SING A SONG OF SIXPENCE
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing—
Wasn’t that a dainty dish
To set before the king?
The king was in the counting-house
Counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlor
Eating bread and honey,
The maid was in the garden
Hanging out the clothes.
Along came a blackbird
And snipped off her nose.
The 13th Street (Neset apartment) Oscars Party requires attendees to have seen every Best Picture Nomination and to prepare a dish that fits within the theme of one of them. Susanna and I went to “Birdman” last night, hence the birds-in-a-pie idea.
What a strange and practically wonderful film. There are three main characters (Broadway/Live Theater, Movies and New York City’s Theater District) accompanied by several really great actors in fine fine performances. We loved it for all of that after our years as dance presenters; as movie aficionados (me, mesmerized by movies from the time I was a kid; Susanna, connected through her kid, a most beautiful and talented TV/film actor; and finally as great fans of the great city.
Now, trying to figure out how to define “Birdman” for myself, the phrase that keeps coming to mind is magic realism—not quite as defined by Gabriel Garcia Marquez , but a sort of grungy 42nd Street version.
The Birdman, Michael Keaton is the ex-superstar hero of film trying to make an impact on Broadway. In spite of his occasional use of some supernatural abilities things do not go well. Well, sometimes they do—like when he’s flying. There are some little love/sex/sexy exchanges between various characters; a rather sentimental, in a very contemporary way, relationship between father and daughter (Emma Stone’s eyes have magic powers all their own); and lots and lots of references to actors and acting.
In fact, “Birdman” is a story for and about actors and their back-and-forths between Hollywood and Broadway. And successes. And failures. And talent. And abuses.
Age presents its own conundrum as father and daughter play old world, new world in the battle of how to communicate with the world—movie critics and newspapers versus tweeting and trending.
You can tell whether a movie is good by whether you’re still discovering things about it a few days later. “Birdman” has layers and layers to explore; it would almost be worth seeing it again if there weren’t so many more on the list.