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Category Archives: Movies

what is it with books?

the-book-thief-1

best. gif. EVER.

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 12.49.18 PM

When it’s a film based on a book, I watch the film first, then read the book. It tends to keep my disappointment/ frustration level down in the comparison between the two – and when I do read the book it’s like the ultimate director’s edition extended cut filled with deleted scenes and the occasional alternative ending or two.

But this scene in The Book Thief.

When Leisel enters the Mayor’s library and encounters those shelves of books, the film makes me flash a knowing smile, but Zusak’s word portrait in the book touches chords deeper in me than I can even understand. Which makes the gif at the top of this post the sexiest best gif ever. It makes me want to invade used bookstores and libraries, anything with vintage books – there’s just something about those vintage books! – and run the back of my hand along the spines.

Oh yes.

What is it with books?

won't work in most bookstores. most.

won’t work in most bookstores. most.

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in Books, haverings, Movies

 

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the difference

I love IMDB.little big man

So often I think of a scene, rehear the dialogue, and want to snag it for a devotional or other writing. And there is the Internet Movie Database, waiting with quotes to be accessed. Nine times out of ten it has exactly what I’m looking for.

Thought of a scene this week from Little Big Man (1970, Dustin Hoffman, Chief Dan George, Richard Mulligan).
I went and there it was. What I hadn’t counted on was getting distracted for the next thirty minutes or so reading all the dialogue excerpts, hearing them, reliving those cinematic moments.

And this one floored me. Chief Dan George. Old Lodge Skins, speaking to his white son after the latest atrocity:

Old Lodge Skins

It’s amazing the difference, hearing these words as a twelve-year-old in dialogue on the big screen, and reading them now. I don’t know that I heard them at all then. I just thought the movie was funny. Yes, I have always been that deep.

Now I can hear echoes, religious voices from my past reacting to the quote: New Ageism, pantheism,
Native American Indian mumbo-jumbo.

But then I hear my own memorized Scriptures:
Christ is all and is in all.
Trees clap their hands.
Earth groans.
Mountains flee like goats.
And the stars sing sweet songs.

It made me slow down, just a bit.
It made me watch the next faces I encountered.
It helped me to hear their voices, to see their eyes, sense their stories.
And I found myself talking to my books.
And yes, they did talk back.
They said they also consider it creepy that I sniff them.

Whoa.

To truly see everything, everyone alive. In him. How that might change everything

 
 

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Gladiator meets Noah meets Beautiful Mind meets Master and Commander…

That’s what I thought when I saw a sneak peek of the trailer for next year’s Noah.

in my book, he was the best thing about this year's Man of Steel...

in my book, Crowe was the best thing about this year’s Man of Steel…

When I first heard there was going to be yet another Hollywood excursion into extrapolating Scripture to screen my first reaction was a groan.

God. No. Please. Please. Please. No.

Then I saw the trailer.

Russell Crowe. Jennifer Connelly. Emma Watson. Anthony Hopkins. And a score that has to be written by Hans Zimmer. It has to be.

Okay, there just may be something to look forward to cinematically in 2014. Just maybe.

Holy Scripture and Hollywood scripts can an interesting combination.

I have a good friend who detests all efforts at “historical fiction” (what a wondrous oxymoron! The term, not the friend. Wait. Both, actually) in whatever medium – book, stage, film. For the simple reason it has to compromise on what really happened and supply all kinds of filler to make the story flow.

I usually just giggle at him, because I happen to love the genre (and for other reasons).

give crowe a chance, people

give crowe a chance, people

Others often assert, more strongly, that any translation of Scripture through Hollywood script to the big screen is not just suspect (or usually sucky) but sacrilegious, damnable and demonic because it has to add and subtract from Scripture, and this is verboten under penalty of eternal hellfire.

Hmmm.

Makes me think. (For the uninitiated, that’s what I mean by “Hmmm.”)

All translation, whether from Scripture to screen or of anything from one language to another loses something – and gains something, for that matter. Every story loses (and gains) something in such a transfer. Some dangling modifier (and sometimes key characters and plot developments!) is always left behind and new nuances (forget nuance, sometimes it’s an overpowering shove) are added. Which is why, if translation – or script writing in this genre – is a science, it is an artistic one. An artistic blend of getting a story and relaying it with imagination.

Sometime the translator’s (script writer’s) blend is good and savory. Sometimes, well, we’re left wondering what they were smoking. What is a savory blend for one audience can be blasphemous for another.

pure. blasphemy.

pure. blasphemy.

