Wednesday, July 13, 2005

more on apt films

My mother’s favorite movie would have to be Pollyanna. You know, the one about the young girl (Hayley Mills, actually; God, I loved her films when I was little – she was spunky; I did not much care for Pollyanna though), who went around town with these prisms and convinced everyone that seeing little rainbows gave you reason to laugh in the face of death, poverty and hatred. [Personally, I thought it was a misplaced message. If you’re sick and dying, you should not have to pressure yourself into laughing at little rainbows.]

Why do I link this “don’t worry, be happy” movie to my mother, the queen of melancholy, negativism and despair? Because her absolutely favorite point, one that she makes again and again is right out of the movie, or, more accurately a negation of it and the Pollyanna spirit.

Thus growing up, Pollyanna became for me a household fixture. I learned early on that it is absolutely imperative that we should all dissociate ourselves from this person of misplaced joy. Often I have heard my mother say with great resoluteness and a touch of pride: “I’m not going to be a Pollyanna about it…” (no you are not! you are so correct! not for you the prisms throwing dumb colors on the walls!)

As a reaction to the anti-Pollyanna fever in my household (kids are such rebels), I quickly became a very happy person, in spite of sickness and adversity and yucky post-war-baby lungs. I mean, I actually looked for cheer. And 3 out of 5 times found it (the other two times: I’d say one had to be thrown to blah nothingness and the other to horrible fear and anxiety, but hey, we’re talking two out of five).

I write this because my blogging overlaps with a period of time that produces more of the latter (we’re talking anxious times here) than the former (chipper and sprightly tones). And this may give the mistaken impression that if I were in a line up and the order was given for the real anti-Pollyanna to step forward, it would be me. I mean, I may step forward because of my dislike of the movie, but not because I don’t have tendencies to find happy colors on a day to day basis.

Let it be clear, I am not into gloom and doom. No matter how many posts will follow outlining the rapid disintegration of my befuddled psyche. It is not in my nature to wallow.

Apt, part 2

In reponse to the post below about movie titles that best describe my days, a reader writes:

Thinking about a title for your movie is interesting, but who to cast even more, maybe? Who would you like to play you?

Back in December, I was interviewed on a British blog (one of those "know your blogger" deals) here. If you click, you'll find my reponses to many questions, so don't. In any case, there are so many, that you surely wont even get to the pivotal one, toward the bottom, where I was asked this and gave the following answer (greatly improved, btw, by the superb editing job of a fellow blogger):

Q: Who would play you in the movie about your life?
A: No one who is already famous. Instead, I would be the breakthrough role for someone who looks smart and irrepressible on screen.

Also interesting on that List of Questions was the following, as well as my response to it:

Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A: Absolutely nothing material. My memories.

I wrote that before I knew I would be sifting through posessions in the summer ahead and letting go of so many of them. Why is it that we always sound so arrogantly confident in making statements about matters with which we haven't had much experience?

Apt (and I don’t mean apartment)

I woke up thinking that maybe I could face up to the creative challenge of coming up with a movie title that would best summarize the state of my soul at the moment.

People seem to like lists, so this morning, instead of staring into space and rhythmically, mindlessly crunching granola, I thought I’d run through some tried and true titles and see if they matched my mood. Of course, I should just make up my own, something like: And what have I done right lately? That would be fitting. But these guys are good too, with minor word changes where needed:

Stop the world, I want to get off

The Hunched-back of someone from Notre Warsaw

Staving off Private Cryin’

The (Small) Apartment

The Great Escape

Not the Best Years of My Life

La Grande Illusion

The Summer the Earth Stood Still

Lost in Transition

Whose Afraid of Getting up in the Morning?