26 Feb Beautiful Moments in Film #1: Dedication
Dedication (2007) by Justin Theroux
Rudy: That’s life Henry.
Rudy: You know what life is?
Henry: Life is a horrible little giggle in the midst of a forced death march towards hell.
Rudy: No it isn’t.
Henry: An interminable wail of grief…
Rudy: No! Life is a single skip for joy.
Henry: (sigh) I know…
A realist, two feet planted firmly on the ground, looks down and pronounces that this, here and now, is life. A poet instead dreams of flight, and bravely leaps up into the air…
If life is a skip for joy it requires one to enjoy, remember the time we spend in the air, rather than dwell upon that spent on the ground. Or in the ground for that matter.
These are the Newtonian laws of happiness—the ipso facto necessity of optimism and hope instead of pessimism and doubt, for life is a cup both half-empty and half-full, poison-laced and nectar-brimmed, a meal we cook either satisfying or not by our very perceptions and attitudes.
Henry Roth (Billy Crudup) is a character who sees nothing but the landing at the end of life, the death awaiting him when his skip—more leaden-footed stumble—touches the ground.
Dedication begins with Henry as a realist, but his realism really an excuse for an all pervading, bleak without respite pessimism, a pessimism which, in an endless circle of causation, justifies his fear and perpetuates his misery.
Henry ends the film taking a leap of faith, dares blindly to hope against “facts” or “proof,” chooses no to longer look down.
Pessimist, Optimist, Realist
A pessimist is he
Who shuts his eyes
To the rising sun.
An optimist is he
Who looks up and sees
Through the teeming clouds.
A realist is he
Who faces the clouds
And adores the sun.
The Wings Of Light, Part 3
Sumangali MorhallPosted at 08:22h, 28 February
I haven’t got anything profound to say, but I must say that I really, really like this post. I especially like the portrayal of a poet as optimist, in these lines:
“A realist, two feet planted firmly on the ground, looks down and pronounces that this, here and now, is life. A poet instead dreams of flight, and bravely leaps up into the air…”
…and of course the perfectly chosen quote from Sri Chinmoy
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Jaitra GillespiePosted at 20:51h, 28 February
Thank you Sumangali. It really means something to be complimented so by a very fine writer herself.
AlfPosted at 21:35h, 28 February
A triumphant crescendo of a piece.
I have been watching some films of late. Once was a great film and a great soundtrack. Highly recommended. Juno was another feel good film I enjoyed.
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Jaitra GillespiePosted at 22:17h, 29 February
Thanks for the recommendations (and comment) Alf. I am always on the lookout for another beautiful moment in film—hence the intentional adding of a “#1” to the title of this post.