Friday, February 05, 2010

Down in the Depths

I asked The Lovely Daughter if she wanted to go and see Up in the Air with me tonight.

"I've already seen it," she said. "And you don't want to."

"There's a suicide?" I ventured.

She nodded. "Offscreen. But I was totally unprepared for it."

"Is that part of why you've been railing against the number of suicides passed off as entertainment on movies and television when they do nothing to further the plot?"

"Partly," she said. "But they're on everything."

I asked a few more questions. I have heard such good things about this movie.

"It's an incredibly sad movie," she said.

"Have we just become overly-attuned to the sadness in life?" I asked her.

"It's not that," she said. "But they try to make things better that aren't. It's just a depressing movie."

Scratch that one.


Joan Calvin said...

It is depressing. Life isn't what it seems. The ending is like being bashed in the head. good call.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Ah, I didn't even think about that part of the plot. And now that I consider it a second time, that part was pretty gratuitous. I didn't like it because I thought it was unnecessarily manipulative, but I didn't even think about its impact on people who've lived through the trauma. Sorry. I'm glad your daughter warned it off.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

That was supposed to be "warned you off" not warned it off.

And I just added a note to my review saying that it isn't a good choice for people who have been laid off or had a traumatic personal loss. I'm glad you said something instead of just thinking "I don't agree" and keeping silent.

Presbyterian Gal said...

I found it depressing as well. Clooney was amazing in it. But I found it an "in depth" look at some very superficial people whose values I find destructive.

Anonymous said...

I thought the suicide was integral to the plot of the movie, particularly to one character's development. But even without it, the movie was relentlessly depressing -- even if you're in a very good place.

--Lisa C.

Althea N. Agape said...

I remember going to a movie with the young adult group from my church when I was in the midst of separation and divorce. We came out of the movie and they were all laughing and raving about the movie. They asked what I thought. I said, "he left his wife for his mistress". you could have heard a pin drop. We do not often discern when we watch movies. We rarely look at the real message or the subtext. Until it hits too close to home. Then we realize what we've been consuming and drinking in. then, maybe, we wonder why.

word verification: dineate I certainly didn't swallow that movie!

Kathryn J said...

The lovely daughter is wise beyond her years.

Althea N. wisely reminded us to pay attention to what we consider to be entertainment. Somewhere I saw a sign that said something along the lines of - "Be careful of your thoughts for they become your words. Be careful of your words for they become your actions. Be careful of your actions for they define your character" - or something along those lines.

artandsoul said...

During some serious searching time in my life I read and re-read Clarissa Pinkola Estes' book "Women Who Run With Wolves." I wrote in it, drew in it, cried in it. It became a container for so much of my experience.

One of the many gems she wrote was along the lines of this post and the replies. What we consume - in image, in music, in thought, in our daily lives - is as integral as the food we ingest. It becomes us.

And she counseled against too much "junk food."

I love movies. I love art. I love opera and other music. I love dance and creativity and eating out.

But I try to be aware, as I'm participating in these things I love to see where is the high density good stuff, and where is the "junk."

I've become more discerning, more discriminating.

GG - your intense and articulated journey has helped me with that discernment process. If I choose to partake, to eat, to consume it I can also be aware that this very bit of "entertainment" could be someone's real life.

And just to honor that. I think that's what Estes meant. More than judging the thing itself to be junk, it's about how I consume it.

I haven't seen "Up In The Air" yet. It has been highly recommended to me. No mention, ever, of suicide being part of the story, even offscreen.

Invisibility again perhaps.

karen gerstenberger said...

She is so articulate...but that shouldn't surprise me. It's just the maturity and clarity with which she tells you her thoughts are so far beyond her age. Thank you for sharing her insights here.

bean said...

...all the movies where the mom dies or is dying of cancer. i seem like a woman with my head stuck willingly in the sand when i say i don't want to see any sad movies.

Stratoz said...

I am not recommending the movie, but will not bash it either. Clearly it lacked a non-Hollywood ending... man flies off to be with woman and everything turns out wonderful. I loved the ending. A life had been transformed and was filled with huge amount of certainty. If you go, compare the opening scene with the closing scene and you will see what I am talking about.

In my mind the suicide in the movie made nothing better except maybe a realization that one can't live a life which depresses those you come in contact with. Yes, it did not focus on the loved ones left behind and that was because they were not characters in the movie. It was a movie and it can't be all things.

The movie left me sad, but hopeful that a life had been transformed and though it gave me no clue as to where it was headed... I had hope it was a better place than where it had been. It is far from a feel good movie.

Jan said...

Yes, the movie is depressing.