Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Gold Rush

There are times when life and art come together in the finest of ways. On the Lido deck of the Coral they show movies under the stars on a large screen video above the pool. Last night it was Gold Rush, the silent Charlie Chaplin feature. I am a huge Chaplin fan and he was never more relevant nor more enjoyable.
The print was crisp projected as video on the large screen in glorious black and white and it popped in the clear Alaskan twilight. I have seen Gold Rush before in run down art house theaters projected with a bulb that was half the desired wattage for optimum viewing. Here it was crystal clear with the back drop of the snow covered mountains of the Skagway bay and no one around but me and Billy.
The movie takes place in the Yukon territory of Skagway during the Alaskan gold rush exactly where we sat at that moment. I glanced at the white peaks just beyond the screen and felt if I looked hard enough I could see the run down shack where Chaplin and Mack Swain braved the cold. It was as close to being enveloped in the world of a film as I ever will be. It could not have been more perfect. The lack of sound allowed Billy and I the opportunity to continue a "color commentary" of our own.
The final scene of the film takes place on a cruise ship. Chaplin has stuck it rich and sails out of Skagway finding the girl he loves stowed away on board.
As Charlie and his love sail into the proverbial sunset on screen, the captain of the Coral Princess sounded the horn and we sail our ship in exactly the same direction in exactly the same bay, in real life. It was perfect.
As you were,

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