Now Playing

The theme for SPACC this week was from one who says he likes to stir things up: the challenge was”Cleavage” but specifically no chest shots.  Say, what?  What else is there?

So, I took the spoon and stirred to an alternate meaning more to my liking:  “separation” “distance” and “fissure”.  To separate from reality is my take, a subject more or less visible most of the time in creative people.

My first petty thought, however, was to take the low road and respond to what I thought was a needlessly cumbersome challenge with a photo of my toe cleavage because I have one nasty looking big toe.  (Yeah, I’m single for a reason, people, not all reasons attributable to the “other” by any means.)

Then, vanity and better angels of judgment (do “gotcha” games ever really contribute to contentment?) nudged my creativity to where it should have been in the first place: focus on whatever nuance of the word does spark my imagination.   This freed me to turn off low road onto creative road (which was the goal of  the pot stirrer in the first place) and I just chose a meaning that had resonance with me: separation from reality.

So, early Sunday migrainy morning, I went in search of anything quite frankly that would make me feel better.  I was not thinking of this challenge.

I passed this long abandoned Drive-In movie screen, drove on about 500 yards, and then turned around.  The SPACC photo radar had beeped.

I believe I had me some fissure and reality separation.

It is now pretty much deserted but off to the left of the screen was some earth moving equipment and piles of well…earth.  Perhaps, the beginnings of a new place of business was underway? I decided to park in front of the screen as if I had come for a movie as we used to do “back in the day”.

The movie I remember seeing for sure at the Drive-In (We would see first run movies at Drive-Ins all the time in the fifties for you kids out there) was Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” with Janet Leigh, a mammary delight to be sure,  if I recall correctly.  We had a full car so some of us sat along side the car in lawn chairs.  This photo would be better in my mind if there were some lawn chairs.  If I had Annie Leibovitz’s budget and assistants I would have snapped my fingers.  But, alas.  Reality bites.  No lawn chairs.

I left the car running for a sense of presence,  the “reality” part of the separation.  “Now and Then” came to mind.  The  immediacy with the brake lights and the exhaust fumes seemed a natural way to suggest “now”.  The expressionless gaping white screen, pock marked, battered by years of weather and lack of use, was clearly “then”.  So, frissure and separation elements complete.  Check. Check.  Somewhere outside of the car and beyond the screen lay the truth.

Fissure Feature Top frame (for me) is this: here we have someone who is waiting for a show to start that is so not going to start ever again and yet here she sits: waiting.  ( I think I feel that way about the stock market, too–but let’s not get started on that!)

Fissure Feature Bottom frame is this (again, for me):  when reality fails you, use your imagination.

Perfect for the arc of this challenge, me thinks–and a slap to my tousled head to keep my eye on the plus sign, not the minus.  It’s what you had in mind all along, right, Mt. Brooks?

There are two shots and two blends of black and white and color because, of course,  this is a Freakin’ Double Frissure Feature.

Say that three times fast.  It sounds like cleavage.

©Pat Coakley 2008


Here are other participants:

Mt. Brooks





14 comments on “Now Playing”

  1. This makes me think of all the screaming of discontent that we’re currently seeing. Forget bodily cleavage for a moment. Our world is going through such a terrible time that screaming about it is normal. We have to hold firm, somehow, and know that the human race has survived all sorts of terrible times so we must (little choice here) get through it again. It isn’t down to us, it’s now a necessity. I scream with Psycho woman. I’m sure you do, too. Alone in that grey parking lot, she looks abandoned, hence cleaved from humanity via the decision makers. In her case they’re the people who stopped the drive-in. In ours, it’s the governments and economists. It’s easy to feel CLEAVED in the current climate. At the same time I’m grateful for all the wonderful people in my life – that includes you, Pat.

  2. Nicely done, Pat. Oh you take the high road, good! My closed drive in movie would be playing Jaws.

  3. Pat, I love it. Abandoned drive-ins are so very sad to me. I grew up passing one nearby. Ah, how is it that commenting on your work always leads me to wnting to create a new post? I am going to do that.
    I contemplated toe cleavage too. I looked up the defintion & synonyms of “cleavage” over and over again and that was the one that made me laugh. This (the one you chose) is the one that makes me think. I see the cleavage between the past and the present and I long for the past.

  4. Brilliant. I knew you’d find a unique angle on this challenge…and you didn’t disappoint.

    I love the sky here.

  5. Wow, epic! I think I should have put your narrative in your comment with my photos this week! Didn’t think of it that way but how right you are!

    Jaws! Sweetiegirlz, Now, why didn’t I think of that! That would have been a good one to put on the screen for sure. I can’t remember if I saw it in a Drive In or not, though. I don’t think so.

    Conni, you are awfully young to be so nostalgic for the past. I think your present is going to improve so you won’t have this longing quite so much. Thanks, as always, for your thoughts!

    Mt. Brooks, Brilliant in a A cup.

  6. […] gnarly, they’re fragile. I think they’re sort of beautiful too. Brooks Russ Chris Conni Pat […]

  7. I’m constantly jealous that you drive.

  8. I love how you move a couple of abstractions away from the original before settling in and swimming around in an idea.

    I wish I had a drive-in nearby too…I want to shoot just the grimy screen by itself, maybe with a sliver of that brilliant blue sky peaking into the frame.

    Question to anyone who may know – why don’t drive-ins still exist? I don’t know a single person that doesn’t drive-in movies. Too many people sneaking in via trunk? Poor turnout on bad weather days?

  9. This is Great! You never disappoint. I love the screen in the first shot, I would have turned around in a heartbeat, most likely causing some swerves and getting a few birds.

  10. We have a drive in near us that plays first run double features every weekend. Buffalo burgers, some nachos, and the hatch up on the minivan, and we’re in cinematic nirvana . . .

    Great shot . . .

  11. Cleave is an odd and interesting word wich can mean just about opposite to itself and makes me glad that I never had to learn English as a second language.

  12. I really like what you did here. Going from colour and a blank screen to black and white with a picture on the screen is brilliant!

  13. Smack, Yes, but I drive alone. No one wants to be a passenger!
    Chris, I think they were initially taken down by the movie theatres that began showing 6 and seven movies and were all season movie theatres. Now, I think there are some areas where the Drive-In is coming back. Stay tuned.
    Russ, swerves and birds…I like it!
    Razz, you know you are right. I never thought of it has having just about the opposite meanings to itself. Had I thought about that I might have done a different image!
    S.Le. Thanks and do you have a Drive-In near you?

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