|Courtesy of Weather Records, MLusk|
We have trained my son to hold on to our hands whenever we cross the street. Having not grown up in New York, I often find myself wondering if my son, at his relatively young age, is already a street smart urban kid. Would my brother's kids know how to behave on a busy New York street? They are older, so the question might be moot. Sometimes right before we cross the street, my son tries to pull his hand out mine and I grip harder, squeezing his baby-carrot sized fingers, agitating him to pull away with more initiative. I bark at him, usually in self-conscious Spanish, to take my hand. Mano! I say. Today, as we approached the sidewalk, my son started to pull his hand out of mine and I let him a little. I refrained from squeezing harder. He didn't take his hand out of mine, he gently repositioned it in my palm. More comfortable, eh?
There is this sort of movie that is a kind of self-contained episodic narrative. It is a movie made recently, more or less. Maybe it is a movie patterned after older movies, Woody Allen movies maybe. There are these little scenes where one person says something, then another character says another thing, then the first character says something back. Maybe a door closes, or someone lights a cigarette, or someone refuses alcohol as they are now dry. Cue the awkward look. Then, following this scene, which ends in some kind of silence or some sort of good music, there is another scene, completely self-contained, but somehow emotionally building on the previous scene. The flow of time is sporadic, inexorably leading somewhere, to some undefined movie thing, but sporadic nonetheless as every discreet scene is so particularly, wittily undefined that there isn't the sense that things are building in a constant motion. In the end, at the end of the movie, or two-thirds of the way through, or five-eighths, or three-quarters, when things start to heat up, or seem to heat up because as a long-time movie watching audience with a history of watching the narrative arcs of movies, we are ready for things to heat up, so it's more implied or assumed than really happening, there may be a flicker of some self-doubt, or the inspired proclamation of self-doubt. And that is what the movie is about. Self-doubt and the people who love self-doubters and how we got to the point of understanding how crippling self-doubt might be and how in the end it's ok not to care whether you self-doubt or not. Right now my wife is watching the film Greenberg starring Ben Stiller. It seems to me to be this kind of film. I may be wrong though. I am in here, typing. I'm not in the mood to watch that kind of movie.