For the first time in a really, really long time, I sat at home last night and watched some movies. It was Friday night and husband is out of town. Conditions were perfect.
As I sat there, spending about 20 minutes trying to figure out what to watch, I remembered the time in my life when Blockbuster (wow, that sentence could end there, couldn't it?) had the 3 for $5 deal of "movies in the middle" - aka: all the movies you would rather watch than the most recent Hollywood monstrosity. I loved finding some movie I'd never heard of with a small cast of actors I'd also never heard of and just holing up for an evening to watch them. Such a simple pleasure, and what a nice gift to myself.
Last night I watched two movies, both independently produced: Liberal Arts and In Your Eyes. Let me throw out a disclaimer: they were both more romantic-leaning than anything else, but they also were made of small casts, were not romantic comedies, and had absolutely nothing to do with Jennifer Aniston.
The main actor, Josh Radnor, in Liberal Arts also wrote and directed the film. It's about two people of different ages finding growth together. But! They don't grow into each other as so many cheesy films do; they rely on each other to grow apart, yet more into themselves. It was actually really lovely. Elizabeth Olsen plays Zibby, a 19-year old college sophomore who is (at least in contrast to Radnor's Jesse) unafraid of life and experience. He buries himself in books; she buries herself in saying "yes." I will excitedly look for other movies with Olsen, as I really enjoyed her energy and effortlessness.
You can watch the trailer by clicking on the title above.
The other movie I watched, again with actors unknown (but somehow recognized...odd) was In Your Eyes. This film relied on mainly two actors who only had one scene together, and it came at the very end of the story. Characters Rebecca and Dylan are connected by telekinesis; even though they've spent years experiencing each other's lives, it isn't until they're in their late 20's that they actually figure out what's happening. Of course, they spend much time together this way, speaking for hours each day even though they live on opposite sides of the country.
The story has the classic scenario of man-rescues-woman-from-other-man (and herself?), but since it's within the framework of this incredibly unique and sensitive dynamic it doesn't bother me. Usually it's very cliche, the "man on the white horse," thing. But, since Dylan is an ex-con who steals a car to get to her, it's a little different.
Some might say this film is part of the Supernatural Romance genre. I suppose so. But I don't think the point of the film is to investigate the romantic prowess of telekinesis.
I found myself thinking about the yearning we have to search for someone to jump into the abyss of ourselves with us. We don't want someone to diagnose what we are or what we do, but we want them to understand us. We want the questions about ourselves to be answered before we're made aware of them, and we want someone to know us so well that they can sense when to save us from the world and when to save us from ourselves.
There's a certain beauty in finding another human that can want to see what you see, and perhaps that's the allegory of the film. See me and you will find me. And I'll see you and we'll feel complete because we understand. Even if we understand nothing else.
Live on this separate plane with me, and don't ask me to come down.
It gets hard to think about music this way. It's my passion, my career, and my science. I must understand its pieces, analyze its motives. I'm not surprised by it anymore. Compositions are soliloquies and monologues more than wishes and other worlds. How do I find that magic again? Why can I experience such depth from silly films on Netflix but not from the pieces I spend hours working on? Are those that claim to find it in them... lying? Or did I somewhere make a wrong turn?
Did I somehow miss the moment that I started to wonder about formulas more than heartfelt, heart-wrenching questions? Or am I not finding the right music? I wonder if I subconsciously choose to forget I love plays and films because then I don't have to feel these lamentations. One doesn't have to be better than the other, I know, but I hope it's ok to wonder from time to time.