At least I don't have to buy a new DVD player

entr'acte (n.) - an interval between two acts of a play or opera; a piece of music or dance performed during an entr'acte.

We've been slowly plugging away at our school schedule and we are up to reading about Michelangelo. One of the things I had planned was for us to watch the movie, The Agony and the Ecstasy, about Michelangelo and his relationship with Pope Julius II and the painting of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. I had all my ducks in a row and had the disk ordered and waiting for us. We watched the first half yesterday morning. As it is a long movie and made during the time when they put intermissions in the middle of films, we paused at the intermission to have lunch, with the plan to come back and finish it in the afternoon.

We all troop back to the living room and start the movie again. But we discover something has happened to our DVD player in the interim. We have sound, but no picture at all. People jiggle wires (because that is what we have to do sometimes), but to no avail. No picture. Some people are very disappointed, but we carry on with our day. J. comes home and manages to get a picture back on the screen by jiggling wires.

This morning, having felt assured that we would be able to get a picture, we all sit down again to watch the end of the movie. No picture. Argh! Dollar signs run through my head as I anticipate having to buy a new DVD player. In the interim, I decide to see if I can find the movie on Amazon, figuring it would be worth the couple of dollars it would cost to rent in order to finish it. Thankfully, it was available and click the rent button and we all sit down again to (finally) finish the movie. We start it going, finding the intermission part and...

No picture.

At this point the brain starts to kick in. No picture. Music but no picture. I know the rented internet version is working because we saw pictures on the screen as we were looking for the intermission.

Think, think, think.

Ah, yes.

Older movie... intermission... music... (hear the gears in my grinding)...


I'm a music major and have played in a pit orchestra. This shouldn't have taken me so long to put together. We wait through the music and there on the screen is the picture again. We finish our movie and will now always picture Pope Julius II as looking like Rex Harrison. (I'm sure all of you pause now and then to wonder what mental portrait of Pope Julius II you carry in your head, right?) If you've been studying Michelangelo or the Sistine Chapel at all, the movie is worth a look. I'm not entirely sure how historically accurate it is, but it does give you a new appreciation for the work that went into painting the ceiling.

It was also interesting to note that in 1965 big budget popular movies shown in theaters could get away with a 20 minute art history lesson about the sculptures of Michelangelo before the opening credits even started. How times change.


Donna said…
Ok, I would have done the same thing and would have been mad about not being able to get the thing to work. Glad you figured it out despite the extra cost to rent the movie. Appreciate the suggestion but it isn't free with our Prime membership so, alas, we will have to forego this delight for now.

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