“What was it that makes a movie a one or two star”, I asked my just acquainted seat mate. We were sitting in the front row of the Portland International Film Festival, so I could see the subtitles with no interfering head.   “Where is this going?” she answered about the movie plot, not my line of questioning.

There are languorous scenes of street corners or landscape vistas that aren’t emotive, neither gorgeous nor depressing. Apparently the director wants you to become used to their essential commonality, their ordinariness as if that builds tension or sets us up for surprise.  But then it doesn’t. There are no surprises.  What is planned as extraordinary seems a dull comma in an indecipherable paragraph.  Nothing happens.  And we’re returned to the ordinary.  If the theme was boredom or anomie it succeeded. But I don’t appreciate art enough to be impressed with a depiction of the lower levels of joi d’vivre that humanity faces.

And I do appreciate dialog.  Why is it that countries often nominate as their best film of the year for international competition is so completely visual with little use of speech to add meaning? At least a little more music might heighten our imagination rather than the authentic sound effects of daily motors and wind and movement crunching gravel.

One fellow audience tells me that everything in the movie was supposed to be a dream, snatches of something with no plot arc.  No rising or falling of engagement.  Ho hum. Done.


The longer you discuss absurdity, the more absurd the time spent. The more purpose driven your life, the less entropic it is. A purpose is chosen with our free will, although our freedom does not completely define us. We can, on purpose, help others who’ve suffered the wrong environment, or been born with traits that make it harder to be part of communities. We can celebrate and spread joy, drill down and help us all become more self aware. These are purposes that to me block mulling on absurdity which mostly nurtures depression. And finally perhaps, what you think is who you are.

Get a life or get a laugh.

In reaction to Rivka Weinberg piece in the NYTimes.

Mandy Len Catron’s piece in the NYTimes today interrupted my list of things to do with a focused curiosity that delightfully sucked up half-an-hour drilling down on the author and the questions.
And Mandy’s blog http://thelovestoryproject.ca/about/

My problem is often the opposite, how to break up. Although Mandy touches on How to fall out of love, this whole idea is one for which I haven’t found many words yet. I do believe in new love among we ancients. I also flatter myself that as a mature adult with understanding of loneliness and loss, I owe those I’ve fallen for, a decent after-life from the thrills of our beginning. But I’m no good at that. I want it clean and done. I’m mute of explanations or even trite polite phrases. And like many guilts in life, I wring my figurative angst and meditate on a poor job done.

Tell your publisher Mandy, you’ve got a loyal crowd following you already. Can’t wait for your book.