Sunday, April 12, 2015

Three Beautiful Things 04/11/15: *Salt of the Earth*, Cherry Blossom Mob Scene, Helping the G12 Driver

1.  The Metro trains today were packed, thanks to the glorious blue skies and the cherry blossoms peaking and the Cherry Blossom Festival events.  I rode to the Archives stop on the Green Line and strolled over to the E Street Cinema and joined six other people for a 2:10 showing of Wim Wenders' and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado's documentary movie, Salt of the Earth, a complex retrospective of the life and photography of Sebastiao Salgado. For about forty years, Sebastiao Salgado has traversed the world, documenting with detailed, often haunting, still photographs, among other subjects, workers and their labor in countless countries, victims of starvation in Ethiopia, Sudan, and elsewhere, the atrocities of wars and exodus in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Kuwait, and elsewhere, and the stunning beauty of natural landscapes across the globe.  The photographs ranged between the sublime and the horrifying, the glorious and the sickening.

I was deeply impressed by the movie's gorgeous cinematography.  As I watched the movie follow Salgado as he photographed his current work, exploring the planet's beauty, it was thrilling to see that his son, Juliano, and the other Directors of Photography, made the filming of Salgado at work and being interviewed by Wim Winders, every bit as stunning as Salgado's pictures.  I loved the movie Finding Vivian Maier, primarily for its many examples of Vivian Maier's photographs, but the movie's cinematography was not exceptional.  The visual, photographic experience of watching Salt of the Earth being filmed was exquisite.  The telling of Salgado's story, the exhibiting of his photographs, and the movie's visual presentation of the story were all, in their own ways, stunning.

2.  I walked for a while in D. C., letting the movie settle in, and boarded the Metro for Arlington National Cemetery and from there I walked along the Potomac for a bit, crossed the Arlington Memorial Bridge, and joined the surge of people milling and horseplaying around the Lincoln Memorial, then the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, on my way to be among the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin.  It was a mob scene.  I thought I was at Six Flags, not walking in the history of the Korean War, the life Martin Luther King, Jr, nor enjoying the shade and the splendor of the cherry trees and their blossoms.  I might try to return during the week.  I think there will still be blossoms, say, on Monday, and the theme park/bucket list crowd should be thinned out.  It was a great day for walking.  I logged over 5.5 miles, over 11, 000 steps!

3.  I boarded the 8:30 G12 and a rider had asked the driver to let her off at Research Road.  I really felt like a Greenbelt lifer when I helped the driver remember where Research Road is on her route.  If she doesn't drive the G12 route very often, I can see why she was confused -- it has to with leaving Ridge Road and returning to it again -- and I thought, well, finally, my love of town geography and mass transit routes paid off beyond the eccentric personal pleasure I take in reading maps and riding buses and trains.  

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