Less

People are living longer, but most endure a gradual decline – becoming a lesser form of their earlier self. Dependent on the kindness of strangers (especially if family is distant or worn out). Not the gentle picture of Brel’s “Les Vieux’. Once they cannot live at home, the indignities of institutional care magnify the sadness of old age. Either your body goes, or your mind, and sometimes both. What’s left may be a pale imitation of you.

Now that I’m old, I’m afraid of becoming very old with those kinds of losses. Of course, one cannot think too much about it; it’s a waste of the present.

Summer is here. We’ve been getting torrential rains in between good weather days. This is Canada so weather is a staple topic of conversation. At work, it helps to camouflage anxiety about “change management”. Corporate culture is all about yes and positivity – tiring and unreal.

I’m into nostalgia these days. That’s why I liked Bruce McDonald’s “Weirdos”. Set in Nova Scotia in the 1970s, it’s a teenage road trip in black and white. Reminds me a bit of my teenage years in Deadmonton, except I didn’t have imaginary conversations with Andy Warhol. The movie is both specific to the time and place and yet universal.

“The Lost City of Z” made me miss Werner Herzog of the 1970s. That’s because “The Lost City of Z” is like a lesser “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”. Charlie Hunnan is no Klaus Kinski which is not necessarily a bad thing, except when it comes to a story about obsession. Still, I’m glad I saw it. The cinematography is beautiful, Robert Pattinson and Sienna mIller are very good in supporting roles. it’s almost a great movie.

“The Wedding Plan” (Through the Wall) is a movie written and directed by Rama Burshtein (“Fill the Void”). Like “Fill the Void” it tells the story of a Haredi woman, this time a 32-year-old Michal abandoned by her fiance less than a month before their wedding. Undeterred and armed by faith, she seeks a replacement. A trip to the Ukraine to a grave of a famous rabbi yields surprising results. Not as intriguing as “Fill the Void”, it is enjoyable nonetheless and has a sly humour and hutzpah. The film ends on a similar note of trepidation – the viewer is left to fill in the blanks.

Then came Bob Dylan’s very accessible Nobel Prize speech. I was relieved that now I don’t ever have to try to read Moby Dick. But apparently Dylan may have not read it either. One could say that he excels at adaptation.

Reading the accolades about “Wonder Woman”, I decided to check it out. It is good for its genre, but not particularly memorable.

TIFF has a retrospective on Jean-pierre Melville. I hope to see one or two of his films. Years ago I saw “Bob le Flambeur”. A great film. I was reading about Bertrand Tavernier’s documentary “My Journey through French Cinema”. That’s one trip I’d love to take.

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