Saturday, February 25, 2012

Movies, Music and San Miguel: A Nice Trio

Christopher Plummer& Ewen MacEwen; Atwood cover, Yahoo photos.

I'm going to lots of movies and concerts here in San Miguel.  Or I should say I am walking to them.  Maybe that’s why I’m going to so many.  This town has something going every day and night, all enticing, and easy to get to.  Like the literary festival held at the Hotel de Minas, featuring Margaret Atwood, which was sold out so I couldn't get in; art exhibits just about every night; daily film series and lectures at the Biblioteca and the tiny Puppet Theatre; jazz at the Peralta Theatre and other venues, including restaurants and cafes.

I’m going to an Oscar party on 29 February, so I’m catching up on the movies.  My favorites have been  Beginners, with outstanding acting by Christopher Plummer and Ewan MacKwen;  Jose Reneyos, a wonderful documentary about a Latino judge and his civil  rights struggles and triumphs from the Caesar Chavez years in California to the Gore election nightmare in Florida;  In the Wake of the Flood, a documentary about an environmental book tour designed and undertaken by Margarat Atwood, a great writer but the documentary seemed a bit dowdy; and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, nice photography, some great acting but way too long and a bit overwrought, I thought.  I’m glad I had read the book first.  Some of these movies are up for Oscars in various categories, so I’ll go to the Oscar party more informed than when I got to SMA.  Estelle, from NYC, a SMA regular for some 15 years, who has seen every Oscar- nominated movie and more, says forget about seeing the films.  Just don’t forget a bottle of wine and something to eat! 

One of the best events was a fantastic concert by three accomplished musicians:  Qing Li, violin; Richard Fowling, piano; and Jeffry Solow, cello. Saint-Saens, Maurice Ravel, Handal and Dvorak filled St. Paul’s Church, where these ”Pro Musica” concerts take place.  The musicians played together flawlessly, brilliantly, as if they had played together all their lives, or had practiced a lot before this performance.  But really they were all in San Miguel for a rare trio, and the cellist was a substitute.  The very difficult contrapuntal and disharmonious Ravel was mesmerizing and moving.  The well-informed audience jumped to its feet at the last note with spontaneous wows and bravos for the musicians.  Waves of gratitude and appreciation.  This trio could cut CDs that would sell really well, anywhere.    

Music, movies and San Miguel. This is one of the best trios of all!   

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