Is Your Favorite Movie a Poem?
July 30, 2010 § 7 Comments
Today I left work early to catch a movie. I wanted the dark hush, my brain needed stimulation, and I craved a different reality. Spending so much time on the computer and Internet at work and home, I needed something completely outside myself. Read a good book, I hear you say. True, I could. But even then I’m in my own head and I wander off onto the familiar, rutted back roads of my internal musings.
So a movie it was, a matinee. Winter’s Bone. Excellent, the reviews said, dark and cold, but hopeful. All true, although it wasn’t as dark as I expected. (Nothing is, by the way. I was traumatized during my years as a therapist working with trauma survivors, and so far nothing comes close to the stories I heard then.) Winter’s Bone is a quiet film and the dialogue is perhaps 25% of the screen time. Much of the time I was left to interpret icy, hollow eyes and parched, wintry faces. Reading between the lines.
And this morning on NPR, I heard an interview with Robert Duvall about his new film, Get Low. According to the interviewer, Mr. Duvall’s on the screen in almost every scene but has very little to say until the climactic reveal at the end (no spoilers here – I don’t know what it is).
So, I’m pondering the similarities between films and poetry. My favorite poem is Mary Oliver’s, and her quiet reflections leave me creating my own fictions. She’s not violent like Winter’s Bone, but she touches on the same themes of environment, connection, and loss. I feel her deep silence in movies with few words. And perhaps adventure films are like Poetry Slams, where ambitious car crashes and split second edits mimic a torrential rush of words. Slumdog Millionaire is Whitman’s Song of Myself – both propel us across wide swathes of inner and outer landscapes. I see now how poetry, novels, and movies feed my soul and contain a similar essence.
What’s a film that spoke to you recently? And I wonder, do you see a similarity between it and a favorite author? Do tell.