ravenswept: (Default)
I just got back from a Flicks on the Bricks showing of The Muppets Take Manhattan, probably the best of the original Muppet trilogy. It's a heart warmer to see some 500+ people gather on uncomfortable brick and cement seating to watch a slightly blurry movie on an inflatible projection screen at eight thirty in the evening in a public square with traffic coming from all sides. Because you know the Muppets are worth it.

The Muppets are an icon of what the imagination can do. Simple puppetry, good characterization, and the want to believe took these childhood stars and made them real. And they still do; you know that people have genuine feelings for these felt hand-socks when they cheer and clap at their wedding, or you hear a few sniffs and have to hold back a tear or two yourself when they all start singing "Saying Goodbye".

If you can find any old clips of Kermit and Jim Henson, watch the people talking to them. They address Kermit as if he were real; and he is, he is not Henson, nor is Henson speaking for him. They just don't talk at the same time. That's just rude. I remember a story Henson told, I believe it was in Jim Henson: The Works, where he and Kermit came out to a small group of children. The kids were a little out of control, and very loud, and finally Kermit had enough. He got angry, and told everyone to pip down. And they did. They had made Kermit mad, and that wasn't something they wanted. They became calm and a little worried, because Kermit the Frog is not someone you try to make mad. He won't do or say anything, but he will be disappointed, and that's just as bad as disappointing your parents. Only worse, for some reason. They truly believed in him; not that he was a puppet, not that he was being held by this man with a beard, they saw him.

As much as I love special effects and what technology can do today, some of my favorite films are still the ones that didn't have use of these techniques, or only used them when things were truly beyond what they could physically do. They needed practical elements. Can you imagine if they tried to do the Muppets in CGI nowaday? It'd tank, no one wants to see false imagry of these beloved icons. They are real, both figuratively and literally. When you look at a Muppet, you see them, you can touch them, you acknowledge them as their own person.

I was eight again, if only for an hour and half. I'm not anymore. But I still believe.
ravenswept: (Default)
Bonus points for those who know what I'm referencing.

The title has little to do with anything, except that in late August Portland does this thing called "Flicks on the Bricks", where they show older movies on a large inflatible screen in the middle of the downtown metro square, appropriately made of brick. Last time I was here, I got to catch The Goonies. In Portland. They love them some Goonies.

Still, while there are about five others, a new one each weekend, I'm more excited about when they show The Muppets Take Manhattan. Sweet. Of the three classics, Manhattan is my favorite, my grandmother used to have me and my sister watch it every time we visited. And it still stands up to the newer ones.

Anyone want to come visit and watch it with me?

In other news... I dunno, I got nothing. You?


ravenswept: (Default)

January 2013

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