Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Totally Fly

A rare movie rental recommendation from moi:

Winged Migration

This wacky French creation about migrating birds is not exactly a documentary nor is it wholly fiction; it stunning and it is both. You don't need to be a bird nerd to enjoy it and dahling, you must get it on DVD for the behind-the-scenes poop.

It was beyond beautiful and done without any special effects. The only distraction was the male Enya-type music, the ugly yellow chyron titles on the screen, and the voice in your head that demands to know how on earth they filmed it. Then the "making of" bit was mind-blowing. The filming was more bizarre than I could've guessed, and it left me wanting to know even more.

The website is cool-looking but a bit shoddy. For example, in flash it shows the migratory pattern of the ruby-throated hummingbird. It shows them traveling no farther north than Georgia. Tell that to my hummingbirds who arrived in upstate NY soon after Memorial Day and left with their suitcases packed full of perky pet instant nectar immediately after Labor Day.

Last May was the first time I'd ever seen a real live hummingbird.

I was up in the country doing who-knows-what on the log cabin's screened-in porch. Maybe I was cleaning up? It's very possible I was barefoot. It is almost certain I was mostly just happily spacing out on a warm sunny day.

Then I heard a motorcycle in the distance, which was odd because the area was usually so quiet. I craned my ear towards the screen to figure out where it was coming from. The motorcycle seemed to be going back and forth on a distant road, but if the road was distant, why did it sound so clear? Anyone who knows me knows my lousy hearing is a constant source of frustration for me and anyone trying to tell me something. Figuring my bum ears would never crack the mystery, I gave up trying to listen.

I turned my head to get on to thinking something even slightly useful and suddenly I saw the most enormous bumble bee flying to and fro, right on the other side of the screen.

The bee stopped and hovered in mid air, his motorcycle engine noise chugging away as he idled. He stared straight at me and I saw this obese bee was wearing metallic green and red coat.

Clear as a bell I heard him say,

"Hey lady, I'm a hummin' boid, a.k.a. Archilochus colubris. Look I've been flying like a crazy person. I'm friggin' exhausted. The trip from Central America was a nightmare... I'm getting too old for dis stuff... you know that dis place is da one I come to every year. Now what say you get that feeder out? Oh stop with da innocent act, would ya? Wait a sec... you're new here, ain't ya... OK toots, I'm only gonna tell you dis once. Go move your pretty little ass and fetch the feeder -- yeah it's the tacky plastic thing you found under the sink. Clean it up nice, fill it with that delicious red sauce and try to make it snappy. My people are all coming to dis here establishment and I's don't want anything to go screwy. Oh you're a comedian, eh? Well from now on in you is humming bird craft services. Whaddya lookin' at me like dat for? We provide an important service, ya know? Yeah we provide...ah... wonder 'n da beauty of nature and all that shit. We've got an understanding, yes? Good. Don't make me go all Hitchcock on your ass."

Thanks to the extortionist hummingbirds who mostly ignored us as they dive bombed the feeder and one another in true thug style, it was a summer full of wonder, the beauty of nature and all that.

Oh summer summer summer. Type it enough and maybe it will come faster...

Oh, right... the movie... well the movie's site has them but the movie doesn't show even one hummingbird, so don't get your hopes up. But if the albatross, the puffin or the stork turn you on as much as they turn me on, you will go crazy for this fine feathered flick.