by syaffolee

A Movie and a Mini-Trip

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. If a large wheel of cheese were to land on your lap, this would be it. Remember all that sci-fi pulp you read as a kid and thought it was the best thing, but upon re-reading it as an adult you realize the writing wasn’t so great? Sky Captain, as an homage to those pulp adventure and sci-fi stories of yesteryear, is but a pale imitation. Sure, the air-brushed and sepia-toned cinematography is unique among today’s crisp and in-your-face films, but it only made me feel as if I was looking through someone else’s nostalgic memories–any tension, complication, or detail was blurred into oblivion by the camera lens. Sky Captain also reminded me somewhat of The Rocketeer, which in my opinion is a far better movie.

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Yesterday, I decided on the spur of the moment to drive down to Concord. It was spur of the moment because I found out the previous day that Concord was hosting the 30th Annual New Hampshire Antiquarian Book Fair on Sunday. And it isn’t every day that you can go to book fairs.

I took the long scenic route to New Hampshire’s capital. It never really registered to me until now that fall had descended on New England. During the drive, I finally had some time to think of nothing in particular and to enjoy passing corridors of green-gold-red leaves and vistas of multi-colored hills. The only thing that annoyed me was slow-poke drivers going twenty miles under the speed limit and no passing zones galore. I also noticed a great hulking building surrounded by barbwire as I neared my destination. A moment later, I realized that I had driven past the state penitentiary. This struck me as incredibly creepy. It’s just a couple miles north of the historic district of Concord.

As for the book fair–there were a lot of old books, postcards, and broadsides. And they were expensive. Used booksellers from all over New England (as well as someone from Canada and someone from Florida!) had set up kiosks in a large empty arena. The one time I touched a book to take a look inside, a bookseller came up to me to ask me how I was doing. Good grief. I can take the hint. Although I suspect if I looked more like the typical customer–old and affluent–rather than a student, the booksellers would have let me flip through anything I wanted without distraction. So unlike everyone else pawing through the merchandise, I spent my time looking but not touching.

I love books, but many other book enthusiasts leave a lot to be desired. I saw no one of my age at the book fair. Dour old people who sneer at you because they think you’re going to make off with their $4500 first edition? No wonder so many of the younger generation would rather play video games.