Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reflection Pond #18

Jason Lytle - Yours Truly, the Commuter (2009)

The song, Brand New Sun, has been the anthem for my life the past year. Just when everything has begun to change with hope for a new ambition, I've come to realize that there is one aspect of my life where I need real change to occur, not simply rhetoric (ahhhh...if only President Obama could heed those words). I've spent the last eighteen years working at a job that has been ultimately unfulfilling. Though I've had many fortunate gains from my employment, it simply isn't what I always imagined I'd accomplish with my life. I don't mean to begrudge any of it because I feel very fortunate, I love my family and appreciate the stability that we have, but there are always moments in life when you evaluate your existence and you begin to take measures that will move you toward more idealistic aspirations. Maybe that's what happened with Jason Lytle and Grandaddy. Throughout the past decade, I was influenced by a lot of music and it helped mold me into the person that I am today. Grandaddy was probably at the top of that list. From He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot, which blew me away, to Just Like the Fambly Cat, these five guys from the grunge culture, mutating out of the ashes of the pavement, swirled in our atmosphere to provide beautiful astral lights. Eventually all things come to an end and now Lytle has gone on to create more wonder. The sound isn't that different but it is unique in its own right and it's still wonderful. I hope that I may find such a gift inside myself that moves me toward the path I wish to forge. A new decade stands before us. Let's paint it with a most luscious brush.

Goodbye Solo - Ramin Bahrani (2008)

Goodbye Solo has many interesting and wonderful aspects going for it, mostly being that it is an honest movie about real people living across cultural lines that is told through a sincere lens. But it also has Souléymane Sy Savané starring in the lead role. What a beautiful presence this man has brought to celluloid. Every once in awhile we come across an actor who carries the screen, who lights up the magic that percolates in our minds and float to the surface while sitting in the dark to wallow in flickering life. Savane is one of those people. For 100 minutes I was astounded at how effortlessly he moved and guided our emotions within this very emotional movie. Goodbye Solo tells the story of a cab driver who befriends an elderly hard-ass guy who only has one last task for himself as his life comes to a close. The film moves with meandering and minimalist qualities but it is a beautiful look at our world today and what it means to be human. I had heard of Bahrani's films before and the man is very active, Solo being his third movie in four years, but for some reason the definition of his films portrayed by the community hasn't enticed me to follow him before now. I won't make that mistake in the future. He is one of the great American film-makers of our generation and we really need to embrace his offerings with enthusiasm and appreciation. The next time I have a conversation with someone about the dreadful quality of American film-making, Bahrani's name will be the first word out of my mouth.

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