Friday, February 04, 2005

Harvard Extension class, Austin City Limits, Fritz Lang's M and Metropolis

Friday at last. Yesterday I didn't get anything very productive done, but it was a good day nonetheless. For most of the afternoon I was all nerves worrying about my Harvard Extension class that evening. But the train and subway ride in went off without a hitch, and I had no problem finding the building (Sever Hall) and room. The class isn't taught by TA's but a Harvard professor, which I was happy about; the teacher really seems to know his stuff, and he's also a really genial man. The class of about 60 people met in a lecture hall and the teacher basically talked for the whole two hours (that two-hour class seemed a lot shorter than my 45-minute French class, though!); I almost raised my hand to make a comment at one point, but my shyness and nervousness got the better of me, and then the topic passed. I'm sure I'll get more comfortable with time, though I am the youngest person there by about five years. I've got to buy six (I think) specific books for the class, and there's a lot of reading and writing to be done--you can look at the syllabus here if you're curious.

Anyway, by the time I got home from the class it was almost 8:30; I ate dinner and did my homework, then I turned on the Tivo and saw to my delight that it had recorded Austin City Limits with the Flaming Lips and the Shins! I stretched out on the couch and laughed at Wayne Coyne's craziness all through the Flaming Lips set, and then I closed my eyes and relaxed as I listened to the Shins... The next thing I knew, I opened my eyes and it was dead black outside, and all the lights were turned off. I looked at the clock and it was the middle of the night; really, there aren't many things better than being lulled to sleep by music you love, blissing out on the couch.

And thus went my day. Today I'm going to see the winter musical at the school--it promises to be mediocre, but a bunch of my friends are in it and I'd like to cheer them on. Ehh...sorry for the dullness of this post--very self-absorbed and dear-diary-ish, I know. So, in order to end this on a more interesting note, I will leave you with the suggestion that, if you're looking for a video this weekend, you rent something by Fritz Lang. Two of the most amazing films I've ever seen--and I've seen a lot--are his M and especially his silent movie Metropolis.

Above is the movie poster for M--one of those great old-fashioned illustrations. The film is primarily about a whistling pedophile and the homeless vigilantes who decide to take matters into their own hands; it's deliciously chilling and the visuals are unbelievable.

But even M is put to shame by Metropolis: tangled with the story of the Tower of Babel, the oppressed workers who toil in great factories in an underground metropolis are led by their priestess Maria to rise up against the youthful, spoiled aristocracy above. One such wealthy young man disguises himself to see what life is like in the under-city, and along the way he encounters a mad scientist and the best evil doppelganger in film history. So, intrigued yet?

I hope everyone has a great weekend--and don't forget to keep German cinema alive!


Blogger Shakeer said...

Man I wish I had a TiVo. I always write down whose coming up on ACL in my moleskine but keep missing the dang thing because it's at such wierd times. Lately they've had some pretty swell acts too (Wilco, Bright Eyes, Modest Mouse, Guided by Voices, Pixies, the two you mentioned).

11:14 PM  

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