HTF is a decidedly non-political website. A place where many come to not be involved in politics, so I’m not going to go there.
Not directly, in any case.
But there are words that need to be said.
I’ve been around long enough to have experienced a bit of craziness here and there.
I had a friend who passed away not long away that was there when the first (small) flag was raised on the beach at Iwo Jima.
As I child I questioned precisely what “white only” water fountains, and bathrooms were all about. I found the concept abhorrent then, and continue today, unrelenting.
Although I absolutely supported my friends who made the decision to fight in Viet Nam, I fought against the conflict, and was vocal, marching where necessary and making a communal voice heard.
Our world is getting out of control, and our country isn’t helping to calm the storm.
A film recently opened that seems to have received okay, but not rave reviews, and now, having seen it, I’m beginning to think that part of the problem may be our current political aura.
The Greatest Showman, the early history of P. T. Barnum is about a man who worked to create entertainment, in which people of all sizes, shapes and colors could not only entertain, but bring happiness to an audience.
Our world, at the moment, doesn’t seem to be a happy place toward homogenization of sizes, shapes, nationalities, and possibly most important, still people of different colors.
And The Greatest Showman celebrates just that.
The film is a decidedly visceral experience, and in many ways, pure cinema.
It’s a musical released to a world where many people aren’t prepared to allow singing.
It’s about courage, sharing and humanity.
Many of us have worked long and hard to have nationalities, religions, backgrounds, languages, and colors something that is no longer derisive, but rather presumed, with normalcy, for the good of humanity and the world. Something that allows us to share experiences, and to learn from others.
While The Greatest Showman isn’t Kane or Aurens, it’s a happy place to visit, with wonderful music, great cinematography, and terrific acting. In many ways, a soul-lifting experience. It’s loud, vibrant, stimulating to the psyche, and in the end will make an audience smile.
But in the waning days of 2017, it doesn’t seem to be finding the audience it deserves. And that concerns me.
While our world seems to be floundering, we cannot allow our cinema to drop to the level of continuous super-hero and sci-fi epics that leave us with nothing but a few less dollars in our pockets.
This film is a whirlwind experience, not unlike Moulin Rouge, and a few others, that asks the audience to surrender to the wonders of the cinema, and for a couple of hours, simply leave reality behind.
While we wait for the obvious Blu-ray that will come, hopefully in 4k and Atmos, I would suggest that those who can, get to a theater and share the pure, odd, idiosyncratic joy that Micheal Gracey’s (his directorial debut) film brings. Every one of it’s 85 million dollars or so, can be seen on screen.
Celebrate a world in which size, shape and color become as meaningless as they should be, and allow cinema to reign.
And you’ll love the opening Fox logo.
Stepping down from my soapbox now…
I wish you all a Peaceful, Happy & Healthy 2018.