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.