbid. :)

Luckily (and with the help of youtube clips) I was. Sitting in front of the screen and not particularly paying attention my head lifted up. And there were the Twin Towers. Barely finished, young, and being danced on. There was no sense of doom or gloom. Just size. A slightly awkward but beautifully reflected pillar doubled and only slightly different from the other. I don't come from the generation of people disliking the towers' initial presence. I always thought they were very, very beautiful...And big. Very recently that area got another blow. The Deutsche Bank building which should have been taken down long ago resulted in the completely unnecessary deaths of more people...And who knows what other sort of damage. I never am down by the area (which I oddly refuse to call Ground Zero) unattended. And by unattended I mean in a group of three or more in a cab. We drive past and hopefully don't have to look for too long. It's still very big. But barren. I can only see the odds and ends of massive equipment meant for "cleaning up". So that they can build a big giant building and makes lots and lots of money. And that's preserving. To destroy more and build on top of it. We've won. Right?

The worst part is that I can't see sky from a cab. But as it turns a corner I can see tourists. Looking through a camera lens at the World Trade Center. Never without the camera lens. Why does it make it easier? And who the hell would want to show that to their friends?

George Bush says that it would be a very, very bad idea to pull out troops. In fact it would be a much better idea to put more in. A basically abandoned building gets to stay put and infest the community...In the end it results in innocent people's deaths. But people should be thrown into something just to be destroyed? No, of course it isn't just that but where is the balance? What's more important? And can anyone give a straight answer?

Help got severely stilled when it came to the Deutsche Building. Why? Because of the construction at "Ground Zero". Because it's so necessary. I hate it. I loved the area and now I hate it. And I don't hate it because of September 11th. And I don't hate it because it makes me feel vulnerable and sad. That's normal, that's healthy. I hate it because no one will let it be. The "tidying up". And then the building over. I hate it. Every second of it is under my skin. I find it so despicable I can barely find words.

I wish they'd plant a garden and make a park. I wish so hard and so often.

And I wish they'd stop digging. It's invasive.

I never like the photographs that are posted on every toll booth. The ultra American view. The Twin Towers stared up at from very, very low. The illustration shaded crudely. The doom and gloom. It's so awful.

Awhile ago I "inherited" my parents wedding photographs. One had a broken tag. It couldn't be hung. So it sat until a week ago when I picked it up and slid it onto a shelf. And then I noticed it. They fit in so well that I hadn't even thought twice. From the Barge Music barge was the skyline. It was June 15th 1986 and sitting at night only slightly lit up were the Twin Towers perfectly content and alive with the rest of the buildings. No doom or gloom.

I'd rather see that.

...Or people dancing on top of them.

Hope everyone's week goes well everywhere. :)


Blogger Jamie said...

You never cease to amaze me with the mental pictures created by how vividly you write. I've never been to New York City. Until 9/11, I'm not even sure I knew the towers existed. Now you have brought them to life as if they never fell.

Now for home town things, I love movies that feature Los Angeles even if I know one location is 50 miles from another location and absolutely no way the hero could get from point A to point B in the time allowed. The there are the fences and palm trees of the palisades and the skaters at Venice Beach in virtually every California based movie and TV series. Those locations are so omnipresent that you wonder if director got a kick back deal from the Santa Monica tourist board.

23 August, 2007  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

thx 4 the tip on "Factory Girl". I's thinking of renting it (based on a rec') but the plot just didn't impel.

nicely said here, too. mems should be happy, not instigating!

25 August, 2007  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

love hearing your thoughts on all of well said....take care...and have a good holiday weekend...

30 August, 2007  
Blogger Sue Woo said...

Hi 'nilla better late than never!

I am thinking about you all this morning, as is everyone in the world.

11 September, 2007  
Blogger Jamie said...

"I am only quiet for the first twenty-three minutes.."

Your 23 minutes are up. How are you?

22 September, 2007  
Blogger Sue Woo said...

Hey girl,

Where are ya? I am so missin' you!

01 October, 2007  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

Hola 'Nilla

Miss your takes, Miss. Hope all's well in your life and that you throw us a bone (or some birdseed) 'round here soonish.

Regardless, Happy Autumn!

10 October, 2007  
Blogger Jamie said...


Miss you. Come for a visit when you can.

12 November, 2007  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

here it is November ....I miss you ....too....I wish I knew your email...hope you are over at Watergate Summer....take care....

17 November, 2007  
Blogger Jamie said...


Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving. My best to the family.

22 November, 2007  
Blogger Jamie said...

Your daddy has come back to Crawford's list at least for a while at Crawford's Trail Mix.

He has been bragging about your art work. I would love to see some.

Post again when the pace of life permits.

05 December, 2007  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

Merry & Happy HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your whole family, VB! I'm still missin' your takes, but hope you're having a great time in that Big Ol' Apple.


28 December, 2007  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

dec 30th...
very late...

VB I am so glad to hear from you have a very very merry New Year...I have been wondering how you were....please come by Watergate Summer ...anytime..drop in...and let us know how you are...

31 December, 2007  
Anonymous SueWoo said...


are you on facebook? Let me know
I'm gonna be up there again at some point.

Take care good daughter!

06 January, 2008  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home