I had a few vivid dreams last night that I can't quite remember. In one, I remember living in what seemed like a Disneyland ride, with all the shadows and sort of neon, false sunlight of each little piece of animatronic story. I was keeping a cat and a horse, and for some reason I was having trouble making sure the horse got food and water. Getting it either seemed to involve a long trek through the place, and the horse had become emaciated. I think I may have been inspired by this Victorian photo I found online somewhere, I don't remember where;
There's an image you can't get from period films, however well they're made. They always have healthy horses.
I was in the mood for pirate movies the other day, and it occurred to me I haven't really seen many. So I googled "Top 10 pirate movies" and "Top pirate movies," looking to see what lists people'd come up with for their blogs. I was surprised to find the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came up first on every list I saw. I guess it is really popular, and though I could never whole heartedly connect with it, I liked Johnny Depp's performance. But like most of the movies I saw listed, it tends to feature very little of pirates being pirates--actually attacking and plundering other ships.
This was the case, too, for the movie I watched last night, Captain Blood, but it was a good, interestingly meandering story. The first half of the film has Errol Flynn, playing Peter Blood, being sold into slavery by Britain for tending the wounds of an enemy of James II. He's sent to Port Royal, where the movie becomes mostly about the gentleman slave and the forbidden love he shares with Olivia de Havilland. Somehow this makes the pirate element more satisfying when it shows up in the form of Spanish pirates, who sack the town while Blood and his slave cohorts steal their ship.
There are lots of nice ship battles and a credible feeling variety of locations, creating a sense of a world. Flynn has a nice swordfight with Basil Rathbone, which doesn't have the same insane fervour of the duel between the same two men in the later Adventures of Robin Hood, but is still pretty damn good. I appreciate Rathbone a lot more in these roles, too, than I do when I see him as Sherlock Holmes. When everyone around him, including Flynn, still seems to have a lot of broad, silent movie gestures, Rathbone's performance is a lot subtler, more naturalistic. Though I wouldn't want to sell Flynn short--once he gets going, his smile's infectious. And Olivia de Havilland's particularly gorgeous in this movie.
Twitter Sonnet #228
Black cloth conceals steamed vegetables and foam.
The smell separated from its rice stinks.
Microwaves beam for their indifferent home.
Tom says "Don't have to live with Jar Jar Binks."
Fireworks teleport jelly babies.
Composite log bow's a bad lobster trap.
Narcolepsy's also called Dark Rabies.
Most thugs now find postmen easy to sap.
Twenty mile veins circulate iron.
All closed exits are free on Saturday.
White is the bread of the Wonder Lion.
Butter guts are strewn on the croissant way.
Significant neckties ignite the page.
Inky toupees must bow to wooden age.