Thursday, 24 May 2012

It's all too much

Back in the hazy days of my childhood and youth, there was a studio called "Open Space". It was a very versatile place, on the second level above the street, though I can't recall just what it was above. I went to craft fairs there, concerts (very small concerts), plays -- was even in a couple of them, and movies. In the summertime, you could go to double, even triple features. I saw my first Marx Brothers films there. They brought in risers, set up a small screen, and hawked fruit, nuts, and chocolate at intermission. I think they did rather well at that. For one thing, there was usually a rather ropey smell shared by the audience who were usually pretty hungry, for some reason. For another thing, a really popular double feature was Disney's Alice in Wonderland followed by Yellow Submarine. Far freakin' out. Too much, man.

I was thinking about that this evening as I watched the audience trickle in at Silver City.  They were screening a one-night-only showing of a hand-restored print of Yellow Submarine, complete with digitalized soundtrack.  I'd say about fifty people showed up, most of them grey-haired, and a number of them struggling with the steps.

We took younger daughter who has been looking forward to this for a week.  Yellow Submarine is one of her long-time favourite films; she's loved the Beatles since she was two.  She wasn't the youngest person there -- a fellow with hair streaming past his shoulders brought in his kids who looked to be pre-teenagers.  They had "home-schooled" written all over them, but the funny thing is, those kids and their dad could have walked into a showing of this film forty years ago and not looked out of place.  They didn't look out of fashion; they looked outside fashion, timeless.

The film began abruptly, no intro, no trailers, and best of all, no "pre-show".  It was crystal-clear and damn loud.  Someone must have scurried outside, because the volume dropped abruptly during the second song, but the music was divided into half-a-dozen tracks, which did give that surrounded-by-sound sort of experience, but I think they failed to turn down all the speakers because sometimes the vocals were considerably fainter than the instruments.

It was a strange experience to sit through the film and really watch it.  After repeated viewings by both daughters, I'd tended to drift away to accomplish things whenever it was on, and now I found myself noticing details because of the large screen and clear image, and even getting jokes for the first time.  (Ringo says he dated Frankenstein's sister Phyllis -- I never got that before.  Also, the Resident Fan Boy pointed out the pun "I'm a born lever-puller."  Get it?  I'm not sure I'm glad I've got that one now...)

Perhaps the strangest thing of all was that no one laughed.  I don't think there was a single person in the cinema that was seeing this for the first time.  I remembered howls of laughter when I first saw this film.  Okay, maybe they were more like dizzy giggles...

Speaking of dizzy giggles, this is a great song for that kind of thing.  Not that I would know, children.  I heard it for the first time when I watched Yellow Submarine for the first time, and I still rather love it.

1 comment:

Winnie said...

Thanks for linking that video..I haven't heard that in AGES..So fun! I wish they would have a showing of the movie here...Very fun.. Can't wait to show my hubby the tonight..He is a major Beatles fan...