08.24.09: culture blotter {the bacchae @ shakespeare in the park, inglourious basterds}

there's a noble tradition of drinking one's way through classical theatre in our set. one of joe's and my first dates was the royal shakespeare company's staging of tales from ovid at the swan theatre in stratford-upon-avon (go big or go home, right?)...with a fifth of something or other (passed between many expats, not just the two of us). while tales from ovid would probably move along at a good clip without booze - it's ten punchy little numbers, and it's translated by ted "one of lauren's favorite poets" hughes - i was glad we brought wine to the bacchae in the park on friday. i know greek tragedies (like philip glass, who wrote the music for the bacchae) are good for me, but a girl can only take so much Arty Chanting (PITY...the LADY...who cut her SON'S-HEAD-OFF! ad infinitum). on a positive note, the women of the chorus were sexy and feral and frida-kahlo-by-way-of-williamsburg (and wore rompers far better than girls of that neighborhood do); they were much more pleasing to me than jonathan groff, whose pretty-boy dionysus was more of a pop star than a rock star (though the smear of red at his mouth did give him a nice look of lunacy, like heath ledger as the joker in the dark knight returns). on a sadder note, there were no baguette-stealing raccoons* at our performance (as there were at amanda's). next year?

on saturday we met up with george for inglourious basterds at the ziegfeld. it - meh. i'd like to get frothy about how the opening sequence was really promising and how tarantino really can build menace a bit like hitchcock does when he feels like it, or how the haphazard world war two backdrop should have been all slapsticky like la grande vadrouille and instead read like the unconvincing moment at the beginning of a rock concert when the lead singer tells the crowd in fill-in-the-town that he's in the greatest town in the world, but i sort of can't be bothered. tarantino knows that we know he's bright, and he uses that given as an excuse to slap everything from genius to first drafts on the screen. i thought christoph waltz as an ss officer was great, and that mike myers owes the filmgoing public a letter of apology; i think QT owes us a reservoir dogs or pulp fiction, and soon, for he's boring the hell out of me right now.

*ETA: man, even the times critic got raccoons!

1 comment:

uncle paul said...

Psst... new studies suggest that Philip Glass actually isn't good for you... it was all lies...

Check out Wole Soyinka's version of The Bacchae some time.