Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Wonderful World of Hollywood

Hi, everybody.  It's been a few days, so I thought I'd give all my readers something new to chew on.  I've a confession to make.  Those of you who are over a certain age may already have caught the egregious movie reference in the title of my previous post.  If you didn't, go out right now and rent yourself a copy of the classic Dr. Strangelove.  It's a ridiculous piece of black comedy, and besides, where else would you get to see someone riding an atomic bomb?  After you've watched that, come back here.  Back already?  Great.

The previous paragraph may have lead to some questions in your mind.  How exactly does a blind guy watch movies, you might ask?  Why does he do it?  Wouldn't audio books or radio dramas be more his style?  The answer to the last question is yes, they are, and you can expect a future post all about either or both of those.  This is about movies, though, and yes, I do watch them.  I can't really explain why.

How is a bit easier.  I can listen to the dialog and action in a movie just fine, thank you.  I'm not def.  What I am is sometimes very confused about exactly what's going on, depending on the nature of the movie.  That's why describers exist: people who will sit there with me and tell me what's happening on screen as it happens.  This is probably annoying to fellow patrons in a theatre, but I still do it.  So there.  Some people are better at the whole description thing than others, and it takes practice, so why not get payed for it?

As a matter of fact, some people do.  Regrettably, there's no assurance that a movie today will come with description, though that seems to slowly be changing.  What there is are services run by companies like WGBH in Boston, which spend hundreds of hours writing descriptions of many new releases and classics.  There's even a web site,, which devotes a good deal of space to hosting downloadable MP3s of these described movies.  Ironically, Dr. Strangelove wasn't among them, last I checked.

So do I have favorites?  Yes, of course I do.  They vary wildly: Gone with the Wind, Pretty Woman, A Fish Called Wanda, anything by Monty Python.  I'm not immune to the classics either: Casablanca is wonderful.  The point to all this is that I can enjoy all the same movies you do, just in a different way.

So, we come to the end of another round.  I have a challenge for you sighted people out there.  Go to the site I mentioned previously, click into the Movie Vault, and download a movie, preferably one you haven't seen before.  Watch it.  Come back here and give me your impressions.  Make it fun for the whole family.  Don't cheat and get the video, now.  That's not the point.  I can't show you my world if you don't want to see it, but I can try.  Let me know how it goes.  Are your favorite actresses as sexy if you can't see them?

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