Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Monday's featured article on Wikipedia was The Battle of Ceresole, which happened to occur on my birthday, April 11, four hundred thirty-five years before I was born. Maybe it's fitting that the date featured a "marvellously confused" and exceptionally bloody battle.

Well, it wasn't a violent day for me Monday, though it did seem cluttered. I planted some flowers for my aunt and I learned I have no interest in gardening.

Sunday night, at Sonya's recommendation, I watched Lost Horizon, a Frank Capra movie from 1937, which turned out to be an interestingly pro-communism movie--just one of the many reasons for the film's alternate cuts through the years.

It was a decent movie all the way through, but my favourite part was the beginning, which was a great adventure escape sequence and a rather obvious inspiration for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. A small group of assorted characters narrowly escape a bloody revolution in China by boarding a large passenger plane on a mobbed airfield--however, unbeknownst to them, the pilot's been killed and the plane hijacked by a strange Chinese man.

The movie cost a rather amazing four million dollars, and it shows in the surprisingly realistic footage of the plane and its misadventures through the Himalayas. Eventually, the plane crashes in a snowstorm and the survivors are led by a mysterious group of people to Shangri-la, where much of the tension's drained from the movie as realistic, dangerous flight through exotic locales is replaced by simplistic philosophical drama among indoor sets that come off as a resort hotel.

Sonya and I had got to talking about the film because we were discussing Edward Everett Horton, who I seem to remember having seen in at least two more 1930s movies every time I think of him. And he was good as the nervous, high-strung palaeontologist in this film. Also good were Ronald Colman and Spock's mom, Jane Wyatt, who looked fantastic naked and swimming amongst water lilies while Colman for some reason made a scarecrow with her clothing.

As I said, a good movie, and Capra's characteristic plea for good will towards all men comes through plainly (though the film certainly isn't flattering to women, even for 1937).

Sheesh, 3am already and I didn't do half the things I meant to yesterday . . . I need caffeine.

I guess it'll be a while before another new Heroes . . . Last night's episode wasn't wholly bad, except it brought the show much closer to X-Men rip-off status, introducing a character who's basically Mystique, and showing Sylar to essentially be Magneto. And that's not even mentioning the disappointing diffusion of the Horn Rimmed Glasses with erased memory plot thread. Wouldn't it have been more interesting if, for a while at least, he really didn't know he'd helped Claire escape?

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