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Nov 16, 2010

Hereafter, Due Date, Conviction and Mortality

I can't stop thinking about death lately. (Yes, it's the rare introspective post here at BC.)

For starters, Mrs. Fletch and I have spent the better part of the last two months or so catching up on Dexter, the popular drama that focuses on a serial killer. For a program in which it seems like somebody is getting offed each episode, it doesn't treat the loss of lives lightly, but the volume speaks for itself. No one is safe.

As casual readers of Blog Cabins may not know, this was followed up by some real-life drama - the death of my mother four weeks ago. Were it not for that, I'd likely not be writing this post right now. As you might expect, it has shaken my world. I was very close to my mother - emotionally and geographically (my parents house is four doors down from my own) - her passing was a nightmare of a shock, and has affected all facets of my life, right on down to this here site, which as you've probably noticed, has taken quite the downturn in activity in the last month.

There's no escaping the morbid, heavy thoughts that have accompanied this event, but I, probably just like you might, have attempted to do so ever so slightly via the vehicle that's been there all along - the movies. That, however, isn't proving all that fruitful, either.

The first case was one I walked into with eyes wide open. A couple weeks ago, we decided to see a movie, and Hereafter seemed simultaneously like the best and worst choice. Clint Eastwood's latest film is all about...you guessed it, the afterlife. It tells three separate stories - one of a woman who is brought back from the dead, or so she thinks, another of a man "cursed" with the supernatural ability to speak to the dead, and the third of a young boy who's lost his twin brother. No shock, it was a difficult watch, but I almost felt like it was an important one. That said, I think my ability to judge it on its own merits flew out the window before I sat down.

Next up was Todd Phillips' successor to The Hangover, Due Date. But where most saw little more than an unfunny flick that apes Planes, Trains and Automobiles, I found myself affected by the situation that Zach Galifianakis' character is in: the narrative starts in Atlanta, where Zach has just returned from his father's funeral, carrying a Lebowski-like coffee can filled with his ashes. Never in a million years would I have thought that movie could bring me to tears, but I'm finding that scenario play out in unexpected ways lately.

Finally, tonight brought a viewing of the based-on-true-events drama Conviction, starring Hilary Swank as a wannabe (and eventual) lawyer attempting to get her brother's, um, conviction for first-degree murder overturned. It wasn't even the murdered body that got to me - that person is barely shown and really plays litte role in the film. Instead, I was treated to another funeral scene and the death of a loved one, who really was pretty much an ancillary character as well. Didn't matter.

The short of it can probably be summed up with this (somewhat annoying to hear right now) maxim: It's all a part of growing up. Five weeks ago, seeing Beardo (trademark Jess) with an urn or watching Rockwell and Swank attend the funeral of a minor character or even seeing the onscreen death of a young boy wouldn't have affected me all that much. I'd sympathize but not empathize. As I type those words I feel guilty all over again, for I've experienced the death of loved ones in the past, but something about those circumstances (either I didn't know them as well or their passings were more "expected" due to age) just don't match this one. Then again, we only get one Mom.

I really don't know where else to go with this post. I guess I just felt the need to get something down about my recent experiences with these three movies, and melancholy as it may be, these will be my takeaways from them. However, I can tell you that, my connection to it notwithstanding, Due Date doesn't really need to be seen by anyone. so there's that.

P.S. - It's largely unrelated to all this, but I'd like to take this space to once again (or for the first time) thank all of you that have more than been there for me. The response from my little community and that of the LAMB has been overwhelming. Really, it's been awesome, from emails I've gotten from some of you to mentions on podcasts to, of course, Rachel offering up her services to shepherd the LAMB going forward. You guys and gals rock, and your support has really meant a lot to me. I'm still not really feeling the urge to post here daily or anything like that, but I'm sure I'll get in the groove here eventually, and I hope you'll still be here with me to revel in shit like Road House and whether or not I'm gonna see the latest p.o.s. to hit theaters. At the very least, I'll be heading up the LAMBcast every week, so as long as you dig my dulcet tones, you're in business.

7 people have chosen wisely: on "Hereafter, Due Date, Conviction and Mortality"

Jess said...

I gotta give credit to Rachel for originating Beardo.

I don't know specifically what you're going through, but I had a similar experience when I got out of the hospital a few years ago - it seemed like everything I watched was about hospitals. A big event definitely colors your life in a new way. And we'll absolutely be here when you get back. Fear not.

Alex said...

I can't imagine what you're going through and I can't say much else except that I'm sure your mom would be very proud to know that she raised a son who's such an obviously cool and friendly guy that he has the support of half the internet in a time of need!

I often turn to film in times of trouble as well, as it can both help me get my mind off things as well as offer consolation/relatability. I hope it's helping you work through things.

Rachel said...

After certain major life-changing events happen to us, it's almost impossible not to let films affect us in a certain way afterwards.

When Juno came out, I saw it in theaters and thought it was good, but didn't feel any kind of love or connection to it. Now, after everything we've been through in the last two and half years, I adore that movie more and more each time I see it and it makes me cry like no other.

In my case, it hasn't gotten any better, so I try to avoid pregnancy or baby movies for the most part. Hopefully your movie-going days will get easier as time marches on.

Nick said...

The night after (I think) my grandfather died, my sister watched "Up." Yeah...

And you know I love your dulcet tones, Dylan.

Bob Turnbull said...

My deep condolences for your loss Fletch. I couldn't even begin to make any suggestions on what to do to feel better. It looks like you have a pretty damn strong support group, though, so use them.

You know what couldn't hurt though? A good live blogging of a Survivor episode! Just so happens to be one tonight...B-)

Take care...

Fletch said...

Jess - thanks RE Beardo - I had a hunch, but couldn't recall for sure.

Alex - haha, half the internet. Last I checked, it was still at 31.6%. But close enough. :D

Rachel - I don't know if I'll end up adoring any of the three movies I talked about, but I can certainly see where you're coming from and how that happened to you. I hope it gets better for you one day as well. The good news? You have a happy and health Mia!

Nick - I hear that.

Ok, next 'cast, I'm singing. Ok, that's not true at all.

Bob - Ha...believe it or not, I thought about that this morning (the live blogging). I juuuuuust might do that...we'll see. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.

Nick said...

I'll sing with you. We can do a duet. "Suddenly Seymour" from Little Shop. I'll do Audrey.