As strange as it sounds, I live across the street from my old high school, or to quote that guy from Designing Women, “the site of my unfortunate incarceration.” So imagine my surprise when reading this post at Shakespeare’s Sister that I was taken back to good memories of high school.
I found myself remembering my favorite part of school: movie day! Film strips were a bore (and if you’re too young to remember those, then keep that tidbit to yourself), but movies were fun! The poor, beleaguered teacher had to thread the projector (again: too young? stuff it.) and then sometimes the projector would jam, and then, JACKPOT, the film would melt and you’d see the cool melty-burny blur on the screen! Awesome!
However, there are two movies that really stand out in my memory, and no, they are not the cheesy knights in armor, or stuttery fact-recitals. They are “Hemo the Magnificent” and “Powers of Ten.” “Hemo” was a fun movie, (turns out it was directed by Frank Capra!), about blood, the heart and circulation. It was a cartoon, and after watching it I remember being really amazed that it did help me understand what it was trying to teach. A miracle!
But the big winner for my favorite school movie is “Powers of Ten” by Charles and Ray Eames. Have you seen it? It is the one that starts with an overhead shot of a man in a park, and then zooms all the way out to the farthest reaches of known space. In one shot. Then it zooms back to the man in the park and you think you’re done. [SPOILER] But then it zooms into his hand, and the molecules, and atoms, and subatomic particles, and … Oh My God!
It totally BLEW MY MIND! What an amazing movie!
Later in my early 20s I was in architecture school in Los Angeles. I had a chance to tour the original Eames office/studio as it was sadly being torn down, and it was like visiting a religious shrine. I can’t put my finger on what exactly about the Eamses was and is so fascinating to me, but it was incredible to me to be so close to where they created all their great movies, and books, furniture, photos, and architecture. I loved that they were a couple doing their work together. I loved that they had such incredibly broad interests and pursuits.
So there you go, a glimpse into my long-ago past. Good lord, that was twenty years ago. Wow. I need a drink. Oh hell, where’d I put my walker…