Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Monsters in the Meadow

I had no idea that this was happening. Coming out of Stanley Park after a walk with a friend last weekend, we stumbled onto a film screen set up on a grassy stretch with many people, mostly children, sitting in front of it. Images of King Kong and Godzilla, with the logo Monsters in the Meadow, appeared. Turns out that two Fridays in a row, this summer, the Vancouver Parks Board is playing monster movies -- actual films, not video-projection -- in the park. My friend and I sat in the grass for the original, 1933 version of King Kong; the Parks Board even managed to find a trailer for the upcoming Peter Jackson remake, which looked promising indeed -- Jack Black seems perfect as Denham. I've always had a great fondness for King Kong, since, in Grade 4, my elementary school teacher brought the class into the school gym, to show us his very own print of the film. It was amazing to me; I was awed by dinosaurs as a child, and not so spoiled (roundabout 1975, when this happened) by the special effects of the day. The film was pure magic, and it probably made a movie buff out of me, more than any other single film experience, and a horror buff, too -- I probably ended up a fan of Warren magazines and Famous Monsters of Filmland as a result of that experience, which, perhaps with a little help from certain TV shows, in turn probably turned me on to the short stories of Robert Bloch and Harlan Ellison, which ultimately made a reader out of me... It's wonderful that the Parks Board is offering a new generation of kids such an experience, though given how spoiled th' young'uns must be by the special effects of the day, it may not quite work the same magic on them as it did on me...

Anyhow, the good news is, this coming Friday (unless it rains) they plan to show Godzilla. I've just e-mailed them to ask them the two obvious questions that any cineaste would ask of the screening -- even tho' I fully know the answer to the first: 1. Is it dubbed or subtitled? and 2. Is it the restored version with Raymond Burr removed?

No offense to Raymond Burr fans, but I'll be damned excited if he ain't in it.

PS. They just emailed me back. Dubbing, Burr. I might go anyhow...

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