Good morning all. This is Your Morning Update, February 27, 2012.
It was Oscar Night at #1805 last night. It was probably the first time I’ve watched an Oscar telecast in god knows how many years, but since I have a visitor from Greece, where arguably all entertainment started, I wanted to get her take on the movies. So, in the spirit of the movies, I made popcorn to go along with the wine last night instead of bread and olive oil. Also I made sure I used real butter.
After it was over, I asked Suzanne what she thought of it.
“It went on a bit long, but I understand why,” she said, “and it was because of those, what you call commercials, but all in all I enjoyed it.”
I told her I knew that Greece was considered the birthplace of theater, albeit a far different form than a movie, or plays as we know them today, and then I asked her, “Did you folks ever have anything like awards shows like the Oscars?”
“Oh, Bobby,” she said, “we had something very similar during the Grand Diosynias I told you about the other day where they had competitions where the playwrights would put on their latest plays and such. It was great fun, and the audience took a very vocal part in the judging. Some of the leading playwrights of those days were Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, and they all won their share of awards for their work, so in that way, we even are the birthplace for something like your Oscar show.”
I said, “You are obviously a fan of the theater, what is it that you like about it?”
She told me, “I like it for the same reasons you do, and I think your fascination with film indicates that. I already know you read books and enjoy them, and probably for the same reasons you like movies and plays.”
“And I suppose you know what those reasons might be my little descendant from the land of Grecian drama?”
“Well, Bobby, as I recall, one of the first movies you saw as a child a very long time ago was Pinnochio, and you saw it in a small town theater when you were about six or seven years old, or was it five, I’m a little cloudy on that. I see you in the theater being entranced with what you were seeing on the screen, and I think the seed was planted then.”
I asked, “How do you know that? I barely remember it myself, but I do remember it. I also remember when I was seven or eight, when my family lived in Minneapolis, and we would go to these majestic, movie palaces there, and I never lost my wonder or love of those theaters. They’d have this marvelous lobby with cool air, the smell of popcorn and lights everywhere and you would be ushered into this huge room where there were balconies, lush seats, and a large stage that had a curtain that would be raised as the program was about to begin. There was, of course, news reels, previews, cartoons and the not so subtle hint that you might have time to go out and get some more popcorn or chocolate covered raisins from the concession stand before the main featured started.”
Suzanne wiped her buttery popcorn hand on the napkin, and said, “I know so much about you, and I wanted to watch you tonight as this Oscar show unfolded. I like to see what strikes you about film and what moves you to do what you are doing right now. I know the power that imagination has, and I know that you understand that as well, but I’ve yet to hear you say anything about that.”
“So what do you want to know?” I asked.
She said, “It’s a simple question, but your answer can be revealing, it can tell me a lot. It’s not unlike you are doing every time you hit the send button on your computer. Every time you do that, you are sending out more than words, you are sending out a piece of yourself. So, tell me why you like the movies, and I will have more to work with.”
“The answer to your ‘simple’ question is quite simple, at least in my mind, I said. “There’s something about wanting to be transported, even for an hour or two to some magical place where anything is possible, and that place is the movies. At the movies, you can lose yourself in a fantasy, experience some deep emotion, thrill to some daring feats or get the crap scared out of you, and all of the time you can sit there picturing yourself in the middle of it. I can remember well movies that have moved me, and I remember well movies that left me with a sense of joy I carried with me all the way home. That’s what I like about the movies, they give me a chance to stretch my own imagination.”
Suzanne, sat back, smiled and said, “I know all of that, and I just wanted you to say it out loud. If you write it now, I know that we are making progress. I know you have some things you want to do, to create, and my job is to help you do that.”
“As a matter of fact,” I said, “I have just come up with another idea for a project, but it will take some time for me to flesh it out. You already know about my other projects, and even though I know they could have some merit, I wonder sometimes if my time isn’t running out to get done what I want to get done.”
“Bobby, my friend, you have all the time you need.” Suzanne assured me, and added, “I know your other projects probably don’t have happy endings, but you have it in your power to create a story that does.”
“But Suze,” I said, “Isn’t it only Hollywood that has happy endings?”
“Not if I have anything to say about it Bobby, not if I have anything to say about it.”
Take care, be well and keep in touch.