Thursday, October 25, 2007

Al Cinema

This Fall the new "Original Language" series started at the Odeon. The cinema here which is in the center of town was once a part of the Strozzi Palace, and is ornate and beautiful inside. The tickets cost 7.20 euro (about $11) and they have a small concession stand which sells popcorn and candy.

There are usually a lot of people there, although because of the size of the theater, it is never full. Maybe it’s because I have been away a while, but seeing American films in another country, in a setting such as this is surreal. Recently I saw Sicko, Disturbia, No Reservations, and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Sicko was interesting, but disturbing, causing me and the other 200 Americans sitting in the theater discomfort and shame. I have seen all of Michael Moore’s movies, and found them clever, entertaining, insightful, and extreme. Extreme is what many American’s need to overcome American propaganda around how things "really" are in the US and other countries, so who can blame him? He has two hours to plant a seed that maybe things aren’t as they seem. It was interesting and surprising that the film received the same standing ovation as the others of his that I had seen in the US. I don’t know why it surprised me. I think the same group of people with the same ideas go to his movies, while those who think otherwise are at home talking about what a bad person (communist, pinko) Michael Moore is and that his films should be censored!

No Reservations is nothing but a chick flick. I loved it. I was especially surprised to find how homesick and nostalgic I was seeing NYC, since it is set there. After thinking, I realized that this is the longest time I have gone without visiting NYC. I was there in early February, twice in 2 weeks, but haven’t been back since. Usually I am there 3-4 times per year. The stark contrast between Florence and NYC was also apparent at every turn. The number of cars, the lights, the modernity of the buildings, the wide sidewalks, the large restaurants with angry demanding Americans, and the noise. Still, I wanted to be there again. The similarity was the exhilarating passion and life and heartbeat of the cities.

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