14 July 2003
We're in the middle of a heat wave. This year I hardly notice it. We have a 2 story
house and downstairs stays pretty comfortable year round (without having to turn on the
But still it was nice to get out on a Sunday--even if it meant getting out into the
heat--and go to Sacramento. Our target was the theatre, but since we were half an hour
early for the 4 p.m. movie, we went across the street to the big Target Book Store, one of
my favorite places to hang out.
I noticed with amusement that there was a literal tower of Harry Potter books and two
of Hillary Clinton. I'm not sure if this means they anticipated a rush on HP and not much
for HC, or whether HC has outsold HP. I suspect the former.
didn't buy anything, but went back to the Tower theatre, a neat old place which plays
movies you aren't likely to see anywhere else--a lot of film festival movies and foreign
language movies, for example.
Now, before I talk about this movie, if you have not already seen Winged Migration
and if you have a fast internet connection go here and look at
the flash animation to get a feeling for this movie. It's one of the most incredible films
It took a five teams of photographers three years to follow bird migrations across the
7 continents. As the press release states... "from one pole to another, from the seas
to snowcapped mountains, from the canopy of heaven to mangroves and swamps, from frozen
areas and scortching deserts to our peaceful countryside."
Before the film is over, you'll be convinced that they had a bird on the crew who
strapped a camera to its wing to film some of the amazing scenes. Actually, they used
gliders (man operated and remote controlled), helicopter, delta wing, ultra light weight
aircraft, and balloon. The results are breathtaking.
I am in the process of evolving into a bird person anyway. It was my time in Texas,
watching birds at the bird feeder when my friend Bill was dying that gave me a new eye and
an interest in birds. I know very little about them, but I enjoy watching and
photographing them, so I was in hog heaven throughout this movie.
In addition to being incredible, it also makes powerful ecological statements without
uttering a word. The birds present the message very effectively.
One of my favorite scenes was an island of Emperor penguins that will leave you
gasping. There was also a scene of birds swarming in a tightly packed mass, twisting and
turning so that it looked like some rotating design on a computer screen. It reminded me
of the time that David, when he was a sullen teenager who would not allow himself to
express interest in much, shared a special moment standing together by the side of a road
watching a swarm of birds, much like this one. It was a day of "connection" for
us and when I think of David, I think back to that special day.
When the movie was over, we tried to have dinner at our Mexican daughter Marie's
restaurant, but it was closed, so we drove back to the theatre and went to the place that
was next door--an international cafe, where I had Mexican crab cakes.
The sun was setting as we made our way back over the causeway, taking time to notice
the birds flying in formation overhead (were they going or coming? Who knew?)
It was kind of nice being out of the house--even if it did mean going out into the
height of the day's heat. I wouldn't have missed that movie for anything.