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. :)