Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Barbed-Wire Wreaths and Spiders

In and out of rain today; I'd planned on sticking close to home, but decided to take the bus to Lloyd Cinemas for the 3-D presentation of The Nightmare Before Christmas. I got the 3-D glasses (and was amused by the warning NOT SAFE FOR USE AS SUNGLASSES) and sat down in the theater earlier than I normally do, which was good because it was a well-attended screening. And I like that at the end, a little kid who'd enjoyed it said "That wasn't scary at all!"

The film's grown on me since its release. I was initially amused but not blown away by it back in '93, but I see a lot more of the work and the feeling that went into it; Nightmare is a more emotional film than I first gave it credit for. (The ending, though, still gets the "That's it?" reaction; what happens to Oogie Boogie is a little too Wicked-Witch-killed-with-water for me). Tim Burton, Henry Selick and Danny Elfman have a lot to be proud of. Great example of the film's emotional side: the scene after Jack Skellington's shot down, when the police annouce that the fake Santa's been stopped, but no sign of the real Santa means that Christmas is cancelled. Watch the kids; they've had this big scare and now they're getting a non-reassuring message from authority. The poor children have to recover from trauma (PG-rated trauma that's kind of funny, but still). It's a consequence that Jack doesn't see until things are almost too late.

Basically, I like that something as relatively dark and gothic and intense as The Nightmare Before Christmas works well for kids. I wonder if I could argue that it's almost subversive, but that would require a longer entry.

And Elfman's music, of course, is a treat.

When I left the film, Inner Eastside Portland was getting a respite from the rain, even getting sun breaks, so I took a walk before heading for the bus home. I stopped at the front shop and gallery at Shop People, a large arts studio at SE Grand and Oak. I'd heard of the place via its sponsorship of The Rick Emerson Show, and while Rick Emerson's not much of an art guy, he's a big coffee guy and he's been applauding the shop's installation of a new Coffee People. (Note for non-Northwesterners: Coffee People was a West Coast coffee chain, especially well-liked in Portland, that Starbucks eventually swallowed up; the shop and its drinks had many fans and there's still a Coffee People presence at both Portland International Airport and online.) Well, Shop People got the right to serve Coffee People recipes, and as a fan of its Mexican Hot Chocolate I wanted to support that.

The front shop has the coffee stand in a corner and art displays in the rest of the room. I told the guy behind the counter that I liked a wreath above us; the wreath was made from barbed wire, with a black leather belt wrapped around it. He thanked me; turns out he'd made that piece, along with a large barbed-wire spider and web in the window. Nightmare Before Christmas and barbed-wire art; I've shown my Goth-appreciater bona-fides today, I'd say.

Football next, Oregon at Washington. Go Ducks!

P.S. for my fellow LJers: anyone else not getting their e-mailed comment notifications? I haven't gotten any since noon yesterday. My inbox for my LJ is working properly, though that only shows what I receive on my own journal.
Tags: creme de la chris, film reviews, peregrinations, portland

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