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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm A Believer

It's a funny thing about actors and celebrities. Because they allow themselves or even crave the public eye, share their tragedies as well as triumphs, we feel we know them. Know what they're like. Who they are. The thing is we don't really, really know them. No matter how many times you hear an actor say that they've put a lot of themselves into a role; no matter how closely you watch a particular film, there's very little revealed about who an actor really is. After all it's just memorized lines, someone else's words, under someone else's direction.

Ah, the director. Now that's someone you can learn a little about by watching their work. After all it is usually the director's vision we see. The director calls all the shots. How a scene is lit. How a scene is framed. What mood we experience. What message we're supposed to pay attention to. Sometimes directors hit us over the head with meaning. Make things so obvious that we can't possibly miss what they're trying to tell us.

If I say the name Clint Eastwood - I know, I know, I just did - what do you think of? Dirty Harry? Rawhide? The Eiger Sanction? Ooo, I know Play Misty for me? Gran Torino maybe? There's a lot to choose from. Mostly people probably remember him as an actor. I have no hard data to back this up, but I betcha. I mean isn't he most famous as the tough guy?

It's as a director though that I think we get a glimpse here and there of Clint Eastwood. The first movie that I consciously watched that Clint Eastwood directed was Bird. I had seen others that he directed, but that was before I started keeping track of things like that I guess.

Yeah, that's nice an' all, but where ya goin' with this Nightguy?

Well, I finally saw Hereafter. Directed by... Yup, Clint Eastwood. If you haven't heard of it, it's the story of three people and their relationship with the afterlife. One is a medium who feels cursed with his gift. One is a French journalist who has a near death experience. The last is a young boy who loses his twin.

I guess the hard part about it for some people is the fact that it takes place in three countries. Including scenes spoken I French with subtitles.

It would seem to me though that that is one of the key threads of the movie.

Remember me saying how the director can hit you over the head sometimes? What good ol' Clint - if I may be so bold - hits us with comes in a set of lines stating that we are all one. To paraphrase, we are all the same cell. I think that was it. Sorry I don't remember the exact line. It wasn't just stated though. If I'm remembering at all correctly the way the scene is set up it's very dramatic and emphatic. Something set up so we couldn't miss it.

I am in no way comparing my self to Clint Eastwood, but I have directed some few plays. It is ever my hope that an audience walks out of a show I've directed and understands something of what I believe. I still don't know Mr. Eastwood. Haven't the faintest notion of what makes him tick. But I think I know something he believes. Something he probably lives with.

We are after all all connected. You breath the same air that I do. Heck, you breath the same air that any of your favorite famous people have breathed. You may even have some of the same atoms weaved into you.

We have the same hopes and fears. The same moods. The same feelings. The same home. We are all, each and every, made of the same magical mix.

Let's play nice.

I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Revolution

Ok. Right. Two things.

1.) Kinda feel off track with Notes. The last four posts have ended up being sort of a serialization about the goings on in the play I was involved in. All very fascinating reading I'm sure, but still sort of a threaded story. Originally each post was a stand alone individual. Gotta get back to where I started from. Gotta get back to individual stories. Oh, I'm sure you'll hear about it if I'm in another production. Just don't want to make that the thrust of this whole thing. Unless of course you WANT to hear of the joys and frustrations of producing a show. Feel free to comment if you wish.

2.) Osama bin Laden is dead. So much is swirling around my tiny brain about this. I barely even know where to begin. Here's a smattering of what's going on.

Was it right for Americans to cheer outside the White House after the announcement? Yeah, I get the whole thing - really, but what does that moment in time tell the rest of the world about us? I imagine if most of the people partying over someone's death saw the same actions from some other group in some other country they be disgusted. They were acting like the people they revile. I don't know. I just never imagined that reaction I guess.

Did you want proof of his death by the way? Did you want pictures? John Stewart made a good point the other night on The Daily Show. Basically he said maybe we needed to see the picture to remind us that war and the death it causes are real and not people don't just disappear like in video games. After all some people only have to look out their window to see the effect of war and terrorism. Can you imagine if we lived in a place where bombs and loss of innocent life were an almost daily occurrence?

Really, I do get the whole evil enemy inflictor of death we got our man thing, but does it really matter that he's dead? There are so many people ready to step in where he left off. I remember a snippet of an interview years ago with a woman saying it won't matter if we kill bin Laden. Women all over the Middle East are naming their babies after Osama. Sure we'll get a lot of information from all the computers and thumb drives and such that we pilfered; that will ultimately be a set back for al-Qaeda, but there is no stopping it.

See it's not really just a religious thing, this enmity towards America. It's more a twist of fate thing. The play I'm reading now called Two Rooms by Lee Blessing says it very well. It's a play about a man taken hostage in Beirut and his wife back home. I can't really quote it directly without permission. I'll try to give you the gist anyway. To be a person in a tiny country, speaking a pretty isolated language, worshipping an old god is worse than death. To be that person without a revolution or the promise of one is to be imprisoned for life. So men revolt. Revolt against what they desire yet what they detest.

I watched an interview with some kids of people killed in the towers. They are relieved that bin Laden is dead and feel avenged. But they know their lives will never be the same. They know there is no going back and getting what is lost. They know the world will never be a safe place.

So, what now? Where do we go from here exactly. Well if you've read any of my other posts I'm sure you could take a stab at it and come fairly close.

We can't spend our time worrying about things in the world that we can't influence. What we can do is take care of ourselves and those around us. Make choices to be the best you can be. Show those close to you that they are respected and cared for. Make your reality dependent on what you believe, your truth, and not events half a world away.

All right. I'm outta here.

I'm pullin' for ya.

Peace