Monday, September 10, 2012

Donna and I: dinner and another movie, the rose from the beach still on the table.

As we had ended the summer by spending most of the week in Rockport and Gloucester, Donna wanted to begin the "new horizon"- this was the second Labor Day we have spent on the beach, by going to dinner and seeing a movie. Oddly last night was shrimp fried rice and tonight I mentioned that I really hadn't had a grilled cheese sandwich since we began dating. Months ago it was that I hadn't had pastrami while seeing her.
The film: by the end of the evening she had summarized it as having an open ending, which it does, and I added that I hadn't thought that it could be representative of the "unfinished novel", but the fictional novel that appears in the film does show its last page in an insert shot on the screen- it does it twice and I remember that in both shots it reads that it was the 'sweetest thing he had ever seen in his life."...but, the second instance that flashes briefly on screen seemed to be a different paragraph, so during the film I said, "he rewrote the ending"- that happened about mid-point in the film. Not only that but the author the film ends with tells his "student-mistress" to "write her own ending".
I also quoted the end of Moveable Feast because the images on the screen were packed with allusions or references- but if there are four novels I've read by that author, don't ask me what I might happen to remember about the one that did happen to be published posthumously. Is the movie worth seeing in order to rethink what the Great American novel is- probably, if you look at the title. There apparently was a magazine article about one of those four novels soon being republished with a ton of manuscript material that the author had while working out the ending and I did mention that it is now an entirely new reading experience, but I think it was claiming 64 different endings newly published this year along with the old novel. The film coyly has a subplot that flashes back to the Left Bank Existentialists. His daughter dies, his French wife leaves him and he returns to the United States to abandon novel writing. There's a slight clue that he knew a published author personally after returning- ( as the character is relating his story fifty years after the Hollywood Ten, I'll skip over there being "a front" and add that the film is rated P.G. and gives a fairly good amount of tragedy and pith where its harmless plot line can still be sent through as being the story of a young author rather than some banned underground classic resurfacing)  He does say something profound quickly toward the end, "You do your best and that's all that you can ask of another person".
The film revolves around its love interest, which is why we decided to see it rather than the other first run movies. You could ask whether it is a matter of the three loves couples in the film unconnecting from each other after having touched each other's existences, but you might not.
There is a shot in the film where there actually is a light change during the shot due to camera movement. In a very dark room, the camera tracks from a dark area toward a light in the upper right hand corner, right before the author begins to type on his computer. It cuts to a close shot where the actors face is in full light, which seems to much of a contrast, but it fits. I might have tried something less of a contrast, and then used the values of the first shot to enrich the second shot. But its a nice slow left to right  tracking from a darkened shot to a shot of a small light.
While Donna and I were talking about the fictional novel and its title Window Tears, I said that I would inordinately write "Window of Tears" if I were to write poetry, which changes the meaning or image almost entirely. I like both.

Scott Lord