After all of yesterday's cooking (and EATING!) I decided to hit the town. I tried to go ice skating at Whole Foods first, to see if I'm any good at ice skating, and second, for the sheer novelty of ice skating on top of a supermarket in 70-degree weather. Unfortunately, the rink wasn't open yet, so I decided to catch Harry Potter at the Alamo Drafthouse.
To kill a little time, I walked over to the Arthouse at Jones Center, a free (!!!) art space. Even though I've been to major galleries and museums in various cities, I'm not a huge visual art appreciator in the same way I love narrative media like film or theatre. It's not too surprising, then, that the exhibit that I found the most remarkable was a short film "Cities of Gold and Mirrors" by Cyprien Gaillard (description/review here). The film is mostly static shots of Cancún in all its hedonistic glory: lights of a discotheque, American college students binge drinking and vomiting, dolphins swimming lazily in a hotel pool. These scenes are set to the soundtrack from Mysterious Cities of Gold, a 1980s animated TV show about Spanish conquistadors (that I used to watch as a kid!). As the brochure pointed out, the specific synth riff used is the one that signified contact with pre-Columbian culture, so it creates a really interesting conflict in the juxtaposition of the grotesque glitziness and the crumbling decay.
The scene that was the most striking to me is one where we watch a gang member clad in red from head to toe dancing and flashing gang signs at the El Rey ruins. He's standing alone, and the dance is in slow motion that makes it look like some sort of ancient ritual dance. I found myself wondering for a moment whether he knew anyone was watching, and how the film maker avoided getting killed. The movie also inspired me to drunkenly tweet what I think will be my new mantra: