That's not me, it's Marlon Brando!

I was in a bad mood for much of this past week. It was my birthday last weekend and as someone to whom friendship means an awful lot, I was really saddened that only ONE of my close friends bothered to give me a call. Don't get me wrong, I spent most of the day with my family and core gang of law schoolers, so I wasn't exactly sitting at home moping. But having spent four years establishing a pretty tight network of friends at college, and then being forgotten by just about all of them certainly stung, especially since I'm always the loser that calls to wish everyone on their birthdays.

Then the weekend came by and I did two things which really cheered me up. Firstly, we hired a room at a karaoke bar for two hours, drank a whole of soju and sang like mothers. My particular moments of glory? Gangster's Paradise, Cum on Feel the Noize, 2+2=5 (bad idea, it's fucked up my throat), and our rousing finale, Gay Bar. [Incidentally, they had 'Monday Morning 5:19' by Rialto as a programmed song there - how weird is that?]

More importantly, on Sunday, I saw The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a film which was pretty much sensational and left me floored and dizzy. Not literally, of course, that would be bad. For a film about a man with "locked-in syndrome", a form of complete bodily paralysis, it wasn't ever depressing, but instead had an incredible sense of beauty, optimism, hope and love. Not getting some phone calls suddenly didn't matter one bit. There was no sugar coating anything, from the early shot of an eye getting stitched shut, to the wrenching scene later on when the main character's elderly father talks to his son over the phone, it was intense. But incredibly there are some moments that are actually pretty funny. Schnabel's background as an artist came through with his presentation, which was dazzling, disorienting (especially the first scene) and featured some gorgeous angles, colours and close-ups. The score didn't get in the way, and even the brief appearance of Lenny Kravitz didn't tarnish anything. If I'm struggling to get this across coherently, it's really because I can't.

No film has moved me this much all year. It's made me think of 'Blindblindblind', the final song on the new record from A Silver Mt. Zion. The song ends with a huge singalong of the phrase "Some! Hearts! Are! True!" over and over again, and it's a work of real purity, honesty and beauty that in my mind, makes it a good companion piece for the year's most powerful film. Go and see 'Diving Bell' today.

[download A Silver Mt. Zion - BlindBlindBlind (live)]

3 comments:

Jim said...
on

Happy belated birthday fella.

Anonymous said...
on

i'd have called but i figured you were 100% in the ParentZone

the almost right word said...
on

Great post.

When I decided to write about this film, I struggled to convey the impact it made. I appreciate that someone else has also attempted to write about it, and that you wrote it as well as you did.

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