You want to talk about an unsavory blend in a cinematic retelling of history? Try Pearl Harbor. Actually, now we really are talking damnable and demonic. Battleships seem to be parked all over the harbor, falling forecastles everywhere – why couldn’t they even get Battleship Row right? Why? Why?? Why??? Pure blasphemy to me. And yet, some veterans I heard really felt it caught the feel of that terrible morning.

Or how about Argo? Loved watching it – but nothing that happened in those climactic final scenes actually happened! (Spoiler: except there was an airport and some people did fly away on a plane). Everything else was all for dramatic effect. It deflated me in hindsight. Hollywood gave it top honors.

best movie ever made

best movie ever made

The movie Gettysburg thrilled me (total geek, surprise!) and though so accurate in so many ways, it placed far too much emphasis on what happened on one end of a very large battlefield, making it appear that that one brave charge is what won the battle and the entire war. But what else can you do unless you are going to go all Peter Jackson and turn a three hour movie into fifteen parts?

Actually, with Gettysburg, that would be okay with me.

And how about Braveheart? Gibson = Wallace? Seriously? Read about how the Battle of Sterling really went down. Yet we didn’t see Scots protesting such gross liberties with what actually happened because the film caught the heart of the story. I’m told that when Braveheart premiered in Edinburgh, Scots left the theatre ready to storm London. Again.

please just don't let it be as bad as this

please just don’t let it be as bad as this

Perhaps the most poignant, thoughtful, spot-on observation about this whole business of historical dramas adapted for the big screen, whether taken from Holy Writ or from unholy pulp came from the late Roger Ebert – and I have to paraphrase from memory: don’t expect film adaptations of history to be historically accurate for to do so is to expect something from the genre that it cannot deliver. Film communicates the emotional impact of events, not the correctly detailed rehearsing of them. It is meant to inspire you not to inform you. Want to be informed? Read a reliable telling from a good historian (like Allen Guelzo in his Gettysburg tome). Want to be inspired to pick up such a book and actually read it? Watch a good movie about it.

Thumbs up on Ebert’s take – and I’m looking forward to the Gladiator meets Noah meets Beautiful Mind meets Master and Commander take of next year’s screen adaptation of the Genesis story of Noah.

Some of us just need to do some sphincter muscle relaxing exercises…

And we’ll see if we enjoy the show.

curtain-call

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2013 in haverings, Movies

 

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Hopkin’s Wisdom: Know the Script

Know the text cold. Once you know the text, you are free. Once you know the text, you can improvise and do whatever you want. But you must know the text.

This was one little unexpected pearl of wisdom from an hour long Q&A session during which Sir Anthony Hopkins (“Tony”) dialogued with students of Thomas Aquinas College last year.

don't think I could call him "Tony"

don’t think I could call him “Tony”

I normally do the flyby on hour long videos, but I’ve always appreciated the presence that Hopkins brings to the screen, and I was drawn to it for some reason, so I listened while I filled out my pre-admittance forms for my pill-cam examination this week and sorted through some mail.

I paused on the forms and mail several times to re-hear what Hopkins said and jot it down in my wee quote journal.

The above quote was the first.

Whatever I had expected to get out of this Q&A session, I hadn’t expected to glean the observations that I did.

Starting here.

For Hopkins, an actor’s script is his text. His counsel: “Know the text cold. Once you know the text, you are free. Once you know the text, you can improvise and do whatever you want. But you must know the text.”

ScriptFor Hopkins a script is something to master so you are then free to, quite literally, act on it. If you don’t know the text, you have no idea what you are doing and you’ll make a mess of things. Know it cold to the point of getting it into your subconscious, and you’ll be free to act on it, to improvise with it, to see it come to life in your own unique performance.

What’s hard to communicate here is the fluidity and freedom in Hopkin’s passion.

The actor may need to know it cold, but the script is not a cold text containing strict boundaries for dialogue and action to be legalistically and mechanistically adhered to. But you must know it. And in knowing it, you must embody it in the part you play. And in embodying it, since you are a human being, you will bring your own unique nuances and turns to the performance of it.

My mind naturally went to what has been my “script” for going on four decades – Scripture, Holy Writ, that scriptureaccumulated ancient community library we know as “the Bible” (“The Library” would actually be the better rendering of the Greek from which we get “the Bible” = ta biblia = “the books”). I know great swaths of it literally “stone cold.” It has been seeping into my personality and psyche for decades.

