Tim Van Schmidt | New SCENE
I’ve taken a radical turn in my screen-watching habits. I have, temporarily, completely stopped streaming current TV and movies.
Instead, I have been delving back into the past to find some excellent viewing. I don’t mean the recent past, like last year — I mean going way back.
Here are some of the classic movies I have recently checked out:
King of Hearts (1967) – This is a mindful comedy about a WWI Scottish soldier tasked with defusing a bomb in a French town being evacuated by Germans forces. He gets spotted by retreating Germans and when he takes refuge inside the town’s insane asylum, a relationship begins with the inmates that can only be described as odd.
The inmates spill out of the asylum when the town is abandoned by both the Germans and the other residents, and they create their own world, or “theatre” as one character puts it. The soldier unwittingly becomes their king.
Despite the kind of slapstick nature of the action, there is a sophisticated line of thought here — like questioning whether the “crazy” people are as crazy as the “normal” people who are fighting a bloody war close by.
The most poignant scene in the movie comes when the soldier tries to lead everybody out of town to “safety”. As he rides a horse through the city gates and out into the world, the others all fall behind. The “crazy people” plead with the soldier to come back and one of them calls after him: “There are wild beasts out there”. The boom of cannon in the background underscores that truth.
Fantastic Planet (1973) – This animated science fiction classic may seem clunky at first, the art especially simplistic considering the astounding things that are being done today with digital graphics. But don’t let that put you off — there are some weighty concepts going on here.
On another world, human beings do not dominate. Instead, they are small creatures that are often domesticated as pets for the giant race of blue people who do dominate — or are exterminated as pests.
The tables are switched on us here and there are lessons to be learned about being treated with little or no deference, even at the hands of more or less enlightened beings.
That’s the storyline, but this relatively short feature — 68 minutes — is jammed with some alluring stuff — like a peculiar meditation practice by the blue people that sends their minds to another planet. Weird beasts, strange plants, and exotic landscapes all provide a mind-twisting background.
At The Lyric: Some classic movies coming up at The Lyric in Fort Collins include “Parasite” on June 28, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” on June 29, “Alien” on July 1, and “Aliens” on July 3.
Live Music: See Keb’ Mo’ at Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder on June 27. Trombone Shorty, Tank and the Bangas, and Dumstaphunk all play Red Rocks on June 28. See Santana with Earth, Wind & Fire at Ball Arena in Denver on June 29.
NOCO shows: Ryan Chrys and the Rough Cuts will continue the Lagoon Summer Concert Series at CSU on June 29. Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband plays the Rialto Theater in Loveland on June 30. Leftover Salmon is at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre for two nights, July 1-2. And Glove Trucker will be at Swing Station on July 3.
Explore “Time Capsules by Tim Van Schmidt” on YouTube.