Posts Tagged ‘Downing’

Two Bobs: Unconventional Movies

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

By Bob Gaydos

The two Bobs were back at their table in Dunkin’  Donuts after a two-week hiatus. Nothing much had changed. Republicans were still courting the rich, white, arrogant and dumb, white, delusional votes. Democrats were still tying to figure out how the guy who killed bin Laden and ended the recession was still having trouble connecting with some Americans. Did I mention he was black?

“So did you watch the Republican convention, last night?” writer Bob asked ketchup-dressing Bob. (An aside here: Writer Bob had carefully perused the menu and discovered, surrounded by muffins and donuts, an entry called “egg white flats.” It came as turkey, ham or veggie options. He tried the veggie, which turned out to be rather tasty. Some might regard this as a new development.)

“Nah, I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. Too depressing.”

“Me too. They had Ann Romney and Chris Christie as the main speakers. Can you think of two more glaring examples of over-indulgence? Christie was the keynote speaker — an overweight, arrogant, bully. This is what you stand for? OK, so I can’t write about that since I didn’t watch it. Well, I probably could, but I’d rather not. Seen any movies lately?’’

‘‘Yeah, my wife and I saw “Hope Springs,” with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. Went with another couple.”


“Well, I thought it was going to be a comedy about an older married couple trying to energize their dull life together.”

“That’s what the previews showed.”

“But it wasn’t really funny. They hadn’t had sex in four years and I found their struggles unfunny. I was disappointed. I mean, they had Steve Carrell play the therapist. He’s supposed to be funny.”

“I had a similar experience. Wanted to check out the Downing Theater in Newburgh. Never been there and heard nice things about it.”

“What did you see?”

“Beasts of the Southern Wild.”


“‘Beasts of the Southern Wild.’ Read that it won a big prize at Sundance and it was a fantasy about a young girl called Hushpuppy going in search of her mother and encountering prehistoric creatures.”

“And …?”

“Well, there were creatures. Kind of prehistoric wild boars. But they really weren’t in much of the movie. And the girl — who was terrific, a six- or seven-year-old with great screen presence — doesn’t really search for her mother so much as accidentally finds her in a ‘dance hall.’

“Mostly, it was about a lot of drinking, alcoholism really, and people being content living on the water in squalor. Although when the storm came, freeing the beasts and flooding the people’s homes, they blew up a dam that protected their more successful neighbors who lived on land. Survival. But then, when they were rescued and safe, they had to escape. They went back to the water, following the girl, who unknowingly found the mother who had abandoned her and her drunken father. Then the beasts showed up, all big and huffy, and kneeled down to the little girl instead of eating her and her friends. She kind of represented the cohesiveness of nature, or something. It was full of symbolism … lots of symbolism.

“… I really have no f****n’ clue what the movie was about.

“But we liked the theater, so we’ll probably go back. And I’ll read reviews more carefully, or stick to writing about things that happen as advertised, like Republican conventions.”