"It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What If the Cops Can't Handle This?

I've been so busy this weekend with a broken water heater and a slowly dying pet rat, I could only find time for two movies.  One was excellent, one only okay.

Poetry is a beautiful film.  It's provocative and thoughtful.  The movie starts with a young girl floating down a river, face-down.  She fits in a little later in the film.  It's all about a 60-ish grandmother who takes care of her grandson.  We're not sure why the mom left him with her after her divorce.  The grandma works as a caretaker to an older man who looks like he's had a stroke.  The grandson is rude and belligerent to her, treating her more like his maid than saviour.  No matter.  The grandmother decides to take a poetry class to enrich her life herself.  I'm not going to say more because I'd hate to give anything away.

It's about an ethical issue that's barely faced ethically to avoid alerting the authorities.  Money can protect us from having to be moral.  It's about sex as necessary or useful, and how much it's worth to people.  It's about how to write poetry, how it's not about the difficulty in writing, but the difficulty in opening up enough to let the words come to you.  It made me think of all the teachers that force us to create within strict boundaries and timelines, even if nothing's speaking to us yet - we're just forcing some crap out that's completely uninspired.  I think that's why some teachers shifted to poetry appreciation instead of creation.  I liked this instructor's assignment:  create one poem by the end of the course.  That's possible.  It's about sensory stimuli, about really seeing and hearing and tasting.

It's also about Alzheimer's and forgetting.  And there are so many scenes so focused on just looking at things that I thought, for a moment, that it might be okay to forget everything else.  We do like to accumulate names of things, nouns.  We feel lost without them.  But if we can get absorbed into the experience instead of the description of the experience, maybe it won't matter as much if we lose our nouns.  Something like that.  It's still scary to think about, and I worry whenever I forget anything - which is always.

The film's many bathing scenes and references reminded me of another excellent film, Shower which explores tradition vs progress as a man comes home to visit his father's bathhouse.  Poetry also touches on that theme when it's argued that it's a dying art.  Poets aren't lauded any more.  It also reminded me of Elling.  Maybe there's a bit of a resurgence in the respect for the art.

I also watched Boy Wonder which is a cheesier teenaged Death Wish.  The main actor and action is solid, but the female detective says every line as if she's auditioning for Law and Order. (She was actually in an episode, so at least she made it past the audition).

Like in Death Wish, the hero takes his time before exacting revenge on his mother's killers.  And then revenge is taken easily.  A bit too easily.  How many teenagers who work out at a gym could take on a gang of serious criminals one at a time?   But okay.  It was fun to watch.  I was sucked in for the duration.

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