Sunday, October 31, 2010


The movie Dad wanted to see was Hereafter. I was a little worried about this choice--he only moved into the "home" (as he likes to call it) two weeks ago. The next step doesn't have to be  death. But, it turns out, his reason for picking this movie had more to do with the director, Clint Eastwood. He's a fan.

I'm not so much, but I do appreciate Eastwood's straightforward style of storytelling. Nothing fancy. Just story and character. And since there don't seem to be that many directors with the clout to make movies like that, more power to him.

The theater was almost empty. We waited for the six other people to leave so that Dad could hobble up the aisle with his cane. Then, while getting lost on our way to Applebees, we talked about the movie.

I thought Damien played a good part, Dad said, by way of opening salvo. All those meals alone. You don't know what that's like.

Zing. Aimed at me, or my mother, who divorced him three years ago?

Everyone knows what that's like, I said. Loneliness is the human condition. But yeah, okay, I though Matt Damon was fine, just a little predictable.

Dad doesn't like anyone to criticize Damien. He's also a big fan of the Bourne movies.

Everyone with new ideas is shunned, Dad said defensively. I think that's what the movie was trying to say.

But his ideas weren't that new, I countered. Which is a problem for a movie that's more about ideas than story. 

Movies can be about ideas, Dad said. Look at two-oh-one.


Yeah, the spaceship. The baby. You know.

No, I don't know.

Yeah you do. It starts with apes and ends with a baby ...

2001? I asked.

That's it. I was abbreviating. I can't believe you couldn't follow that. What's the matter with you today?

I was making my second u-turn and thinking about the comparison between Eastwood's Hereafter and Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's an interesting match-up. Two directors. One a storyteller; the other an artist (or, that label I really hate: auteur). I didn't love 2001, but if the subject is ideas my money is on Kubrick.

Huh? I said. I guess I'm off my game.

Dad crossed his arms and looked out the window. You sure are, he said.

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