Monday, June 23, 2008
When I bite into a York Peppermint Pattie . . .
. . . I get the sensation of sitting in a cool, darkened movie theater watching the new Werner Herzog film about scientists studying in Antarctica, Encounters at the End of the World. Not unlike the refreshing, silver-wrapped candy, this movie, both overall and in distinct moments, is perfectly ridiculous and sublime.
In making Encounters, Herzog formed and lifted to eye level a glowing ball of his Eeyorian gloom and passion for otherworldly vistas, their colors twisting together like dirt ground into snow (or chocolate breaking open between teeth to alternately reveal and muddy a white, minty middle). Into the sphere he fashioned of slow-roiling doom and gleam, Herzog breathed, and I watched it swell like molten, blown glass into something that could cool and be handled -- a vessel of rare beauty and mundane sturdiness, each angle revealing another aspect, its almost-alien curves echoing the sweep of a crystalline and frozen fumarole, an underwater curl of ice shelf saluting a passing Beroe cucumis, a nearly flat disk of milk chocolate and peppermint with gentle waves or lunar craters frozen upon its surface.
. . .
I scoffed, I winced, I laughed, I found my mouth hanging open, tears welled up in my eyes. I went home and ate a York Peppermint Pattie.