this evening was the first in a month-long series of friday night “movies on the roof” at the local art museum. tonight’s theme was “science fiction.” it’s always a series of shorts–largely experimental and somewhat bizarre. you can sit on grassy patches and bring a blanket and enjoy films under the stars… i love it! we had dinner with friends earlier in the evening and met new friends, then we headed over early so that we could claim our “lawn” spot. once we’d laid down blankets, some of us headed downstairs to see the art. i hadn’t been there since the chuck close exhibit, so i was bowled over by some of the new pieces on display. my favorite by far (and one i felt i could have stared at for hours) was one in which the artist creates a wallpaper-like design using… bugs. fantastic, real (not currently alive, but they were at one point in their history) insects. huge, colorful, beautiful bugs. you can see some pictures on the artist’s website to get an idea of what i’m talking about. amazing.
the movies were… well, experimental and largely bizzare, but the last one (“la jetee”) was one that inspired one of my favorite movies–12 monkeys. i’m not sure why i like 12 monkeys as much as i do, but la jetee was also my favorite film of the evening. except for one brief scene, the movie is entirely made with still shots (not video or moving film) with voice-over (in french, sub-titled in english). it tells the story of a boy who witnesses a man being killed when he is young (not particularly graphically) and remembers the face of a woman who may have known the man. then, world war three hits and paris (where he lives) is leveled. we skip to the future and he is an adult and the “scientists” are trying to experiment with time travel that might allow them to avoid this fate or to acheive new technology that will dig them out of this pit of despair. our hero travels back in time and falls in love with a woman. you’ll have to watch “la jetee” or 12 monkeys to find out what happens.
it was a little chilly on the roof by the end of the movie, but i still find the concept of outdoor films enchanting.