What a waste to devote a lifetime to the study and analysis of the Script, but to never get beyond quoting lines of it to other assembled actors during our rehearsals (church?) and arguing with other actors over their interpretation of the lines and their take on the plot.

How tragic to never get onto the real stage (life, like, wherever you live; all the world’s a stage, yes?) with the Script no longer in hand but in heart and head and then to give the performance of a lifetime.

Two challenges here present themselves.

Too many of us neglect the Script. And we think it archaic, religious (in all the bad ways), legalistic, unspiritual (“just move in the Spirit, dude”), etc., to do so…or we’re just plain too busy to bother with the Script ourselves and imagine that we are only the audience witnessing the performance of the actors (pastors, teaching clergy) on what we assume is the stage (church services). Result: we don’t know our own Script. We have no idea how to act on the Script – or imagine that we don’t even need to.

We are the actors not the audience. We need to know the Script or we won’t be able to play our part, period, and we will make quite the mess of things. And how do we going about knowing the Script?

Read it. Aloud. A lot. And start with heart of the Script. Pick a Gospel. Go on. Do it. I’ll wait.

Secondly, when we do set out to learn the Script, we become so anal in our rehearsing of it with and to our fellow actors that we never actually perform the play.

Actually, we still perform a play.

Just a very bad one that everyone has already seen too many times…

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2013 in Faith, haverings, Movies, musings, Religion, Sermons

 

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an immense pregnancy

Why not think of God as the one who is coming, who is moving toward us from all eternity, the Future One, culminating fruit of the tree whose leaves we are? What stops you from projecting his birth on times to come and living your life as a painful and beautiful day in the history of an immense pregnancy? Do you not see how all that is happening is ever again a new beginning? And could it not be His Beginning, for to commence is ever in itself a beautiful thing.

Rilke – Letters to a Young Poet, 1903

Rainer Maria Rilke is another of those voices I love to frequent. My friend Katie introduced me to him in the Book of Hours years ago, and he’s spoken to me, blessed me, ever since.

Love these images!

God not simply as one who came, but who is and always will be coming. The Future One.

Ehyeh asher ehyeh.  ehyeh asher ehyeh

I will be that which I will be.

The Divine Name we say little and know less.

Rilke dovetails beautifully with my current readings through Exodus and Galatians. Pulls them together, even as so much of life (and religion!) seems to pull us apart.

A tabernacle and priestly system that ultimately serves practically to enshrine, to codify a God who is Past, rather than making space and pointing to the One who Will Be.

Projecting his birth, and our own, on times to come, on days yet unfolding.

We are all, along with creation, pregnant with an immense pregnancy, aren’t we? True religion, like life, offers no final product with a stamp of authenticity from ages past. It only makes space for our own glimpse, our own grasping of our common, immense pregnancy, the unfolding of our common history, a common life of painful and beautiful days.

Creation groans in the pangs of childbirth and we also inwardly groan as we eagerly wait.

Immense pregnancy!

Adoption.

The redemption of our creaking, cranky, chemoed bodies.

The revealing of the sons and daughters of God.

And we know not yet what we will be.

But we will be.

pregnancy

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Exodus, Galatians, Movies, Religion

 

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the inner utopia

A remarkable thing. No. Magical.

I managed three hours of sleep without pharmaceutical inducements.

Not restful, by any means. But certainly better than none at all.

Awakened by insomniac Hannah in the next room, dropping a box of pencils. A physical heaviness felt in every extension of this body. My face felt flat, my eyes like sunken holes. The pump pumping away. I stumbled up out of bed, carrying my tethered pump. My body felt so heavy I couldn’t straighten my legs as I walked across the house to get some water in my mouth. Stumbled back to bed. 4 AM. For another hour I lay there, sinking, it literally felt, into the bed. Oh Abba, Abba, Abba. No anger, no struggling against invisible bonds. More sinking into them. Abba, when will you come for me? Abba, Abba, Abba. When will you come to me? Don’t think there was any more sleep. Trying desperately not to awaken my love or panic her as I have before when she wakes up to the sounds of me praying – or reciting Mark in the dark. Abba, when will you come to me?

And then the remarkable thing.

