Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Caught in Celluloid

Image result for the spy who came in from the cold movie

I was born in 1957. When my parents went to the movies they almost always took me. Of course, none of the films were aimed at little kids. Regardless, many of the ideas made very vivid lasting impressions on my young mind. I still remember them with that little boy's worldview, which makes them all the more compelling. Some I've re-seen as an adult, but the original imprints remain.
These I can recall off the top of my head. Not every movie I remember by any means, but the ones that still matter:
Lord Jim
The Subject Was Roses
Mutiny on the Bounty
The Quiller Memorandum
A Man for All Seasons
Taras Bulba
Pillow Talk
Dr. Zhivago
Fistful of Dollars
Spy Who Came in from the Cold
The Sandpiper
Dr. Strangelove
Fail Safe
Zorba the Greek
Lilies of the Field
Lawrence of Arabia
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Miracle Worker
Breakfast at Tiffany's
The Train
The Sand Pebbles
Fahrenheit 451
A Man and a Woman

"There's no hiding in my memory/ each thought and gesture are caught in celluloid"
The Carpet Crawlers, Genesis, 1974.

Just Hair

We are usually not out and about when schoolkids have lunchtime. I don't play close attention to the schoolday schedules, but I think they get out from 1 to 2 or so. Many, if not most businesses, close between 1 and 3; so we have learned to run errands before and after.
On Friday we were headed home from erranding right when schools let out. My impression is that the schools physically close, so students either walk home to eat, or get food from street vendors who are ready and waiting right outside the gates. They are entirely at large until school restarts, a virtual antithesis to school in the US where kids are typically forbidden to leave campus.
So as we drew near one school, a torrent of teens began to spill out, overflowing the sidewalk, around parked cars, and into the street. Everyone is in dark navy blue uniforms with white shirts. And the hair- as we slip into and through the crowd, we're surrounded by dozens of long, thick, and glossy tresses of straight black hair played against the navy and white. Long feminine hair is a kind of wealth, a splendor; and the gleaming ebony opulence is on luxuriant display for the couple of minutes it takes us to pass through the crowd.
It's the same at Mass every Sunday, but not with such density, and not so uniformly long. The indigenous women all keep their hair long regardless of age. Mass is a great place to see the older women, usually with braids, but some with hair unbound. They're always so beautifully turned out.
So anyway, we're squeezing through the kids, and I was saying to Janet, "Look at all this awesome hair, it's so healthy and affirming. You see how good it looks? That's how good your long hair looks." When we got married, Janet's hair was long, i.e., between the shoulder blades. It was the best, I felt good about life just by looking at it. At some point she thought it was too long, and cut it short for at least 15 years. But it's been full and long again for the last 5 years or so, and I remind her daily how glorious it is and don't miss a chance to compare it favorably to all the competition.