Saturday, May 11, 2013

Poem for Saturday, The Great Gatsby, Sons of Mogh, Cat

Princeton - The Last Day
By F. Scott Fitzgerald

The last light wanes and drifts across the land,
The low, long land, the sunny land of spires.
The ghosts of evening tune again their lyres
And wander singing, in a plaintive band
Down the long corridors of trees. Pale fires
Echo the night from tower top to tower.
Oh sleep that dreams and dream that never tires,
Press from the petals of the lotus-flower
Something of this to keep, the essence of an hour!

No more to wait the twilight of the moon
In this sequestrated vale of star and spire;
For one, eternal morning of desire
Passes to time and earthy afternoon.
Here, Heracletus, did you build of fire
And changing stuffs your prophecy far hurled
Down the dead years; this midnight I aspire
To see, mirrored among the embers, curled
In flame, the splendor and the sadness of the world.


Okay, that's a weird poem to post the day before I attend my 25th college reunion at Penn, but we just got back from The Great Gatsby so it's clearly a Fitzgerald night. I liked it a lot, didn't love it unconditionally but I think that any film version is going to suffer by comparison with the novel because no one is going to cast a Gatsby who fits all viewers' mental images of him -- I thought DiCaprio's was fine, sort of a cross between his Howard Hughes and his Jack Dawson, more emotional than Redford in the previous film which is all to the good but he didn't set me on fire. Then again I found Mulligan's Daisy so much more sympathetic than Farrow's that it made up for a lot, though Edgerton's Tom is the truly brilliant performance of the film; I actually felt sorry for the character on two occasions, which has never happened before in any incarnation.

As for the rest of the film -- very minor spoilers -- the pacing is better than the previous movie, the framing story isn't particularly distracting but doesn't particularly add anything -- I might say the same about Maguire, whose performance is fine but he's not convincing as naive young Nick whose crush on Gatsby gives the story much of its energy -- I'm not sure what to make of Bachchan's well-acted yet still anti-Semitic-stereotype Wolfsheim, the Wilsons are good but barely-there as characters. "Spectacular" would be an understatement to describe the visuals of the first half, not just Gatsby's parties but Daisy's house and what Gatsby does to Nick's garden and parlor -- it's like all the people who post pastel tea parties on Tumblr decided to decorate together -- and the scenes that don't involve flying balloons or floating shirts or gallons of glitter look like Thomas Kinkade fantasy paintings of castle homes and gardens.

The rest of my day involved posting a review of DS9's "Sons of Mogh", neither one of my favorites nor one of the series' finest moments, though it opens up some Worf storylines in the future, and going out to dinner before we went to the movie with Paul, Adam and Maddy at Noodles and Co. because Adam wanted pasta before his track meet in the morning which we will miss because we will be en route to Philadelphia. The Orioles and Nationals both won despite the pouring rain in which we drove home. I am rushing so we'll be ready to leave early so here is a photo of a neighborhood cat, more photos next week!

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