Monday, February 20, 2006

ready for kindergarten

Mr. Ben and I turned five on friday. It's a little hard to believe, but, since we could use the situation to justify spending outsized amounts of money on a meal in a fancy Manhattan restaurant, we decided to take it on faith.

The restaurant we picked, after much deliberation, was Annisa. It's feminist! (True!) The incredible three page wine list includes wine only from vineyards owned and operated by women; the owner of the restaurant is a woman, and so is the star chef. Mr. Ben and I got to sit side by side and order an appetizer to share and a glass of wine each in addition to our entrees and generally we felt like Hiltons. It was awfully nice.

Then we had to go ruin the mood by taking in a showing of the new What If the Confederacy had Won the Civil War? movie C.S.A. at the IFC. Theoretically a Q&A followed the main event but the charismatic young director made it through only two questions before the theater had to usher in the next batch of ticketholders. The IFC must have made a fortune that evening. Three showings to packed houses at $10.75 a pop -- they probably took in as much as the movie was made for.

The movie itself was interesting and I encourage you to see it, if it ever comes to a theater near you, which it won't, or a cable channel, which is more likely, or a college classroom, which is more likely still. It sparks good discussion, for one thing. I didn't agree with all of the decisions the director made about the way history would have unfolded. For one thing, he seemed determined to hit all the same 20th century high notes: WWII (although he never mentioned WWI,) the Bomb, the Great Depression, the Moon Landing. Many of the same people, in his revision, ran for president. A lot of it's illogical and/or feels shoehorned in.

But while it may have been less creative to show a 20th century eerily parallel to the one we lived through, it does force the viewer to confront the similarities. A lot of what he does well is highlight those same uncomfortable modern issues Spike Lee did in Bamboozled, another ambitious, flawed film. Except that one I saw on a really bad date.

Happy Presidents Day, everyone. (Where does the apostrope belong there? President's or Presidents'?) Ugh. Who cares. Can you believe February's almost over? Soon, friends, it'll be spring.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Congrats to you and Ben!! That restaurant sounds like lots of fun. The movie doesn't, though.