Monday, January 14, 2013

Blessings #22

Chromatics - Kill For Love (2012)

I remember being fifteen, sixteen and suddenly feeling like I was becoming this emotionally mature person. Everything had more meaning and the melodrama that rattled around inside my head was this truly special and significant place. I was growing up. I was becoming a self-realized individual and that meant that I now had new responsibility. It was a scary and exciting place, this adolescence. It was also very serious and sincere, or at least that's what I told myself. Life was no longer simple, poppy fun. I suddenly began to listen to melancholy music and turned to brooding much more often than before. I remember driving around in my Datsun pick-up with the latest Echo & the Bunnymen played at an extreme volume to drown out all the life that was trying to invade my important moral consciousness. It was a strange place and could only be quelled by the likes of The Northern Pikes or The Silencers, music made for the soul of a teenage boy living in the midst of the 1980s. For some reason, "Kill For Love", takes me back to those feelings. I let their sound flood through my headphones, close my eyes and suddenly I'm transported into the skinny soul of that teenage boy. All the fear and doubt, all the thrilling thoughts about the future slip right into my thoughts. I go back into that place for a few minutes and as the lazy guitar swaddles my brain, I feel those emotions bubbling to the surface. But it's become a blissful realm, now that I have gone through the years and know about this journey called maturity. It's safe because all the worries are gone, all the ridiculous fears summoned by child who wasn't quite absent from my mind back then. We have that luxury now, to use art in a way that allows us a certain space to comfort our past digressions or to help us tap into those hidden dreams of yesterday. Because no one truly wants to go back, after all, no matter how tempting. We would still be just as lost, simply kids hoping to find our way through the long dark days.

The Ides Of March - George Clooney (2011)

This is one of those movies that reveals how a politician doesn't have a soul. Even the ones who seem so promising, full of ideas that are going to change the way our society works. But there's a reason why nothing ever changes. It simply shifts slowly, like a behemoth with a tiny rudder; sometimes a little to the left, sometimes a little to the right. Once we delve into the scheming machinations of the system, we discover that it's just a churning self-perpetuating mess. That's pretty much the essence of "The Ides Of March". We've seen this movie before but Clooney brings an earnestness to the story. Plus, we get to follow Ryan Gosling around, the "it" kid in Hollywood nowadays, and isn't he so much fun to follow around? He plays a young campaign manager who's been working for politics since college and has moved up the ranks to the second in command in support of Clooney's ambitious Presidential candidacy bid. It all looks too good to be true, which means that it probably is and soon the wheels start coming off for Gosling. He gets stuck in a bad situation and has to scramble to find a way out of it without losing his soul. But this is politics, after all, so there's only one way to go. In the end, he comes out on top but, as they say, from where we stand that could just as well be the bottom and the sky is just beneath us.

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