Friday, April 20, 2012

don't expect love to survive mitigating circumstances

movies are my meditation, i have to admit it. ever since being a tiny tot in montana, allowed into the theater free at my leisure by a member of my father's congregation, i've gone to the flicks for education and relaxation. the lessons you learn at five years old not easily forgotten. even in berlin, learning german, if you didn't find me facing a stage full of actors, you could observe me watching flickering images on the screen. 

true, it's not a sure cure for loneliness. my uncle bill, as he grew older, retired as a busboy, sat in the dark every night, stars and directors distant company. that said, a good story takes me out of myself, breaks up the logic of my thoughts. for a couple of hours i step out of the cage, i stop running in the spinning wheel, and dance freely across the world as a stage. and even after i come out, having identified with the hero, male or female, with a mightier tread.

i just read an article on the fear of clowns, so it's not all a bed of roses. they tend to be sad and creepy in ingmar bergmann films like the naked night (sawdust and tinsel), full of images which i will never forget, much as i would like to. THE CLOWN IN THE CLOSET, now there's a great title with multiple meanings. and as i've mentioned before, from an early age i imagined myself an incompetent comedian like buster keaton, or at my best a wily tramp like charlie chaplin. alas, keaton ended up busted and chaplin with a young wife and nine children exiled in switzerland. 

yes, how we imagine ourselves is how it goes. as for the title of this little ramble, it stands for two movies i've seen in recent days. one called circo, a heart-breaking documentary about a mexican circus. the whole family, from little kids on up, work like slaves in service of an  ideal, building up the acts till they can perform successfully in the big city, the ambition of three generations. unfortunately, the wife of the main guy hates seeing her children work so hard and not learning to read. she abandons the big top with three of her children. i wonder if the enterprise survived? 

yes, the fear of being a clown quite real, though americans less afraid to make fools of themselves and that a main source of their freedom. last night, the movie salmon fishing in yemen, much more upbeat. despite a monumental defeat in their dream, the hero and girl get together, and fish survive in the desert. still, the hero had a terrible marriage and a mean, selfish, self-centered wife which he had to survive. their love couldn't thrive the every day ambitions of middle-class life.

hope doesn't always spring eternal, yet these blossoms after march storms make april possible. a few photos: