Sunday, August 16, 2009

"District 9" or "Julie & Julia"? Neither ... "Ponyo" for me!

After spending a week in Mexico City, I can really only tell you this: It's one of the craziest places on earth, but also one of the most beautiful, and that makes it a great place to visit if you keep your guard up.

Why? Well, I've never been to a place where I've seen more people hustling, be it straight-out begging or selling just about anything you can imagine on the street, the subway or any other venue (my favorites were the guys who had converted their backpacks into some kind of jukeboxes, playing 10-second snippets of songs as they hawked CDs on the subway.)

The poverty can be bewildering, and yet it's also home to some of the most beautiful works of art. Fans of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo will delight in the museums that bare their name, particularly in the guide to all the characters in Rivera's most famous mural "SueƱo de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda" (Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda.) If I had to estimate, I'd guess I saw about 1/100 of all the magical things in Mexico City, and I hope to go back someday.

But of course, being the geek that I am, I went there with the Minnesota Volunteers who allow me to accompany them for the U.S.-Mexico World Cup qualifier, which was a one-of-a-kind experience I really never need to have again.

I understand that sports brings out the wild side of people, and I love them for that, but being pelted by beer, ramen noodles (yes, really) and any number of other bottled liquids throughout the game was really beyond the pale. And after the game, being escorted by riot police into police paddywagons (I had the luck to get a bus instead) as we were verbally assaulted with just about every Spanish epithet you can dream up was just the definition of unpleasant. All I could think was: I wonder what they would do if they lost? I still love the city and most of its people, though.

But this is all about movies, right, and I've managed to miss quite a few. I really need to see "Julie & Julia" before it leaves theaters, and since "District 9" will apparently just blow my mind, I should see that soon too. But before that, however, the one movie I've been waiting for what seems like forever to see is Miyazaki's "Ponyo," which is somehow thankfully playing at one of our multiplexes. Well, I have to drive a half hour to see it, but I'm more than willing to do that this afternoon. Then, of course, it's the season three premiere of "Mad Men" tonight, so a perfect day. Peace out.


Terence Towles Canote said...

Last night was a good one. The premiere of Mad Men. And what a premiere it was...

Reel Fanatic said...

I think it was just about the single best Mad Men episode yet, Mr. Mercurie ... that moment when Don turns to poor Sal and says "Can I ask you a question? ... priceless!

watch movies said...

as a movie lover, I must say that "District 9" and also "Julie & Julia" are really good movies! but when it comes to Ponyo, which one some important prizes in the Japanese Animation field, it a must see! Go goldfishes!