Tim Van Schmidt | New SCENE
I radically changed my screen viewing habits. I have, temporarily, completely stopped broadcasting current television and films.
Instead, I delved into the past to find some great viewings. I’m not talking about the recent past, like last year, I mean going way back.
Here are some of the classic movies I’ve watched recently:
King of Hearts (1967) – This is a conscious comedy about a Scottish World War I soldier tasked with defusing a bomb in a French town evacuated by German forces. He gets spotted by retreating Germans and when he takes refuge inside the city’s insane asylum, a relationship begins with the inmates that can only be described as strange.
The inmates come out of the asylum when the town is abandoned by both the Germans and the other residents, and they create their own world, or “theater” as one character puts it. The soldier unwittingly becomes their king.
Despite the slapstick nature of the action, there’s a sophisticated line of thought here – like wondering if ‘crazy’ people are as crazy as ‘normal’ people fighting a bloody war nearby.
The most poignant scene in the film comes when the soldier tries to lead everyone out of town to “safety”. As he rides his horse through the city gates and out into the world, the others are all trailing behind. The “fools” beg the soldier to come back and one of them calls out to him: “There are wild beasts over there”. The roar of cannon in the background underscores this truth.
Fantastic Planet (1973) – This animated sci-fi classic might seem clunky at first, with the art being particularly simplistic considering the amazing things being done with digital graphics today. But don’t let that put you off – there are some important concepts going on here.
In another world, human beings do not dominate. Instead, it’s small creatures that are often domesticated as pets for the giant blue race that dominate – or are exterminated as pests.
The tables are turned here and there are lessons to be learned about being treated with little or no deference, even in the hands of more or less enlightened beings.
That’s the script, but this relatively short feature – 68 minutes – is stuffed full of alluring stuff – like a particular meditation practice by blue people who send their minds to another planet. Weird beasts, strange plants, and exotic landscapes all provide a mind-blowing backdrop.
In Lyric: Some classic movies coming to the Lyric in Fort Collins include “Parasite” on June 28, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” on June 29, “Alien” on July 1 and “Aliens” on July 3.
Live music: See Keb ‘Mo’ at Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder on June 27th. Trombone Shorty, Tank and the Bangas and Dumstaphunk all play Red Rocks on June 28. See Santana with Earth, Wind & Fire at the Ball Arena in Denver on June 29.
NOCO shows: Ryan Chrys and the Rough Cuts will continue the Lagoon Summer Concert Series at CSU on June 29. Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband perform at the Rialto Theater in Loveland on June 30. Leftover Salmon is at the Mishawaka Amphitheater for two nights, July 1 and 2. And Glove Trucker will be at Swing Station on July 3.
Check out “Time Capsules by Tim Van Schmidt” on YouTube.