Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Batman spoilers! And way too many pictures!

Sunday I went to see an old friend from high school. I left early to give myself plenty of time to wander around the area near his hotel, which was downtown close to the river.

When the bus finally arrived, I was the only one on it. The driver only stopped once in the miles between Western Avenue and State Street, and fourteen people got on when she did. I'm pretty sure I've never been the only passenger on a city bus before.

Once I got downtown, I waded through the throngs of tourists, opportunists and general pedestrians to get a look at the part of my city that they put on postcards. I'm not typically one to take pictures of skyscrapers. A close-up of something rusty is a bit more my speed. Still, from the right angle downtown Chicago has a weird beauty to it. Here are a couple of samples:

I crossed the river, headed north by the corncob-looking buildings which adorn the cover of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I was a little surprised to see what appeared to be military vehicles on the bridge ahead of me. Up close, they didn't look ultra-authentic. Something about the camouflage seemed a little strange. Within a few minutes I realized that I had stumbled onto the set of the next Batman film. A group of extras in fatigues milled about, while another cluster wore ties and overcoats in spite of the very muggy heat.

I heard a coordinator telling the well-dressed extras to do something "when the helicopter comes." So you have it on good authority that the next Batman film will feature military vehicles, people in ties, and at least one helicopter. A pair of choppers were soon flitting back and forth, much to the delight of all the people with cameras who were present on every side street.

Yeah, those are the big spoilers I promised in the title. Before you get all sad that my spoilers are lame, ask yourself what Batman spoilers you have to offer based on firsthand evidence.

Yeah. I thought so. Moving on...

I thought it was reasonably cool to have bumped into the filming, at least until I kept being shooed away from public areas. They had goons with headsets trying to keep people from walking all sorts of places, even blocks away from where they were going to be filming. Which is sort of understandable, I suppose, except that there were no cameras out, no shooting going on. My best guess, this being a Batman movie, was that shooting was not likely to begin until after dark, which would also explain all the lights I saw further down the block, still wrapped in sheets of plastic.

I finally met up with my friend at his hotel, and we had a nice meal. We walked around, chatting, until it grew dark and my friend needed to go to sleep to prepare for another exciting day at the conference which had brought him to town. Apparently the conference was run by an association for people who work at associations. This notion both repels and attracts me. Certainly I find it amusing.
It was good to see my friend again, and good also to visit the part of the city where the buildings grow until they touch the sky. In both cases, it had been too long.


Unknown said...

Great photos :-)

Unknown said...

I can smell the concrete from here and you have spoilt the only film I wanted to watch this/next year.

Liz Dwyer said...

Oh beautiful. Very nice shots. Makes me even more excited to be heading home in a couple of weeks.

Unknown said...

Corncob buildings... yes, they do look like giant concrete corncobs - I bit hard on the teeth, I'd say.

The Moon Topples said...

Liz F: Thankya. Plenty more on the Flickr site, too...

Minx: What does concrete smell like? Anyway, I am delighted to have ruined the movie for you. I love robbing people of pleasure.

Liz: The worst of the heat should have finished before your arrival as well, so hopefully you'll have a great trip.

AbVan: Depends on the teeth...

Unknown said...

Batman! Oh that's the best spoiler I've heard in ages, another batman movie. Yay.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

It's good to have an inside scoop like this.

The only one I can offer in return is some clean dirt on the new Indiana Jones movie coming out where his son is a biker boy in the 1950's, he is an old man and he still has the hots for Karen Allen.
Except I think it's old news. And I have no photos.

Double bugger.

But this was a good post, complete with good photos.
Well done.

Scarlett & V.