Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday ramble with pictures

Last night I saw a show, and tonight a movie, about Berlin. In between, I saw a piece the Berlin wall.

"Cabaret" was interesting, because it was good in spite of being technically mediocre--maybe even good, but not that good. By which I mean, the music was pretty good but nothing special; same with the dialogue and the dancing. The structure was imperfect; you wouldn't have seen the tight plotting and symmetry of Stephen Sondheim, nor the twists. The plot was somewhat predictable. But it was a powerful, enjoyable show (the music, choreography, and dancing were good enough; the mediocre dialogue nonetheless got the predictable plot across). The power of the story carried the show. The symbolism amplified the story.

That was Berlin in 1929. Earlier tonight I saw 1989 Berlin in "Atomic Blonde," which I very much enjoyed. It was perfectly choreographed (I do love my 80s music, but still) and beautifully staged. It is not profound or symbolic (it may pretend to be, but its nod to history and substance is thin, transparent), but it's fun to watch. As fun as any James Bond movie, but don't dismiss it as a 'female' Bond flick.

***
In between shows, I went on a tour of the Capitol, which was awesome. And evidently by my own example, something very easy to not do even as you've been in DC for 15 years. And as you traverse the main hall just above the crypt, you'll pass a bust of Ronald Reagan, and between the bust and the pedestal it's on, there's a layer of concrete from the Berlin Wall.

Here are some pictures from the tour.



Bullet hole on the statue of Calhoun
There's meaning in the pattern
There are only six or so statues of foreigners in the Capitol; Havel is one.




The lid of the box with the Magna Carts




Anyone remember the name of these doors?




Justice has no blindfold here; she has to be able to read the Constitution




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