poppinsI have a memory of being five or six and spending a rainy afternoon in the basement listening to the Mary Poppins soundtrack on vinyl with my sisters. I’m watching the film now with its commentary track on.

Words can’t express the pleasure I take in watching performances by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. I need to search out more films with both stars. I discovered on the track that Van Dyke never had any formal training for dance and started out emulating Stan Laurel the comedian, while Julie Andrews’ very first words on film were “Do you really think so?” in the scene where they materialize in the chalk drawing.

I’ve never been any kind of Broadway aficionado, but I imagine I could have been had I been born in a place where shows of the sort were more common. I adore musicals. I love hearing the old-timers talk about how Broadway and theatre productions used to work, and the ideas behind transferring the shows to film. Film affords dancers the space to really interact with more authentic surroundings, while close-ups eliminate the need for more histrionic tendencies in its stars. So much can be said with a look of the eyes or a tiny curl of the mouth.

One of the things that struck me on the flight back to Canada was the view of clouds casting shadows on the ground from above.

Being back in Ottawa has been strange. I feel like I’m floating through the streets like a ghost. I came back to the city  feeling extremely charged and ready for anything. Last night I went to a pajama party and wore my bathrobe home at 4 o’clock in the morning. I feel like I shouldn’t be taking things as seriously as I used to. I feel like searching out chalk drawings and taking a leap.


About Joel Crary

Joel Crary is a 30'ish 21st century writer living in Vancouver, British Columbia. He enjoys films, mostly. View all posts by Joel Crary

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