Thursday, November 15, 2007

One Week

..until Thanksgiving. Unbelievable. It was just summertime!

Tonight I was quite productive: paid bills, stuffed envelopes filled with promotional materials for work, ironed, washed clothes. Thursday fodder.

My grandmother called. Mom is continuing to have a rough time at the nursing facility. Yes, I know, I haven't addressed that. I could do a whole blog on that subject. Basically, my mother was admitted to the hospital on 2/10 this year with a serious sacral decubitis. She was in the hospital for almost 2 months. She had multiple surgeries, including a colostomy. She then began what has been an agonizing (for her and her family) journey to rehabilitation. She was bedridden for so long that her learning to walk, heck, STAND is an arduous chore. It is a day by day thing. I know I always say this, but, more on all of this later....

Time for some green tea. 'night.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunrise to Sunset

I just finished watching Before Sunset, the perhaps long-overdue follow-up to 1995's Before Sunrise. Director Richard Linklater and his actors, Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy, all return to allow us to again peek into the lives of two cynical romantics who spend the films' running times pontificating ad nauseam while they traverse European cities with pretty scenery. In the earlier film, Hawke played a tourist who strikes up a conversation with an attractive French girl. They spend the evening yakking to each other in cafes and through alleyways and cemetaries. It was an enjoyable, romantic picture.

This time, the characters have grown older and again get to spend some time theorizing on why love just really sucks (but life without it is unthinkable). The journey this time is again pleasant, but I was struck at how immature both characters seemed. For all their supposed growth, they seemed awfully self-obsessed and shallow. Sure, they write and participate in political rallies and travel, but their emotional development seemed regressive, possibly even less devloped than before. They whine about how life has disappointed them. Articulately, I might add. It is a pleasure to hear intelligent discourse in films for a change. But, the lack of responsibility Hawke's character displays left me cold, rendering the supposed happy ending a bit hollow. His narcissism is laid bare, and damn his wife and kid back home--HE'S NOT FULFILLED!

Maybe I'm just older and see through the slacker/Gen-X arrested development BS quite a bit more clearly now. I was there. The self-absorption bit is destructive, and (rightly) tries the patience of all who are infected by such behavior. Maybe the point (at least in part) was to draw these characters as such (the 3 prinicples wrote the screenplay). That does not make it easier to root for their courtship, however. Still, Linklater and his collaborators have fashioned another trip worth taking. Insightful, laden with eye pleasing vistas, and occasionally inspiring, Before Sunset is a document of a generation. Perhaps the film's most effective, if certainly unintentional, impression is the strong argument it makes for the use of SSRIs.