Probably one of the few things I can still love about New York is the bit of silence here and there that Kevin Brockheimer should and sort of did write a plot about. One of those times was tonight, at the IFC center, when I spent $12.50 too much on a movie I could have easily looked over, or just as easily never paid attention to. “Summer Hours”, a French flick with some actors here and there I may or may not have seen before, in a film that was as climactic as watching grass grow. But when I first opened the black iron doors, there was only an older man in the audience, and after asking if this was theatre three? he promptly answered me yes in a rather pronounced French accent. I sank into a leather seat, and watched. I moved, and put my feet up on the seat. I did because it didn’t matter, and I was too physically and mentally exhausted to care. It's a cold, rainy Wednesday night, and my mom was just in for surgery this morning, and was now sleeping peacefully in a lit hospital bed. Her one savior her morphine drip. I’ll never forget how she looked at me, or how Keith rubbed her head and pushed her hair back, and fed her ice chips.
But the silence.
I walked out of the theatre at 11:50, and for a New York City night, it was strange to walk out into a theatre lobby filled with no one. I went to the bathroom, and felt the silence around my bare skin hovering around me as I peed. I went down stairs and gathered as many postcards as humanly possible into my purse, hooded my head and ambled down the street. Every noise was a rush to my ears, and in that I realized the magic of noise and the random action happening all around me. This is what movies should, and sometimes do, address. The seemingly still chaos swirling around every object thrown into motion, throwing other and every other object into a continual, perpetual swing of knocking into one another, and causing one to say to the other, Hey, watch where you are going! And moving it’s umbrella out of the way, just in time.
In the movie, a family tried to decide what to do with their mother’s estate. At the end of the movie, the daughter had such a unique, beautiful, distantly scultpuresque about her face. I wanted to paint it. The story spoke about these objects being pricey and worth something to collectors. At one point they show some of these pieces in a museum and the main character says, “doesn’t it all seem caged?” and I thought to myself of all the times I thought how strange to think that all of the things in museums have belonged to someone at one point or another, or was set in someone’s living room, or perhaps held someone’s letters. These things are expensive because we put a price on them. Now I am one who is all in love with history, of course, but at the same time, I can understand completely and wholey what the man was saying because really, the person who painted or made these works have an attatchement, and so do their families. Of course museums are great things, but it is interesting to understand that each family has its own internal history that is better represented by this materialistic “residue”.
I ached during the movie. The house was utterly beautiful. I thought how much I would love for someone to delve through my things, after they were gone, and feel energy, feel that I was still alive inside of those panels. Some people should be too alive for death. But I wouldn’t just want it to be me, I’d want it to be my family, my history. I would want it to have texture, and vibrance. I would want it to sing and splash color, and have someone visit it one day and say remember when? But yet. My personality and unsatisfactoion with settling anywhere prohibits me from even toying with such ideas. How am I to own a house with beautiful things and memories, if I cannot have pleasant ones on my own? But perhaps that is my problem. I move about too much, in my mind, more importantly.
But. I also own things that are mostly in the form of paper. Perhaps, one day, I can create my house and build it all out of scraps of sketches, collected posters and various post-it notes. I will build a three story, spacious living area, complete with crawling vines, and gaping windows. Some with amazing cathedral glass. There will be a sprawling paper mache garden, with paper mache fruit and birds to pick at them when they are just about to fall. There will be paper baskets for my kid to collect fruit in, and bugs if her or she wishes. Her/His middle name will be Orion so he/she never forgets to look at the stares, and be humbled by them.
But as for today. Today being the 18th, and what feels like, the 100th day in a row of sheer rainfall. I like when you find that you're smiling, and you didn't even know, and didn't have to try. I just did.