Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The $128,000 Answer

Following up on the last post: I watched Dark Victory, and Bette Davis was plenty clipped. I win. Depressing (but redemptive, I think) movie, very melodramatic, and the usual gang of Warner Bros.' DVD film experts gathered on a featurette to talk about why Dark Victory stands next to the rest of 1939's (stunning, never-equaled) crop of movies. They were wrong, but it was a valiant effort.

Following up on the prior post: I remembered an interesting secondhand story the other day that ties in to my point. A friend of mine - much older - told me about this time in the 1970s when he was in film class, and his professor asked him what his favorite movie was. He answered Wild Strawberries, an Ingmar Bergman film. Perfectly respectable answer for someone getting an advanced film degree. The professor proceeded to ask my friend the name of the last movie he'd seen in the theater. Star Wars, of course, was the answer. The professor noted that there was a small theater around the corner doing a Bergman retrospective, and that as the professor recalled, Wild Strawberries was part of the bill. Had my friend gone to see Wild Strawberries during this special event? No, he'd seen Star Wars again, instead, probably for the fourth or fifth time. Why did he choose to see Star Wars instead of his nominal favorite movie, the challenging and beautiful Wild Strawberries? Well, that, my friends, is the $64,000 question.

It's the same thing, why I've been watching MST3K on Matt's iPad over the last couple of days rather than writing or watching movies that are more worth my while. I love MST3K. It fills my heart up. It's not as respectable as Bergman, and it's perhaps not as stimulating. But I love it and it makes me happy.

All week I've been nosing through my notes book looking for my next project. There's at least one short story I think I'm ready to write, a literary one, but I'm not sure it's going to come out right. That's no reason not to write it anyway, but it's surely a reason to mentally whine and bang my self-pity drum.

Yeah, well, what legitimate reason did YOU ever have
to feel sorry for yourself, Keller? 

Money-work is nearly as dry as a desert, so the thing to do is write. I even have ideas for essays. There's no reason not to begin, and yet off I go to do laundry instead.

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