Saturday, August 22, 2009
Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd the earth much?
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.
There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now....
Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and
city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss
or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself
Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.
Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with
linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait....
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Joseph Conrad wrote in ‘an anarchist’... “On the whole, my idea is that he was much more of an anarchist than he confessed to me or to himself; and that, the special features of his case apart, he was very much like many other anarchists. Warm heart and weak head--that is the word of the riddle; and it is a fact that the bitterest contradictions and the deadliest conflicts of the world are carried on in every individual breast capable of feeling and passion” And so is the case with all revolutionary roads . I loved the Wheeler's revolutionary road for April Wheeler .For her dream to dream a dream. Loved it for Frank Wheeler for atleast opening to the possibility of touching that dream. After all hoping and wishing, all revolutions take resolution.What's your revolutionary road?
"If being crazy means living life as if it matters then I don't care if we are completely insane "
" Tell me the truth, Frank, remember that? We used to live by it. And you know what's so good about the truth? Everyone knows what it is however long they've lived without it. No one forgets the truth, Frank, they just get better at lying"
" I wanted IN. I just wanted us to live again"
" I want to feel things. Really feel them."
" Knowing what you've got, knowing what you need, knowing what you can do without - That's inventory control"
- The Revolutionary Road script is available at http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Revolutionary-Road.html
- Listen to the beautiful soundtrack at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuUkGT2WU-E&feature=related
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Saw the Curious Case of Benjamin Button in an open air film festival yesterday with a big wide air screen on a beautiful starry night amidst helicopters passing above us like a buzzing firefly every once in a while, children giggling away in a distance and the beautiful sounds and smell of the night time all around. The setting was as perfect as it could be. I loved it. I loved it so much that I have to ( happily )add it to my list of all time favorite movies for its simple yet profound message and the moving characters. Benjamin Button is an adaptation of a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man born old and aging backwards. The story was first published in 1921 and according to good ol' wikipedia, it was anthologized in the collection " Tales of the Jazz Age". I didn't know the movie's connection to F Scott Fitzgerald until after I saw it but it doesn't surprise me as an avid lover of Fitzgerald's story telling , especially the Great Gatsby ( which was published in 1925 ) . And as soon I remember this...the last words of Great Gatsby flash by me - So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past..the theme of timeless time being the intersection between Button and Gatsby ( though the movie adapation differs from the short story in many ways - the diversions only add to the story than taking away from it)
The story begins with an 81 year old Daisy ( Cate Blanchett) on her deathbed with her 37-year-old daughter Caroline ( Julia Ormond)in a New Orleans hospital as Hurricane Katrina is approaching. Caroline tells daisy how much she is going to miss her, saying that one of her friends' never got a chance to say goodbye to her mother. Which happens so often - we think we are timeless or rather should say that we are not even aware of our mortal spans which sooner or later would end- in the process missing the chance to tell people how much they are loved. The picture of ailing Daisy on the bed and Caroline seems so familiar to me in the first few shots till it comes back ...the English Patient with an ailing man ( Ralph Fiennes) sharing his story with beautiful Hana ( played by younger Julia Ormond ) who was taking care of the English Patient. Another interesting overlap between Button and the English Patient being the backdrop of war...Benjamin Button is born as World War 1 is ending while the backdrop to the English Patient is World World war 2. And so - in the non linear story telling style of the English Patient ( as also Forrest Gump in some ways), the story unfolds taking us through Benjamin's beautiful life. Some of my favorite scenes of the movie are :
1) The story of blind clock maker Monsier Gateau who lost his son in the war :
“Mr. Cake” winds the clock, which chimes a glorious chime... Pushed by an angel, the second-hand begins its eternal journey...going around... Everyone cheers... until they realize the clock is going the wrong way... traveling backwards in time... A man shouts, “It’s running backwards!” MONSIEUR GATEAU I made it this way... so that perhaps, the boys who were lost in the war might stand and go home again...
2) On Accident or destiny :
Sometimes we're on a collision course, and we just don't know it. Whether it's by accident or by design, there's not a thing we can do about it. If only one thing had happened differently: if that shoelace hadn't broken; or that delivery truck had moved moments earlier; or that package had been wrapped and ready, because the girl hadn't broken up with her boyfriend; or that man had set his alarm and got up five minutes earlier; or that taxi driver hadn't stopped for a cup of coffee; or that woman had remembered her coat, and got into an earlier cab, Daisy and her friend would've crossed the street, and the taxi would've driven by. But life being what it is — a series of intersecting lives and incidents, out of anyone's control — that taxi did not go by, and that driver was momentarily distracted, and that taxi hit Daisy, and her leg was crushed.
3) The humming bird : While in the sea in the midst of war :
Benjamin’s quiet. When suddenly a HUMMINGBIRD comes flying across the water... It circles the wreath, the way Hummingbirds do... and then flies off...
Benjamin says : ...I’d never seen a hummingbird that far out to sea before...
( just before her own end ) Daisy nods. Caroline goes out of the room... It’s quiet. Daisy’s alone now... looking out the window... at the howling, hurricane... a hundred mile an hour fury... And fighting against the wind, trying to reach the window is a hummingbird... it almost makes it and is pushed back by the gale... but undaunted, its wings doing a figure eight... the symbol for infinity... it fights its way through the wind to the window... tapping at the window... and the hummingbird flies away... she watches it go... and after some moments she says...Goodnight Benjamin..
And she closes her eyes for the very last time... and it’s dark... where it’s peaceful, even safe...
4) Some people ( Benjamin's Last lines ) ( see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvTJAtehxWs&feature=related )
“I figured out one thing. If you’re growing older or getting younger it really doesn’t make any
difference. Whichever way you’re going you have to make the most of what this is.”
Some people were born to sit by a river. Some get struck by lightning. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people — dance.
- The script is available at : http://www.paramountguilds.com/movies/script/CCBB_Screenplay_WGA.pdf