Tuesday, May 18, 2010

DSC_3385 [psp] - Rear WindowSo it turns out the Various & Assorted are about as good as organising events as they are at exhibitions. On Friday they, as part of Nuit des Musées (wherein those that open late on a Friday close as normal and those that don't stay open until 8 pm. Je pense qu'un petit peu de l'espirit de la chose a été perdu dans la traduction), were having an evening of Hitchcockery. This was to start with a talk at half-past-six, film at twenty-past-seven and another at quarter-past-nine.

I'd arranged to meet a friend there at seven, because they wouldn't be in time for the talk. Somehow, despite leaving late and taking the bus (which basically must have sunk in the marsh at the bottom of the hill, because how else does one explain not moving for eight cycles of the lights? The only culprit I could find was repair work on a bridge; who knew closing a pavement could cause such problems with the traffic?), I managed to arrive not long after the published start of the talk, and discover my friend arriving at the same time.

So we went to the talk, only to find that it had been cancelled, and so were sent away by the staff.

So we mill in the museum, wandering the galleries they'd failed to rent out for private events, thinking it perhaps is quite a good thing the reformation came along, until it's ten-past and we pop back through to watch the first film. Only at some point in the last half-hour the staff had changed tactics and told anyone turning up late to go in anyway and wait, and then having filled the auditorium started the film.

The staff couldn't really see that this wasn't quite on as this meant anyone who had twice turned up on time or early had been turned away both times when the people twenty-minutes late were rewarded (I left it to others to battle it out; I fear the concrete may have crazed around the incandescent Italian making her feelings known).

So once more we wandered, failed to find anything of use in the shop and wondered how many times they can run the catering trolley through the silver gallery, thus making the whole place shake, before something falls over.

And then we went back down before nine, to nab the last chair and the join the somewhat annoyed queue with no order.

The staff, still not quite grasping the concepts of crowd control, or fairness, let on that we could go up when the film ended, assuming enough people came out to let us in. Cue a bit of frantic stamping on the blue touch paper, trying to put it out. Suddenly they decided that for security's sake they'd have to clear the auditorium between screenings.

We wait. We get told to go upstairs. Shortly afterwards we get told not to. We get left to our own devices huddled round the bottom step. We lob "The queue's back here" and other such comments to the artfully casually artily dressed 'blondes' happening to sashay up the stairs (though without much malice because we know we'll get to point and laugh with our eyes in about three minutes).

The boss woman type thing emerges to look surprised that there's a queue. Consultations continue. People start coming down. Some of them see the mass waiting at the bottom and turn back up to keep their seat. The hordes continue to descend piling onto the end of the queue, muttering. Then we're some bizarre upper echelon will be given first dibs because "they've been waiting". Oddly the person who said that ran away upstairs again.

And so there's more waiting. Then waiting at an invisible line with no staff around for about five minutes. The queue eeks onto the stairs. Some break ranks, bounding up. There's cries above, staff are hailed and the forward outliers sent back down. Then it's announced that there are two auditoriums and they've decided to show both films simultaneously, so if we hadn't seen the first would we go to the right and if we had then we should go to the left.

Oddly most of the front of the queue, who all hadn't seen the first film plumped for the second, more famous one, the mavericks that we are.

And so I found myself watching a DVD that my sister-in-law has, of a film I'd already seen, but in a lecture hall, on the wrong aspect ratio, next to someone who hid during the flashing scene (which much of the rest of the audience struggled not to treat like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre).

And that was Rear Window, which I may well not have blogged about the first time I saw it. Good lines, and good but-is-it-just-imagination-age. Oh, and good climbing fashion.


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