Friday, June 10, 2011
This week I finished watching Maro Chermayeff and Jeffrey Dupre's documentary series Circus, which aired on PBS last year. It's specifically six hours on the Big Apple Circus the year before co-founder Paul Binder retired. It's pretty much all fascinating. I never appreciated the fact that making a living in the circus is even more difficult than making a living in the theatre.
I also watched a DVD of animal acts from the Moscow Circus, which has the oldest circus school in the world (since 1926). They definitely had some interesting acts (ice skating chickens, bears riding velocipedes),but the wildest was the big cat act. There was only one cat act, and it was leopards. But unlike any cat act I've ever seen, they weren't in a cage. There were three trainers, each with a leopard on a leash! It was very scary. They did all the typical lion-type moves- the walking erect, rolling over, jumping hurdles, but not in a cage.
Toby Tyler (1960) was a Disney movie I'd heard about (two friends of mine told me it made them go into the theatre). It's pretty sweet, though the adult actors are good.
Last, I saw a TV movie about PT Barnum that Hallmark produced in 1999. It was pretty good, and Beau Bridges played Barnum.