It's been two weeks since I moved back to Texas. It was 42 degrees in Reykjavik when I left; it's currently 96 degrees in Austin. Unsurprisingly, I have not yet adjusted. Whenever I walk some place, I'm so sweat-drenched when I arrive that it looks as if I swam there. I've had plenty of ice cream and a couple of sno-cones and multiple cold showers every day, but there's just no way of ignoring the heat.
I'm trying to cope by watching and reading cold things, in the theory that imagination trumps environment. It's not working all that well, of course, but it does give me an excuse to re-watch my favorite movie about an icy city: My Winnipeg. Director Guy Maddin is probably best known for The Saddest Music in the World, or for his short films, like the brilliantly entertaining Sissy-Boy Slap-Party. My Winnipeg is Maddin's homage to his hometown; it's an indefinable mixture of documentary and fantasia, simultaneously depressing and hilarious, and completely unique. Like most of his work, it's shot in the style of silent films and early talkies, which makes the landscape seem both quaint and harmless, but always alien. Kind of like Texas!
Here's one of my favorite scenes from the movie, which features some unexpectedly affecting animation. The scene does something that I love to see in poems: the transformation of a horrific, awful image into a lovely, awful image. Is it gross? Is it funny? Is it real?