Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Out of Africa

I am a great fan of movies. I love analyzing the camera shots which give perspective, the words which give voice, and the music which delivers the soul of the film. My favorite films, however, are the ones which can take you from yourself, to pull you from the commonplace, the tread patterns of your day of existence and give you new eyes.

I rewatched a favorite of mine this past week: Out of Africa. I've found not many people have heard of it, which I think is quite a loss. It is a film which robs you of your monotony. You are transposed into Africa, you tread the red dirt, you absorb the natives' songs in the next village, you soak yourself with the rain's arrival.

My favorite element of this film, however, is its memory. In essence, the entire film runs not on a cohesive plot, but a stream of memories. It's quite evident to anyone who has seen the film. There is a easy pace. Sometimes, catastrophes fall, as they do in any life. Sometimes, there are no catastrophes to greet, so one goes on regardless. The film is mere memories. No blatant attempt to manipulate the feelings of the viewer, just a fair portrayal of a woman's life.

It makes me think a bit about lives flashing before the eyes. It's an old cliche, of course, but this idea still resounds in the consciousness of nearly anything with two legs. What will I make of my life? What have I made of it already? I love watching the memories because it helps me remember what I want to flash before my eyes. Life is an exciting race. I like to hope I'm not afraid to chase down the exotic and extraordinary opportunities which hide from common view. There is great excitement in the race. I suppose I better start running.

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