Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A Sad Day

Dear Pua, my sincerest empathy for your loss. I do know what you are going through.

Kyle was commenting today that depressing films seem to inspire his creative juices. While I don't dwell on depressing cinema all that much, it got me to thinking about what movies have made me cry. Historical movies about the holocaust or apocalypse don't usually turn on the tears. Romance usually doesn't even muster a drop although there have been exceptions. I know I'm going to be sad already in these cases, so I'm prepared for it. As such, I haven't had many gushing faucet moments, but here are a few that are vividly burned in my memory.

Silent Running: I don't know how old I was when I saw this movie since it was made before I was born, and I don't know if it would affect me the same way now, but I remember the impact of seeing the downfall of a man with high ideals destroyed and how his only companions in the form of little robots systematically failed. It's haunted me in my dreams. It must have had some psychological affect on why I'm interested in organic gardening nowadays.

Watership Down: I think my parents taped this for us because, hey, it had talking bunnies in it. Holy crap. It is insignificant that this story's main protagonists are rabbits. It wasn't even the obvious man vs. nature theme that did me in. What was happening here? These were societies at war, fields full of blood, genocide, dictatorship, repression, and redemption. It's the most "real" animated film I think I've ever seen. Also, one of the few books I've read several times over.

The Secret of Nimh: I didn't realize it at the time but I identified most with Mrs. Brisby's fear and desperation to be an unintentional hero and simply do what needs to be done to save her family. I would do the same for mine without a doubt. (Too bad Don Bluth hasn't made another good movie since.)

Transformers, The Movie: OK so, hold on, before you call me a weenie and die from laughter, I think was 10 when this movie came out. Transformers were IT for me. I never could get into GI Joe, but Optimus Prime and the Autobots were my commercial poison of choice. I was a chubby child of the 80's after all. Any view of death from the cheesy cartoon was pretty much nonexistent. There I sat in the theater and more than a few of the characters I'd known to "Roll Out" on a regular basis bit the dust. What?! How can this be?! When Prime lay on his deathbed, I bawled like a baby.

Star Trek Next Generation "The Offspring": Right, well, I know this isn't a movie but the sentiment in this episode was just powerful. Poor Mr. Data. It led my whole family to a group hug as I recall.

Gattaca - I can't remember if I cried the first time through, but one day, the circumstances were present and by it's bittersweet ending I was done. I have to space out my viewings as this movie gets more powerful every time I watch it. Might have to do with the fact that it's about a boy with a hidden identity struggling up the ladder of a socially divisive world.

After looking over the list I realized many of them are from my youth, they all had moments of unexpected death that caught me by surprise. Oddly, more often than not they deal with the humanity in things that aren't necessarily human (like robots and animals). I'm sure there are more that I can't think of right now.

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On a lighter note, it's all about the small steps with some people (like myself). But every once in a blue moon you hear things like this that emphasize a hopeful outcome rather than it's disparaging conclusion. Every generation will seemingly have a different overall view on what being gay is all about. It is extremely encouraging to have read this positive experience with his parents. Good luck to you sir! :) Here's hoping this is a trend...

6 comments:

jt said...

hey, i just wanted to say i have been reading your blog for a little while now (i think i saw a link from vividblurry or something) and i just thought i would let you know that i am so very proud of you. i mean, i know that probably sounds weird coming from someone you don't know, but i know this has to be a tough time, and i just think you need to know how amazing you are.

and that link for the guy who just came out to his parents made me cry! and so did watership down AND the transformers movie...so don;t feel weird about that. i even have the transformers movie on tape.

"you got the touch...you got the power..."

ok, so i'm done before i embarrass myself too much more...

ken said...

I'm not one for crying during movies either. However, I saw the notebook in the theater, ON A DATE, and bawled uncontrolably for the better part of an hour. I mean "unable to catch your breath" crying. How embarrassing.

Michael said...

"Watership Down" is one of the most incredible books and films ever made. The only other movie that gets that kind of crying out of me is "Graveyard of the Fireflies," which is, incidentally, also animated. If you haven't seen that one, Go! Now! and see it.

Signalite said...

Grave of the Fireflies" came really close but again I was prepared for the tragic elements...it's still one of my favorites though! I can't watch it too often...

Greg said...

Oh, I cried during that episode of STTNG also!

don said...

"Ordinary People" directed by Redford...if you don't cry at the end I don't know when you will...
and "Big Eden" when the "straight" guy realizes that he has lost the gay love of his life...and starts crying in his SUV...the sobs are heart wrenching.