Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Trip

If you've got holiday company and are alooking for a nice morning trip, I suggest a drive up to San Miguel Mission.  The restoration work to repair the damage from the earthquake a few years ago is done.  Even the experts at the Getty got involved to preserve the lovely 1820 frescoes.


You can stroll around the courtyards, and grounds.  They even have two mud ovens, though none that look like a giant bear.

There's even a rather bare and sad cemetery where over 2,000 Mission Indians are buried.

And, of course, the requesite antique-looking adobe fountain.

Then Go See Hugo

If  you love movies, Martin Scorsese's new film, Hugo is a must-see.  Avatar and now Hugo are two films where the filmakers really understood how to fully utilize the visual mechanics and qualities of 3-D.  For too many films, 3-D is simply an excuse to add a few bucks to the ticket and throw a few things at the audience.  Or, worse yet, ignore the story altogether and spend the big bucks, not on a great script, but on whiz-bang roller-coaster effects which become as repetitive and uninteresting as a Whirly-Gig ride at the fair after a few minutes.

Not James Cameron, not Martin Scorsese.  They're storytelling makers of moving pictures first and formost and in both films they have created an entire world and invited the viewer to step into that world, not merely sit in a theatre seat and have things tossed out at them.  Huge difference.

As USA Today puts it, Hugo is "a wonderous blend of fantasy and mystery that will appeal to adults as well as children."

But be warned.  There were previews before the movie and it seems George Lucas intends on 3-D-ing his first (actually 3rd) Star Wars movie, (Phantom Menace.)  Trust me, no amount of 3-D can save that film. Or the next one.  I mean, does anyone think 3-D will improve Jar-Jar Binks?  Me thinks not.

And the original, 1977 first Star Wars is perfect as it is.  Gilding that perfect lily is a waste of time.

And if you're in the mood for a far darker film, catch "Take Shelter" at the Palm.  This acting tour de force is compelling, disturbing, riveting portrait of a man coming undone.  Or is he?  Take shelter, indeed.


Sewertoons said...

Wow! Great photos and update on the mission!! I haven't been there for a while and a lot has been done since then. Good advice for a trip - I know it sounds crass, but money is key to these restorations. I try to spend a little when I visit if it supports maintenance and restoration. I am not of the Catholic faith, but there is no denying that missions are huge part of California history and I support their upkeep as I am a fan of history. Some missions are under state care and others not.

Thanks for the movie update too. Have seen the trailer to Hugo and found it to be a little creepy even!

Churadogs said...

Restoring the mission was a bit tricky since it's both a functioning church AND a state historican site, so there was a fine line to walk. But it's nice to see it restored and not in danger of falling down.

Sewertoons said...

I didn't know that - thanks for the update!

Churadogs said...

At least I think it's a state historical site, I recall some of the arguments over fixing it rested on that connection -- what responsibility would the state have to save an important historical site, etc. vs not wishing to help a (private) church & etc.

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