Sunday, July 23, 2006

What I did this Weekend

I thought with all my floggy blogs, I'd just do a quick bloggy blog of sharing a few things I did this weekend that I really thought were special.

If you are planning to be in New York City between June 25-October 29, 2006, check out Dale Chihuly at the New York Botanical Garden, Garden and Glass exhibition. Tickets at, though we just got tickets ($20) at the gate—most of the exhibition is in the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and it is amazing. Photo on left offers a quick peek.

There is much, much more and it is quite remarkable, not just as art, or glass, or a mind boggling creative vision, but juxtaposed with the plants and flowers, it makes you realize how amazing nature is, and see things with and through an artist's eye.

Also went to see a Leonard Cohen documentary, I'm Your Man showing at the Film Forum. The documentary itself is basically a concert film intercut with some interviews of Leonard Cohen, a few early photos and footage.

It is not a brilliant film, but I have always found Leonard Cohen a brilliant poet, songwriter and musician. No, it isn't because he's Canadian & I am practically Canadian at this point—I can date my fondness to college with Suzanne, Sisters of Mercy and Hey, That Ain't No Way To Say Goodbye along with the rest of the world. Then I'm pretty sure Elvis Stojko skated to I'm Your Man, Atom Egoyan used his songs in Exotica and enjoyed that. Really, I'm a fan.

Nick Cave does several songs in the film & I found Cave's interview and comments very touching (no, don't know his music, only know him because Leslie's a fan of his). But getting to hear Leonard Cohen talk made me realize what a truly amazing person he is. I just wanted to listen to him forever, perhaps interspersed with hearing him sing his songs.

So many times you "meet" an artist you admire & they aren't what you expect from their work. What you wanted, imagined believed them to be is crushed by their reality, and adjustments need to be made. Remarkable as I think his work is, I found Leonard Cohen even more inspiring as a person—and it was especially cool to have U2's Bono and Edge really articulate that specialness. Listening to them do the Tower of Song together was pretty amazing.

Bonus! Finally got to see Fan Fan La Tulipe! Many (many!) years ago visiting a friend in Paris during college, we both fell in love with a poster of GĂ©rard Philipe in the original Fan Fan La Tulipe. We were never able to see the film then and I have been waiting for decades to see it. A lifelong dream has been realized! Excellent film—he definitely is shoulder to shoulder with Errol Flynn—but...not as cute as that poster.

All three of these experiences illustrate the facinating dynamic between viewer, creator, created object and inspiration. Sometimes the fantasy is better than reality...sometimes reality surprises us. And sometimes it takes seeing reality through art to make us realize how fantastical our reality actually is.

No comments: