Monday, October 23, 2017

Looking for Ms. Goodbook


Is this a photo of Batty’s secret trysting spot? Find out next week!

I’m off on another secret mission; be back next week. In the meantime, keeping with the October in Iceland theme, there will be some classic FITK posts from waaay back, including a pair of Little Miss Loopy’s most hilarious efforts, now augmented with never before seen photos.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 0 




Friday, October 20, 2017

Wednesday Night at the Schooner

A cryptic phone call: a promise of 20s era tunes and I was out the door on a “school night.” When I got to my destination, the Schooner Tavern, The Hula Peppers were already on stage:



"Lotta Miles"; lost in a ukelele reverie:



An appreciative crowd of regulars got into the vintage vibe:



The Peppers offered the perfect soundtrack for knitting:


Image processed via DeepArt

Here’s Lotta and “Tiny Gene Poole” explaining how Little Red Riding Hood keeps the wolf from the door:



The Hula Peppers play at the Schooner on the second Wednesday of each month.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 2 




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

In The Treetops

A new play
Written and performed by
The Sandbox Theatre, Minneapolis

Not too often (as in never before) have I had the opportunity to see the life of Wanda Gág, artist and author and personal inspiration, portrayed in any dramatic medium, much less in the living flesh in the intimate confines of a small theater. The Sandbox Theatre troupe has been creating dramatic events for several years now, this ode to Wanda is their latest.

The play opens with the adult Wanda, in her studio at All Creation, looking back at her childhood and the games and stories she played with her family to keep it together after the death of her father. For a show aimed at children (there is a lot of prancing and childish hi-jinks) it has an element of despair haunting it: the very effective shadow plays of Wanda’s parents on a back-lit scrim are dreams that still haunt the adult Wanda.

Almost any play written by a troupe will have problems with focus and story line: this effort, with its shifting scenes and minimally defined characters, is no exception. A little better exposition would have helped a great deal. The music, always the hardest thing to get right, is somewhat diffuse as well, although tasteful. The acting is good, adults portraying children are always a stretch, but usually better than children playing children. Kristina Fjellman as Wanda is almost too happy and too nice for the role, the real Wanda suffered immensely, a suffering that is only hinted at here.

I saw the final performance at the Open Eye Figure Theatre although there will additional shows at the Germanic-American center toward the end of the month.


The Shoebox Theatre, Image by Matthew Glover

By Professor Batty


Comments: 2 




Monday, October 16, 2017

801 Opening

The Fall Arts scene is well underway.

Last Saturday I attended an opening where my old pal Nicole was showing her "existential modernist" Barbie images:



Serious discussions about art went on throughout the night:



The Batgirl Barbie was an especially popular background for selfies:



Of course, there was wine:



Lots of wine:



Perhaps too much wine:



Stylin’:

By Professor Batty


Comments: 1 




Friday, October 13, 2017

Either Way



Á annan veg
A film by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
Iceland 2011

Another Icelandic film that had hitherto escaped my attention, found hidden in the Anoka county library system’s computer catalog. A true road movie: all of the action takes place on or near desolated stretches of Iceland's rural roads. I had seen one of its stars, Hilmar Guðjónsson, in a 2012 production of Rauð (Red), a play about Mark Rothko. I saw him in 2015 as well, in the Vesturbaerlaug swimming pool, but that was a different kind of “exposure.”

Set in the mid-80s, two road workers are spending their summer manually painting lines and pounding in stakes along a mostly deserted highway. Alfred (Hilmar) is 24 and restless, eager to return to the city. Finnbogi (Sveinn Ólafur Gunnarsson) is 33, and is using the summer to take a break from a stormy relationship with Alfred’s sister. The relationship between the men is strained to begin with, and goes downhill from there. A lot of not very enlightened talk about women eventually comes to a breaking point. I won’t go into plot; this more a film of atmosphere and nuance. The Icelandic scenery in the film is among its bleakest, this is most definitely not an Icelandic Tourism film. A hard film to like. While the actors are fine, I found the set-up and payoff not worth the effort. The film did have some success on the festival circuit where its “indie” production sensibilities would be an asset. It was remade as Prince Avalanche in the U.S. in 2013, starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, which bombed at the box office.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 4 




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bokeh


Screen Media Films
 
Continuing with my Icelandic-themed October, I watched the movie Bokeh last weekend. It is a post-apocalyptic mumblecore film (set in Iceland) where a young couple, Jenai and Riley, suddenly find themselves on an island without people. This should be a good set-up for an Adam and Eve film, or even an extended Twilight Zone episode. Instead, it is an extended passion(less) play about a clueless child-man and a perpetually PMS-ing young woman who barely speak (and when they do it is in unintelligible monotones.) They wander around in what appears to be an Icelandic Tourism promotional video, usually dressed in t-shirts as if it was southern California. There are numerous “Huh?” moments that don't make any sense; things that couldn’t (or shouldn’t but don’t) happen. The brief cameo by notable Icelandic actor Arnar Jónsson perked my interest for a few minutes, but it too little, too late. While I didn’t think much of the film the deleted scenes were even worse—real howlers.

A tiresome film that I was relieved to see end.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 3 




Monday, October 09, 2017

Imagine…

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try…



No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…



Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too…



Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…



You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one…



Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man



Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…



You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one…
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one.




~John Ono Lennon

Each year, on the anniversary of John’s birth, The Imagine Peace Tower is lit on the Island of Viðey in the Reykjavík Bay, Iceland, to commemorate his life and his and Yoko’s  quest for world peace.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 0