August 15, 2008

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My dear friend Bridget came home yesterday, after a two week vacation in California.  As we are movie buddies, hitting the Academy Theater together about every other week, I was itching to go.  Luckily, there was something we wanted to see, after a very unfortunate dry spell of lack-luster summer movies.

Since her house is on the way to the theater, I always drive, and so, I began to follow my usual route.  It was an awfully hot day for Portlanders, 101 degrees, which I think changed the physics of the neighborhood somehow, or maybe it was just the music.   I was playing a beautiful Andrew Bird song called Yawny at the Apocalypse, and felt, well, different, dreamy.  Darkness was coming on quickly, yet the notes of the song seemed to prolong those last minutes of twilight, and I was acutely aware of all that was happening around me.

The handsome grey-haired man riding his bicycle, back light blinking to the beat of my heart.  The sound of the Mini passing the myriad parked cars.  The old man, back bent, eager to keep pace with his little dog.  More cyclists riding silently, almost floating down 52nd.  The world was slow and hot – the impending darkness bringing no relief from the fiery day.  I arrived at Bridget’s and realized that the strange light from the heat made everything appear slightly blurred and soft – beautiful.  It was idyllic and magical and lovely.  We drove on, enjoying each other’s company after our long absence, eager to sit in a cool theater and enter another world.

The world we entered, that of The Fall, was a perfect match for the evening.  It was an epic and surreal tale of how broken people become whole again – through story telling, friendship, and ultimately love.  The cinematography was exquisitely beautiful – vibrant colors and intimate camera angles, painting a portrait that will reside in me for a long, long time.  The cherry on top of a perfectly hot day.