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.

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