Movie Mystery and Intrigue

A fellow blogger posted his list of 50 favorite movies. Sometimes the perfect storm of direction, cinematography, lighting, on-screen talent, dialog, costumes and makeup, special effects and musical score combine to create a masterpiece.

For me, what makes a movie memorable are the lines; the words on a page, committed to memory and delivered with precision and emotion. Recognize any of these, who said them or where they come from?

 

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son.

It’s merely a flesh wound.

So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower.

Face it, girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.

It’s a business lie. It’s not the same as a life lie.

Come on in and try not to ruin everything by being you.

You are certainly the most distinguished group of highway scofflaws and degenerates ever gathered together in one place.

Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome.

Our speedometer has melted and as a result it’s very hard to see with any degree of accuracy exactly how fast we were going.

*****

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

I had no idea that broccoli could be so intriguing.

You soaked his underwear in meat? That is so wrong. Funny—but wrong.

Dude, is my face okay? I think you melted it off.

*****

Are you gonna eat your tots?

Photo Credit: thecia.com.au

I couldn’t love you any more if you were my own son. But the fact of the matter is, you’re… well you’re a putz.

You’ve got a great future in front of you in Retail Food marketing, and I just hate to see you throw it all away by going psycho on us.

Let me out there, sir, I have no problem exposing myself.

 

 

Now this is the thought that wakes me up in the middle of the night. That when I get older, these kids are going to take care of me.

Thank you for the cookies. I look forward to tossing them.

You’re different and special in your own way. Live it. Own it.

And up goes Her Royal Highness… Now exhale slowly…And down goes Her Royal Highness…

Heeere’s Johnny!

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Terror: Old School

While digging for recipes, I discovered a booklet published in 1945 by Sealtest, a company known best in the Philadelphia region for its ice cream. Its forward illustrates an American perspective just after World War II that declares the end of terror on the world stage.  It implores communities, parents in particular, to take stock of its children’s health as an important part of citizenship.  What’s your take?

Sealtest forward20170804_11550928

Note the zip code for New York City.

Missing the Point of Living

We’ve become a visual lot with our media—social and otherwise.

Lately I’ve thought about how, before the advent of photography, we humans managed to appreciate the beauty of life. If we’re honest, we’ll admit that there are certain places too vast and human experiences too fraught with emotion to make capturing them photographically pale when compared to the feeling inspired by living the moment.

The lack of tools needed to capture one’s likeness might have left the more self-absorbed feeling impotent unless wealth afforded them the ability to hire a portraitist.

Conversely, those less fortunate or living in rural places, set apart from civilization excepting the occasional itinerant salesman or traveler, probably owned few instruments of self-indulgence such as these; forced instead to focus upon things without.

I envision a homesteader spending a lifetime tending to land, animals and family, who when rare opportunity to break arose, did not pause to consider looks for his own sake. Rather others may have insisted that he or she gather the instruments of grooming and couture for the purpose of looking the part by which they would be judged.

I take photos. Lots and lots of them. Several recent changes have become apparent to me when I am holding a camera.

Though I work hard to remain discreet it’s intensely difficult to capture candid photos. The instant people notice me, they pose. Worse, they give me that kissy-faced selfie expression that only works for Betty Boop.

Notably, it has become implausible to capture a photo of any group of people wherein at least one person is not fixated on his or her phone rather than upon the people and happenings that surround them.

If I shoot using my phone, no one cares, few people notice and no one asks on what website the pictures will appear.

I enjoy watching people even if through a lens. Lately, I’m just less sure of exactly what I am seeing.

Children possess an innocence that I most love to capture.  I lament that even those as young as one year old understand that the phone with its camera is the object for which they need to “act” and they, encouraged by well-meaning parents, respond by becoming an actor in its presence.

If there are children present in a public space, regardless of whether I say I am an amateur or professional photographer (and I have chosen to say one or the other depending upon the occasion) I get asked who I am and my purpose for taking photos. I don’t have to respond at all though I usually do. In public spaces, a person has no “expected right to privacy;” on the whole people seem to think that they do. This despite that they are likely being recorded whether I choose to press the shutter button or not.

Maybe the answer is in the words. By “taking photos” maybe people have come to believe that I am “taking” a part which inherently belongs to them. Still, I react with sadness when people become suspicious of my intentions. These are often the same ones who load their social media with photos of their children, friends, co-workers, the places they frequent, the insides of their homes, schools, places of work, worship and recreation.

I love photographing people at public events but I also make time to put down the lens and live in the moment.

That Time I Cried When a Celebrity Died

Sadly, I missed the opportunity to see Stevie Ray Vaughn perform live. Nevertheless, his indelible impression on my heart reduced me to tears  when, on this day in 1990, I heard the news of his tragic death.

At the time, I’d seen scant few snippets of performance footage, but spent hours upon hours listening to Soul to Soul and In Step at volumes that let the neighbors in on my musical preferences.  The mere idea that he could step in and tear up a stage with the likes of ZZ Top (Dallas’ Adolphus Hotel), as easily lay down tracks a la David Bowie’s  Let’s Dance, or hold his own at Carnegie Hall all the while remaining true to his rocking blues roots speaks volumes about his musical ability.

SRV guitar

To  have watched Stevie Ray Vaughn play his Fender Stratocaster guitar was to have witnessed a pure connection between talent and God.  I’ll say again that I never saw him play a live show, yet even today, watching a video of SRV performing  still raises the hair on the back of my neck as I bear witness to an ethereal wave of light that bridges Divinity, Vaughn, and his guitar.

Few are as blessed as he with such a gift and his only served to increase my faith in a higher power. Maybe that’s why I cried when this celebrity died—because his absence left a gap between me and the intangible.

May he always Rest in Peace.