He came. I saw. And my eyes sprung open. Oh my God, I am awake! And I see this, but it’s me:

 

Heaviness lifted (was someone else praying out there at 4 AM this morning?). And if I had an umbrella, I would have danced with it out of the room. I danced right into the kitchen, dancing with dishes, putting the clean up and washing the dirty, preparing the way for my love and her green smoothies in a few hours. Then dancing with laundry. And now with this keyboard.

The whole time Kelly’s face and magical movements are before my heart. I hear the words in a song that ultimately needs no words – at least no words more refined than “Doo dloo doo doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo,  doo doo doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo dloo doo.” It’s the movements, the rhythms of ecstatic life and love, the sheer joy of simply being, and knowing it. Some might stuffily dismiss it as sheer sentimentality or even as madness (and it is the latter, of a sort, isn’t it?) standing with cynical, legal arms crossed on the wet sidewalk. But what does that matter? This is a God Song, a God Dance for any who will pick up the frequency in the midst of our own heaviness and pain and loss and rejection and dance because our hearts are truly ready for love that need not be explained or exposited.

Searching for more images from the film I came upon this review of Singing in the Rain (http://popcultureandfeelings.com/2011/04/the-pop-culture-and-feelings-canon-singin-in-the-rain/)  in which the author grapples a bit with the meaning of the title song. The author quotes Barthes several times. Not sure who Barthes is, but he’s quite the theologian.

I’ve spent months trying to explain the appeal of these couple of minutes. There’s something kind of Barthesian about the way love is expressed here. It’s to do with how words are almost insufficient, how the sets of words he has express something bigger, in forms we all recognize. It’s like a cinematic lover’s discourse, if you ignore all the parts of the lover’s discourse that are about longing and only think about the tiny moments of unexpressable joy and fulfillment you can just grip the edges of. In other words, utopia.

His physicality sort of approximates that sense of the unexpressable that the phrases of love gesture toward. He’s not singing it to her – he’s singing it by himself, after she’s left. They could have made it a duet, but they didn’t. As Barthes says, the lover’s discourse is one of extreme solitude. Something about the sense of being in love means you’re always alone in your love. You do love the other person, but you can only really appreciate being in love when you are by yourself, glorying in it. The sense that the world is magical, a playground, even in the rain, even without your umbrella. The sense that you’re a kid again, that you can splash in puddles without wrecking your shoes. You feel a little sheepish when the policeman notices you flailing around in the gutter, but you don’t care. The law doesn’t apply to love. It’s a sequence of almost pure emotion. There are words, sure, and there is a setting, sure, but the words are pretty much meaningless compared to the dancing. It stands out because it is the only unselfconscious moment in a compulsively self-conscious film. In a different film, it still would have been amazing, but it almost got an extra feeling of directness from being mixed in with a series of songs that are in various ways self-consciously performed. Barthes says, of the imaginary fulfillment the lover longs for: “Thus fulfillment is a precipitation: something is condensed, streams over me, strikes me like a lightning bolt. What is it that fills me in this fashion? A totality? No. Something that, starting from totality, actually exceeds it. A totality without remainder, a summa without exception, a site with nothing adjacent (‘my soul is not only filled, but runs over’).”

In other words, utopia.

An inner utopia where Someone starting from totality exceeds it, without remainder, without exception in which the soul is not only filled but runs over. What a startlingly apt description of walking – dancing – in the Spirit in the midst of much precipitation outside and more importantly inside, where, in a completely unselfconscious moment where law no longer applies, where emotions are allowed full free and healthy expression, the inner self unselfconsciously spills over into the outer in the freedom of divine movements.

As Peterson regularly translates “amen”:  yes, yes, yes!

Keep taking me to there.

To that inner utopia not even banned in chemoland.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Movies, musings, Prayer, Suffering

 

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slow gait

Havering on The Way_8

Sarah: We keep walking at this pace, quitting smoking isn’t gonna be the problem, surviving will be. [Pointing ahead to Tom] Doesn’t this guy ever stop to smell the flowers? [Sarah stops] This isn’t a race.
Joost: No it isn’t.
Sarah: Then why does it piss me off so much that I haven’t seen him stop to take a break? I mean, why does something that should be inspirational make me so…angry? Totally irrational.
Joost: Same could be said for this entire journey.

When we face the vanity of our best efforts, their triviality, their involvement in illusion, we become desperate. And then we are tempted to do anything as long as it seems to be good. We may abandon a better good with which we have become disillusioned and embrace a lesser good with a frenzy that prevents us from seeing the greater illusion. So, through efforts that may seem to be wasted, we must patiently go towards a good that is to be given to the patient and the disillusioned.  ~ Merton

Walking the Camino, making pilgrimage, living life is meant to be taken in stride.

