Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cinema Paradiso

Watched my favorite movie of all time last night. The director's cut. It's emotional. I had a different reaction to the finale, like Alfredo knew that if Toto had all the love he wanted then there would be no hole he would need to fill with art. See? Art is what artists use to complete themselves. And if they are already complete then the art sucks. Maybe that's justifying my insanity, but I think it's true. The bigger the hole, the better the art, if you can complete it. Generally, there is a limit on how incomplete a person can be and still accomplish something.

this first shot is when Salvatore returns from the army. He is alone in the plaza. Everything has changed. The thread has been broken. It's an awful feeling. I felt this way in La Paz. I looked around at the hot dog stands and the closed shrimp booths and my van on the beach and thought. It's over. I don't belong here. Worse, I thought, "This is a Cinema Paradiso moment."

this second shot is the moment young Toto realizes he's different. He is watching his friend get beaten with a stick. IT was funny for a second and then it becomes...a moment. In Toto's mind he understands that this is something...he isn't sure what...but it is something to remember. And this is what Alfredo sees in him: not a projectionist, but a poet. Toto has a gift of memory and substance. It's a curse also because you see how happy everyone else is and Toto is in another world. That's the world Alfredo is trying to guide him to and that's the world his Elena can't be a part of...because she will fill the void, or worse she will forever be a symbol of something rather than a wife. It's awful but unavoidable. The story is about a man's struggle to NOT be a poet. You can't serve two masters. You can love flesh and blood people or you can live in a world of symbols. There's more to the story but that's what it meant to me last night. I only rented it as an excuse to talk to the librarian. Courtney. I was so bumbling I gave her my credit card instead of my library card. I babbled about getting fired from a factory. Forgot to mention I live in a van. I said, "Since I moved here you're the only person I recognize." Is that a vague opener or what?
She's got a widow's peak that would make Vivien Leigh jealous. And she wears four inch high heels and stunning turtlenecks that do her figure all the good in the world. It's not fair to talk to her since she lives in the real world and I live in a world of symbols. But I'm still hoping someone can tolerate me ignoring them. She's probably married.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.