Tuesday, January 6, 2015

We live in the great stores of our culture. New Year, Old Movies and Narratives, Gone with the Fiddler from Diva to Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Friday, we took in a demonstration at Fox news, wondering where the reality stops, the story begins, propaganda rules, advertisers intervene, and the news ends or was it the other say around?  Finishing the demo, we spent the weekend cooking and watching movies.  Most Americans learn all they know from the moves claimed Allan Bloom in the Closing of the American Mind.   He was probably right. At least that's been the case for me.  
number one and two practice their best sneers

Every year, we watch moves and share food as the year ends, buddies dropping by over New Years, sharing a bite, hopes and reflections on the stories of the what we've seen, of going to the movies and how they connect with our experiences, where we’ve been and what’s moved us. Friends from years of cycling, neighborhood chats, parenting, screaming, organizing, occupying, and movie watching come over, enjoying  a glass of wine, new friends, reunions, stories, and assumptions about the movies.  Most of the secrets of life are revealed if we watch enough movies after all. This is a truism repeated many times over my life.  From my first trip to the movies the world opened up.

my first movie

The Gone with the Fiddler weekend has been a subject of this blog before.  In a nutshell, its about our stories.   We live in the great stories of our culture.  For Americans, its hard to think of these stories outside the movies, as Allan Bloom reminds or scolds.  For me, the who, what, when and where of watching movies – of going to my first movie at the theater with Dad to see the Man Who Would be King in 1975, of running into my friend Katie who I knew from summer school and later dated after she saw Blue Velvet at the Galleria in Dallas a little over a decade later, or to see Casablanca and hear the Sex Pistols’  ‘Anarchy n the UK’ on the same day in 1983, or to a James Dean double feature on Christmas day the same year. Somewhere between the movies and our ways to the movies – there is a line, a path that says more about our lives and memories than we can possibly imagine.  What are the movies, the stories of our lives?  Where do our stories overlap with these culture tales?  And what do they show us?   Every year, its something.

Rocky Horror was always my favorite.

This year, Fellini showed us how to dream our way out of things; we can fly out of traffic jams. Frankenfurter suggested we don’t dream it, live it.  And Busby Berkeley reminded us of escape from the ravages of reality.  Todd Haynes reminded us that bodies matter.  We cannot clip the wings of our kids or stifle them.  We have to let them fly.

And so, for two days we watched movies, ate, and chatted.  Brennan brought The Point by harry Nilsson narrated by Ringo Star.  A stoner film for the ages, we all loved it.  And number two suggested we watch  Rocky Horror, her favorite movie for now. i dreamed about the opera singer in Diva. And we watched snippets from countless favorite moves from our collection and tips from Video Free Brooklyn, our local video renting hub.  The theme was music. But we quickly lost track as the movies took over.  A technicolor celluloid dream of images followed from. Watch us revel in the cavalcade from:

Times Square
Twin Peaks
Fiddler on the Roof
Level Five
Romance and Cigarettes

And we talked about what brought us to them, where we might have been in each, where they take us, and what they can mean as we move through this crazy celluloid nether reality. 

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