No prizes for first place or even for finishing.

It’s about what – or more importantly – who you meet along the way.

Tom Avery was driven to accomplish a goal as quickly as possible with as little interference or interaction with others as possible and then to get back to and get on with the life he had chosen.

It’s the way most of us journey through life, if we ever even pause to think about it. Always the next goal, the next appointment, the next meeting, the next event, the next drive, the next big push, the next thrill, the next, the next, the next…

It reminds me of the way I felt when my brother and his family would come to vacation with us. Every day was filled with places to go, sights to see, things to do. Exhausting. Sad that we vacation just like we live – with full agendas. And, of course, we must always be “connected.” Connected with everything but with ourselves, with our surroundings, with God.

We suck at Sabbath.

For most of my life, the question of Sabbath has been an abstract theological one. Is the fourth commandment binding on us today? Is Sunday or Saturday the Sabbath? Which is the genuine Sabbath day for Christian worship?

Idiot.

It’s always helpful if we can at least get to the right question. If Sunday is the Sabbath, then “worshipping” in the traditional church format on Sunday tramples all over it. Sunday “church” is the most chaotic, restless, stressful day of the week for most – particularly if you have kids. It takes an afternoon nap typically to recover from it. And maybe a beer. Sabbath is about stopping, not going – particularly if the going involves making a major expedition with everyone dressed nicely, fed early, loaded up, unloaded, sorted out, regathered, reloaded, and then returning. No wonder such is always primetime for heated arguments and unholy shouts – at a time when we are least able to show the stress fractures on our faces.

Sabbath is ultimately about a way of life rather than the way to a sanctuary. Abraham Heschel calls the Sabbath a palace in time where we learn to stop, not as a means to greater productivity, but as the ultimate point of it all. The crowning act of creation from the viewpoint of Genesis 1 is not the creation of humanity (of course we would think that about ourselves!). It is this emphasized palace in time. To never stop is to miss the point and ultimately to waste our days, no matter how much we think we are accomplishing of enduring value. Heschel’s book The Sabbath is now an annual summer read for me. He states the case beautifully:

He who wants to enter the holiness of the day must first lay down the profanity of clattering commerce, of being yoked to toil. He must go away from the screech of dissonant days, from the nervousness and fury of acquisitiveness and the betrayal in embezzling his own life. He must say farewell to manual work and learn to understand that the world has already been created and will survive without the help of man. Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else.

This book is an annual read for the simple reason I still haven’t mastered the art of stopping, of walking with a slower gait. My journey through anemia, cancer, surgery and chemo this year has actually provided me with my best and perhaps final opportunity to learn how. Six months of being forced several times each month to sink into a cessation of movement, of productivity, even of “redeeming the time” through reading and writing, just might break me of some very unhealthy obsessions of always moving. Two weeks out of every month I am literally compelled to walk at a slower gait. Good benefit, but some price tag. Is this really what it takes for us to get it? Is this what it takes for us to buy out of a furiously paced culture obsessed with achievements? How sad that Christians can be the most frenzied among us, their frenzy justified by times we perceive (like every generation before us) to be uniquely perilous. So much to be done. There will be rest in heaven. Must do more, save more, work more, reach more. If we don’t do it, who will? There’s a world to be saved – a world to be won for Christ, dammit! Move, move, move. Fall out if you have to and catch your breath, but then get back at it! No time to lose!

Idiot.

Think. If we believe that a new heavens and new earth is where all history is headed and that it will be a place of rest and refreshment – if we literally frenzy our way into it, what makes us think that we will be ready for its rest? Doesn’t a frenzied life now belie the Life we hope for then? What is eternity but an extension and intensification of what we value, cherish and pursue here? Will we be able to tolerate rest then if we are constantly wrung out now?

Read recently that Benjamin Franklin was notoriously late to meetings or failed to show up all together – all depending on the quality of the conversation in which he was engaged at the time. I think he’s my new patron saint. If we know not how to stop and savor conversations and faces now, just cuz, what makes us think we will be ready for the ultimate face-to-face encounters that will take place then? Can we stop to linger over conversations that have little to do with furthering productivity agendas and everything to do with savoring Life?

