A little sneak-a-peek from my graphic novel work-in-progress, “In a Dream of Strange Cities.” It’s an odd filmgoing experience from the chapter “The Last Days of Odeon Circle.” Text by me (Rick Ouellette), drawing by Ipan.
Odeon Circle was a faded entertainment district that backed up to a still-desirable neighborhood but fronted a less-than-desirable one. I was nearly late for the film, so I hurried into the cinema and took a place in the steep overhang balcony, just like in the old days.
“Objective: Venus” played in fits and starts. The stolid monochrome actors planned their space trip, unaware that their new navigator planned to horde the mined gold and leave the others stranded on the Evening Star. The movie stopped and a bit of a World War II newsreel played backwards, effectively reversing the Allied victory in Berlin. Just as quickly, the film started up again. The un-helmeted crew were already standing on Venus and the lovely heroine was revealing the bad guy. The screen flared; the crew were either melted by the sun or there was some burning celluloid in the projection booth.
I gave up the ghost and headed down to the lobby. Outside in the Circle, there seemed to be trouble afoot.
Watch this space for a sample chapter, coming soon! Or better yet, like the “In a Dream of Strange Cities” Facebook page.
Glad to hear your graphic novel is coming on apace. Reading this short snippet reminded me that there used to be around seven cinemas in our town back in their heyday and we once delved into the archives at the local museum to see old photographs, programmes and ticket stubs. Now we just have one big multiplex on the outskirts of town. I went to see the film Empire of Light recently with Olivia Coleman. Not sure if you’ve seen it or heard of it but would recommend – you get to see a lot of the behind the scenes stuff in a slightly faded and crumbling, yet still operational cinema.
Thank you so much for that timely reminder. Empire of Light was on my to-do list and it just so happens it is on HBO tonite! I will let u know how I like it.
I watched “Empire of Light” last night and really enjoyed it. Olivia Colman was great in it, but the cinema was the real star for me! BTW, watch this space for a excerpt of the graphic novel, hopefully next month
Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, the cinema was the star which is why I immediately thought of it after reading your excerpt last night. I also enjoyed the ska music element as I remember those days well.
Will look out for your next excerpt.