At the Movies

But first at the hospital. Canada’s health care is one of the best in the world…if you’re healthy. Emergency – like purgatory – you don’t know whether you’re coming or going. Mostly you’re ignored. It’s like an endurance test; each patient must wait at least an hour or two between tests and often several hours for a doctor to make a brief appearance. The whole thing seems haphazard. Made for errors. I wonder if compassion and competence are mutually exclusive.

I’ve been hanging out a lot in my mom’s building, helping her recover from a fall. I run into familiar faces. We’re all older now. Someone asked me how M is, and remarked how much M looked like Sean Penn. He doesn’t resemble Sean Penn anymore.

I take a break and rush to TIFF, to the 12:15 showing of “Boyhood”. Around 20 people in the theatre, it’s nice to have almost a private showing. And it’s as good as most people say. You want to see it again after it’s over. Of course, in part it’s due to a technical glitch at TIFF: in the middle of the movie, the screen goes dark. Someone goes to tell the TIFF staff and a few minutes later we’re told “the server froze”. Fifteen minutes after that the movie restarts, but some continuity has been lost. Sigh.

Linklater has this gift of knowing how teens talk (Dazed and Confused). I like his Texas settings. Cars and music always play an important role (Charlie Sexton feels right in the movie, not like a cameo thrown in just because). I wasn’t crazy about Mason’s teen philosophical observations, so much like Ethan Hawke in the “Before” movies, but it sort of makes sense with Mason being Ethan’s kid in this film. “Boyhood” has been compared to the Antoine Doinel films or to the “7 Up” documentary series, but I think it is very much a Linklater creation, showing his interest in people getting older and changing, and yet retaining their youthful sense of wonder. His main characters are talkers and that’s the European sensibility in Linklater, more interesting because it’s combined with a unabashadely American flavor. My favorite scene was the one at Antone’s.

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