Friday, October 09, 2009

Art Appreciation Moment

It's 7 AM on Friday before Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving and no time to be blogging (School! Work!) but I sat down to check email and update my iPod and couldn't resist putting this banner on my blog. You may be surprised to learn that it isn't actually the view from our house. It comes from Laurence Olivier's famous 1948 film version of Hamlet. I just learned over at Wikipedia that it won the 1948 Academy Award for best film. Sixty years on it is still fabulous.

We watched this film in 8th Grade after the "Hamlet unit" and I never forgot it, though I hadn't seen it again until the other day when I popped it into the DVD (from Criterion Collection) into the player to see on the new LCD TV.

Needless to say, I loved the way the film looks - the atmosphere in every scene is haunting. I had to get a couple of screen shots for posterity. Today's banner comes from the opening scene, when the Castle guards at Elsinore first see the (creepy) ghost of Hamlet's father.

Maybe I should have saved this for Halloween?

I think I am now, at last, old enough to really appreciate poor Hamlet's problem. "Oh yeah," I found myself thinking. "He has been put into an impossible position by circumstances, and his family, and maybe God himself, and finds that he is required to be steely and brave, when he is not so sure he can be either." I feel for Hamlet now. Isn't childbirth a bit like this? At least that first one? (Ladies?) Or maybe battlefield experiences, or maybe courtroom experiences? Poor guy. Poor us.

Bon weekend.