Thursday, May 22, 2008

Poetry Corner - Untitiled

5-22-08
KC McAuley

For my lover -

Every morning,
Before I open my eyes,
I feel your arms about me and I draw you closer.
Such safety there
Such love
Such joy.
Until I remember that you are not there.
I only dreamed of you.

Every day
As I go about my business,
I hear your voice nearby and I drink you in.
Such understanding there
Such love
Such joy
Until I realize that it couldn’t be you.
I only dreamed of you.

Every evening
As the day dissolves
I see your smiling eyes and I melt down to you
Such laughter there
Such love
Such joy
Until I blink and you have vanished.
I only dreamed of you.

Every night
Before sleep has pulled me down
I long for you and call your name.
I close my eyes and open my heart.
I hear your voice
I see your eyes.
I feel your arms.
Such love
Such joy.
I only dreamed of you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Living on the Edge

Most of my life, I have felt like I didn't quite belong. My brothers must have picked up on this and would always tell me that I wasn't really their sister. That my real family was the crazy family who lived next door and Mom and Dad felt sorry for me and adopted me. Somehow this made sense to me. I was so much younger than my siblings. I was always on the outside of whatever they were doing...watching and waiting until I was old enough to play too. Of course, by the time I was old enough for that game, they had moved on to a new one. I was never quite part of the team.

My parents were much older and I went to cocktail parties and meetings where I sat in the dens and family rooms of other families, watching television or reading while the world went on on the other side of the door. There, but just on the edge. Waiting and watching.

For a time, I thought I had found my place. The theatre seemed to be a gathering place for the odd, the strange, the eccentric, the ones on the edge. But even here, I was too extreme, too intellectual, too political, too feminist, too much for the outsiders. I wanted to do art that spoke to me...not to a foundation, a fund, or a board of directors. I was edgy, but it wasn't the right kind of edge.

So now, here I am, nearly 50 years old, and I've realized that I will always be just a bit outside of the rest of the world. It's not that I don't have "normal" life activities. I have a job, sometimes very busy and hectic and exciting, mostly very routine and ordinary. I have friends with whom I work and play. We laugh and talk and share and enjoy. I have wonderful family who invite me to parties and holidays and we celebrate our common unity. But I always feel just a little outside of where they are. My thoughts are just a bit off from theirs. My dreams are just a bit different. My passions are just a little odd.

I think these people who choose to be with me and have me in their world truly love me. I can tell that they do. But there's also a sense that part of my appeal to them is my slight eccentricity. Even my therapist says he loves to talk to me because I make him laugh and I see things in such an interesting way.

Do I mind it out here? No. I've tried to conform and it really doesn't work for me. Do I wish I wasn't always alone? Of course I do, but I've accepted the idea that there just isn't a way for me to be with someone all the time. I'm too much work. Sometimes I'm even too much for myself. But I'm finding my way out here. Stop by and visit sometime. I love company.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Raindrop Review - THERE WILL BE BLOOD

THERE WILL BE BLOOD - (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson)

Paul Thomas Anderson has become a mature filmmaker. And THERE WILL BE BLOOD is his master American story. A tragic tale of a petty man who uses everyone and everything around him to assure his standing in the world.

Daniel Day-Lewis' Oscar winning performance is the soul of this film. The heart, if you will, of a heartless man. We are never given the full story of Daniel Plainview, but only glimpses into the soul, cracks and fissures, like the ones where Plainview finds his oil. His life blood. It is suitably black and dangerous.

Visually, I now wish I'd seen this on the big screen. The vast American landscape of the 1900's is one that I am attracted to. My father was born in Oklahoma in 1913. His father and uncles worked on oil rigs. I kept looking for glimpses of my ancestors in the blackened faces of these men.

Plainview's son H.W. (Dillon Freasier), is an angelic wonder. A gentle face and soul juxtaposed with Daniel's rugged, vacant eyes...stunning.

Other characters surface to challenge Plainview's plan, world, family, etc. Each of them meet some tragic end crossing the path of this soulless man. And in the end, Plainview is left alone in his castle by the sea. I thought of Hearst and San Simeon. Charles Foster Kane. These men live in legend and in fact throughout America's painful, tragic history. Daniel Plainview is now one of these men.

The one problem I had with this film was the score. It jarred me and removed me from the story every time. And the use of my favorite, soulful, romantic Beethoven was tantamount to sin for me. It showed a lack of care from Anderson...or a lack of understanding how sound and music are truly essential to some movie viewers. Like me.

All in all, THERE WILL BE BLOOD is a good picture. And time may show it to be a great one. Definitely deserving of the accolades it received last year.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Raindrop Review - THE COUNTERFEITERS

THE COUNTERFEITERS (Die Falscher, 2007, Stefan Ruzowitzky)

The true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, this film is my kind of Nazi movie. When trying to present a story based on WWII and Nazi actions, I find that films tend to treat all Nazis as evil and all victims as saints. THE COUNTERFEITERS neatly avoids this by giving us a hero who is a known criminal. A man who is not even trusted in the confines of a concentration camp.

Salomon Sorowitsch, was the King of Counterfeiters, a master criminal, who on the very eve of his departure from Germany in the late 1930's, is seduced into fashioning a false passport for a lovely Jewish lady. The following morning, they are discovered in bed by the police and Sol is sent to prison. Five years later, he is sent to a concentration camp where he uses his gift as an artist to secure better food and privileges painting portraits of the officers and their families.

Suddenly he is taken from Mauthausen to Sachsenhausen, where he is to be part of the Nazi scheme to undo the British and American economy by producing counterfeit British pounds and American dollars. The officer who arrested him in Berlin is now an SS Officer in charge of this project. This special team is treated well. Given clothing rather than prison stripes, although they soon learn that these clothes have come from other prisoners in the camps. They are given regular showers. They are well fed, have their own doctor, comfortable beds and any necessary tool at their disposal. They are isolated from the regular camp and the sounds of suffering outside of their world is muted by the music they are allowed to listen to.

All of this suits Sali just fine. He's doing a job, just like any job. He's keeping himself alive. He's surviving. And along the way, he's saving other lives through small acts, small measures, small gestures. And in these small ways, Sali's real humanity is revealed.

Karl Markovics portrayal of Sali is pitch perfect. His face, his eyes, his gestures tell more about the character than a dozen lines of dialog might.

The cinematography is beautiful. The characters in the film always talk about color, but the world in which they live is gray and drab and completely colorless. So a green dollar, a pink watermark, a red and yellow pack of cigarettes grabs the eye and stands out beautifully. And the blood. Always the blood.

Director Ruzowitzky has created a gem of a picture, filled with all the moral questions we all like to think we would answer correctly, and reminding us how hard it is to hold on to who we are when everything around us would tear us apart. And the final image is one I will carry for a long, long time.