The Hours

I went to see the Hours. I’d read the book before seeing the movie. What that means is that I ought to have remembered kleenex.

But of course I didn’t.

I think that reading the book spoiled a certain amount of surprise at what was going to happen. But then, reading Mrs. Dalloway prior to reading The Hours had kind of spoiled some of the surprise.

It didn’t matter, though. The movie was very true to the spirit of the book. The same feeling I had while reading the book, the feeling of being set adrift to revel in the details of the moment, were in the movie.

I could not help noticing all the small facts of decoration for the women. Their jewelry, their hair. Their clothes, yes their clothes. And the textures of their homes.

I don’t know if it is something innately feminine or not, but many many women take great pleasure in the little pretty details of their dress and decorations. The Hours was so much about women.

Being about women, it is of course, about all of us. We all come from a woman, after all.

The title refers to the moment. The Hours, the hours that go by and the hours that stay. Life is nothing more than the hours that you inhabit. Not the days, because an entire day is far too full to live at once.

The story in this movie takes a single day in the life of three separate women and traces how it unwinds. The story shows the experiences they have and the choices they make. It celebrates the fullness of life, in a beautifully honest way, revealing how terrifying, glorious and precious life is.

Obviously, I loved it. I especially loved it because it was not sweet or happy. It was just true. I hope it wins some recognition.

The Vista

Sunday, I finally made myself do something I had been wanting to do for what seems to be months.

I went to see a movie at the Vista Theater.

I’d seen the theater in my many excursions and it is beautiful. A single theater on the corner of Sunset and Prospect, with a huge brick red facade with a huge white scrollwork all over the front. I mentioned it to someone and she said, “Oh the Vista! That’s a great theater!”

So I was even more eager to go.

There was another local theater the Los Feliz 3. But people didn’t say the same sort of nice things about it. And it didn’t have scroll work!

Little did I know, the scrollwork was just the beginning!

The interior was beautifully decorated in Egyptian art. Men with towels around their waists did two-dimensional activities around the back walls of the snack bar. Inside the theater, though, was amazingly spectacular.

The bright red curtains (when was the last timeI saw real curtains in a theater?) were topped with hissy snakes. The corners were ornately molded with more snakes and other creatures.

Around the sides were gold-painted disembodied heads, regal in blue headresses. Under each was its own light. Lit from beneath, the heads were especially eerie. When the lights went down for the movie, the lights did not go entirely out for the heads. They glowed in the darkness.

But the seating was quite luxurious. The rows were very far apart. While I was sitting, I could stretch my long leg forward, point my toe, and still not touch the seat in front of me.

It was nice to have that much space. It occurred to me that I could have brought a tavle in with me, if I had wanted to.

The Vista is my new favorite local theater. Anyone making a trip to LA and wanting to see a movie in Hollywood ™ ought to go.

I felt like it was worth the eight bucks. And for me, that is saying a lot.