austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

It is the song of angry men

bunny_hugger and I felt like seeing a movie, so we went to the Sun Theater, a classic old-style downtown movie theater in a nearby suburb, for what we thought was their evening showing of The Hobbit. We missed. They were actually showing Les Miserables, so we got there late and to see the wrong picture. But it's a lovely old theater with your classic neon signs out front, which they turned off while we looked for parking because apparently they don't bother keeping the lights on after showtime. I understand. They need to save up for the conversion to digital projection equipment; this is certainly among the last films we're going to see with the rattle of projector noise, hair getting caught on the lens, or those coffee mug stains in the corner at reel changes.

The film, drawn from the musical, was also harrowing. Not because it isn't good; it's quite well-done, very effective. I don't know how it compares to the stage version --- while there were advertisements for it relentlessly in the New York City media markets through the 80s we never went --- but I was satisfied. But it's harrowing in that, apart from the comic relief characters of the Innkeeper and his crowd, and the personality void that is designated love interest reward Cosette, all the characters are, as bunny_hugger put it, so freaking noble. There's a lot of selflessness or dedication to higher causes or to duty in all the major folks and so there's the curious effect of feeling embarrassed that you're not living up to these better standards. At least there were for us.

Since we'd got to the theater late we missed the first fifteen minutes or so. But bunny_hugger remembered them surprisingly well from seeing the musical decades ago, and I'd seen the first twenty minutes or so of a black-and-white non-musical adaptation on Turner Classic Movies back in December, so that all turned out fine too.

Trivia: In February 1865 Julius Reuter restructured his news business as the Reuter's Telegram Company, with a nominal capital of £250,000 (10,000 shares worth £25 each; £80,000 of the capital was paid up). Source: The Power Of News: The History Of Reuters, Donald Read.

Currently Reading: Mathematics: From The Birth Of Numbers, Jan Gullberg.

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