15.6.13

Culture Vulturing

From the sublime...
Last year, when Thing One and I were deciding where to go on vacation, I suggested London.  We've been there many times before, so there's a comfort level about being there (favorite stores, restaurants, etc.).  Besides, there was a Pre-Raphaelite exhibit at the Tate.  The PRB is my favorite art group and some of the items exhibited are in private collections and thus not available to us mere mortals.   Then it was pointed out that the same exhibit was travelling to the National Gallery of Art in DC, making it possible to go some other place than London and still see my beloved PRB.   
The exhibit was slightly different, with fewer items, but still a great number that were privately held.  First of all, the exhibit was free: our tax dollars at work.  Second, it wasn't laid out by artist or in chronological order, but thematically.  We got to see how the PRB approached literary themes (or nature themes, or biblical themes, etc.) and were able to see a variety of PRB members, from Millais and Rossetti to lesser-knowns and people like Julia Margaret Cameron (supposedly a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood).  Yes, of course I bought the book.
What I found odd was that there were no guides, print or audio.  In some places, there were so many people looking at an item that it was difficult to read the accompanying text.  Still, now I can say that I've seen a number of items that I'll never get to see again...
to the ridiculous...
Movies used to be something I looked forward to.  For several years I'd plan my visits to work around what was playing nearby (having summers off made a midday showtime possible).  Recently, however, there are fewer and fewer that feel like Must Sees.  Ok, in part it's because I have a big screen tv that works quite nicely for quieter films, but also it's because the price and the subject don't mesh for me.  Every now and then there's a movie that seems perfect for that big screen experience... Man of Steel was, according to Thing One, such a movie. 
How wrong we were.  I was ready to leave after 15 minute, he after 30 (of course, we didn't communicate this to each other and sat there for the entire painful experience).  I get that "shit blows up real good" is the in thing for summer movies, and the louder the better.  Plot?  Irrelevant.  I also know that many of the so-called reboots (and can we please get rid of that term? please??) play with the canon, that Vulcan is destroyed in the "new" Star Trek series, for example.  In the upcoming Star Wars movies, Darth may turn out to not be Luke's father.  Who knows?  So I was prepared for changes to the Superman mythology.  What I wasn't prepared for was a Superman I didn't care about at all.
The Kryptonian technology didn't awe me, it just felt like millions in CGI dollars.  90% of the film was fighting, shit blowing up and more fighting. There was no humor, no heart, no warmth to this movie.  It was time I'll never get back.  And if I could get my $9.50 back, I'd take that in lieu of the two hours wasted.
For a variety of reasons, that's the sum of my culture vulturing over the past few months.  No concerts, no shows, just a wonderful art exhibit and a really awful movie.  Here's hoping that more comes along to cleanse my palate.