Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Day for Film and Music

Today has been a day of visiting the distant to relatively recent past. It has been a day of sitting, watching, listening and connecting. I caught up with an old friend today and we watched Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, as he was kind enough to watch it for the third time on my behalf. Luckily to his advantage it was pretty amazing, which is probably why he agreed to watch it so many times. This film comes with an equally amazing soundtrack, scored mainly by Cliff Martinez with additional tracks by chillwave electronic artists like Kavinsky, College, and Desire. From the 90's style typography of the credits to the 80's style dream pop, I was pushed into the past (not too far though with the cars being a reference to present day). I fell in love with the music immediately and the film soon after. The trailer was definitely misleading, and I honestly didn't have very high expectations going in to it. I went in thinking I was going to experience a series of cliched action film montages so I was definitely thrown off guard with the eerily subtle dialogue and the dreamy yet somehow realistic chase/murder scenes. Slow motion sequences, usually deemed a bit tacky in my opinion, was actually done quite tastefully and worked wonders with the music. Most films that I've seen with one murder scene following another leave me numb to the idea of death, where by the end I'm not even flinching at a gunshot to the head. But unlike these, Drive left me horrified by each death and kept me guessing right up to the very end. Alright so, there are probably a lot of people who could have predicted that ending, but I like to think that I consciously choose not to guess for the sake of enjoying the film the way it was made to be. Here's one of the main tracks from the flick.

I wasn't given much time to digest all of this after it was over, however, because I needed to rush to meet my parents to see the Colorado Symphony Orchestra perform Beethoven's Symphony Number 7, quite the contrast from the former. I thought about all the times they've taken my brother and me to see the Los Angeles Philharmonic perform at the Hollywood Bowl, back when he was still and angsty teenager and I, still a naive child. Of course I didn't appreciate it then, and at every child that crossed my path as we walked in, I wondered how many of them were dragged along against their will, and which ones would come back 10 years later to actually appreciate it. Of course there weren't many children, given the majority of the audience were Denver's white-elite, and well over their 40s. I couldn't help but compare this experience with other concerts I've been to this month. I wondered if any of these people knew what it was like to drink a beer out of a plastic cup, stand in a grimey venue and aggressively nod heads to rock music while screaming, spilling beers and bumping into one another. It was refreshing to see younger groups of people, even though there weren't many, and I almost had the urge to give them a nod as I walked by them as if we had some kind of connection/understanding. A small part of me worries that there isn't a big enough younger generation attending the orchestra to carry on an audience to classical music when the older generation fades. I'll admit, I dozed off a bit during the first Violin Concerto (the opening act), by some postmodern composer by the name of Glass. But when they started Beethoven's 7th, the nostalgia tied to this piece came rushing through me. I remembered hearing this on road trips with my family, or sitting in the living room of our house in California, on a Sunday, having a reading session with my dad as he read the paper and I read Nancy Drew. I melted with his second movement. This holds a special place in my heart more than I believe anyone could understand. This youtube video doesn't nearly do it justice in all of its majesty...

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