I begin today's post with a meta quote. The film I saw last night (more about that later) quoted the above and attributed it to Marcel Proust. I studied Proust in college but not very extensively and frankly the only things I remember about him are that he was especially fond of Madeleine cookies, the dipping into tea of which prompted him to write no less than four million books about his obsessive preoccupation with time and memory and that he spent his life embroiled in one long memory. Oh and also, during my studies we watched a dramatization of "Remembrance of Things Past" and the actor who played Proust looked like the dude who played Robin Colcord. on Cheers and how I stopped paying attention to Proust and instead kept thinking about Cheers and how that show pretty much defined how I saw adult relationships when I was 10. (Confusing, neurotic, hilarious) Wow, is it ironic that after rereading this entire paragraph I realize that I have made an subconscious nod to Proust with involuntary memory?? Yeah, anyway I just really liked that quote. Phew.
I volunteered again last night at the art house movie theater and I met a lovely woman that I kinda want to be exactly like when I grow up. She is retired and spends her time seeing films, traveling, reading and writing and just in general living the life I envision for myself after the sweet ass day of retirement. I also had a small moment of clarity while talking to her that has pretty much set me on my way to changing my perspective on the direction my life has been taking. It was really simple, actually. She just asked me where I lived and how I spend a lot of my time. As I was telling her what I do in my free time, I just started to realize that I really have enjoyed the past two years living in my town and I made the firm decision (I know I've said this before, but I really mean it now) to just decide to be content where I am and make a go at happiness. It is a real effort for a restless soul like me to do this but I think before I only ever made half assed attempts at it. Time to buckle down and really try.
The film I saw was called Oslo, August 31 and I actually loved this movie more than I want to. I say that because it is one of the saddest movies I have ever seen. I was not surprised by how sad it is, it being a Norwegian film. I don't know why but that part of the world always seems like it would be cloaked in a winter darkness. I should visit to change my mind maybe. Anyway, the film is about a recovering drug addict who is on the verge of completing a rehab program. He's given one night away to interview for a job in Oslo as an editorial assistant for a magazine. In his life before drugs, he was a writer. The story takes place during that one day he is free and he meets up with old friends and visits old haunts. It is pretty incredibly acted by the lead guy who, I have come to find out, is actually a medical doctor as well. I'm glad he started acting because he's really just remarkable. Anyway, a lot of what went on in the film resonated with me and I have a feeling that it is because it was such a beautifully done film that even though the only thing I had in common with the character was our relatively close ages, I felt empathy for him. Or a deep sympathy. There is one scene in particular when he is sitting in a cafe and listening to the conversations going on around him, absorbing the life he feels so completely disconnected from through these strangers. I watched that scene and knew instantly what that feels like. I actually woke up early this morning at around 3am and thought about him. The film haunted me.
I want to recommend this film to everyone but judging from the reaction of the theatergoers last night, it definitely is not for everyone. After the film as I was cleaning up the theater this old man approached me and was like "Did the film cut off at the end? I don't get it. What happened?" Then another person told me they hated how bleak it all was. So, I'm going to reserve my recommendations and just say that this might be my favorite film this year.
Yesterday also saw me at jury duty (doody) during which very little of interest happened but I do have to return on Tuesday for further questioning. I'm hoping that I do not get assigned to any jury because I can't think of anything I want to do less. Maybe get an MRI. I want to do that less than be on a jury but that might be it.