A friend of mine in writing a critique of an evangelical book calling for us to save the world for Christ, made this marvelous observation:

During my time mapping soils in eastern Idaho, I was the recipient of an agency-sponsored newsletter. One issue had an article giving advice on how to succeed in the workplace. One recommendation that stood out to me at the time was this: always walk about ten percent faster in the office during the work day. The rationale provided was that the additional speed would bolster the impression that you were a busy and productive individual. Others would take notice. It would serve to demonstrate that you were quite the worker bee. My first impression was to think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be a better use of one’s attention and energies at work to try to be doing competent, thorough, careful work with attention to a high quality product? Wouldn’t that be a more sure ‘pathway to success’ than trying to create impressions of busyness and productivity by constantly monitoring how brisk one was keeping their pace in the office?”

Certainly devoting oneself to working with integrity cannot help but to manifest itself for all to see. Instead we are commended to pursue inane self-preoccupied efforts, ever trying to ‘demonstrate’ to others that we are productive. In short, the advice was as stupid then as it now must read as I retell it.

What will it take to get us to stop? What will it take to get us to walk at a slower gait so we can take in, so we can touch, even, the Glory that surrounds us, that is in us? What will it take?

This isn’t a race.

No, it isn’t.

Buen camino.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Movies, musings

 

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Prometheus Fever

Okay, don’t read this if you haven’t seen the film yet if you intend to. There will undoubtedly be spoilers.

I’ve seen Prometheus twice this week and wouldn’t mind seeing it a third time. This week. I’m listening to the soundtrack as I write this.

I’m still trying to figure out why it has attached itself to me (as it were) as it has.

It’s not that I saw deep spiritual implications and allegories unfolding before me, as was true, for instance, of The Way. And its first viewing was a bit hard at times. I always have a hard time with suspense and gore in films. I typically have to move or stand. This one had me looking away several times. I enjoyed the first two Alien films and I love Ridley Scott’s work. But I don’t think that’s the attachment.

Perhaps its my own journey through chemoland. I sense points of personal convergence. I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and feel you are literally looking at alien bodies squirming to the surface. And let’s just say I won’t likely complain about any past or future surgical procedures after seeing the the one that Dr. Shaw had to manage for herself. I couldn’t watch that scene all the way through either time. But a more fitting metaphor and picture for the removal of a cancerous tumor I can’t imagine. Seeing the embryonic, ultimate face-hugging alien drawn out through that incision made a visceral connection for me. To see her “cut the cord” – more like yank the cord – to it and then to have it dangling above her, squirming and slithering. Yeah, I totally get that. Then to see Shaw get out, to see her “excellent survival instincts” in running down that hall bloody and hurting and weak and wonderfully strong and determined. I totally get that too. Watching most of that scene the second time was less disturbing and actually more empowering, more healing for me. Maybe not the best prescription for other cancer patients, or for anyone who is particularly normal. I suppose it depends on the extent to which your primary survival mechanism is found in more escapist fare. I find that sinking into my condition and facing, embracing its darker aspects is actually pivotal to coming out on the other side – to sliding out of the bloodied tube.

And then there is the wonderful centerpiece of Shaw’s cross. I noticed the cross more the second time through. Brought tears to my eyes.The repeated question of why she still wears it if the Engineers we have found are our Makers. Her repeated, determined insistence on wearing it. I love that picture. In a culture that so often perceives the cross as a dead end for inquiry and exploration, the ultimate explorer insists on wearing it, seeing no incongruity in that, but rather seeing it as actually fitting better, as making more sense. At least to her. A cross not by which to conquer, but to understand, to see.

Another point of convergence. For so many the cross represents a totalist system offering certitudes of past formulations which are jealously guarded, resisting any exploration that might lead to life-giving bursts of newness that would potentially challenge and unravel those certainties leading us to new horizons of terra firma that were right there the whole time. The cross emblazoned on my soul is the portal to another world, a passageway to a still far too undiscovered country. We still seem to be standing on a distant shore, waving at shadows. Or worse, huddled in ejected church “lifeboats” resting on desolate landscapes, entertained by holograms of more pleasant scenery.

The cross of Christ is the launching pad for the ultimate quest and questions. It beckons us to explore, to journey, to probe, to search, to seek, to knock, to ask. Although when confronted with heaps of alien corpses and oozing black goo, wisdom would seem to tell us to explore in other directions. Quickly.

Just sayin’.

Shoot. Now I want to go see it again.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Movies, musings

 

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