Mile High Reflections

I’m sitting on the plane on my way to my first ever screening of a film I’ve been in. We were accepted to a festival in LA, and I’m half way through my flight.

My seat mate is a gentleman who works as a camera operator for the networks, mostly filming sports events, and, as someone who travels often, is well known to the plane staff and was kind and able enough to have the flight attendant bring me a few rounds of bourbon.

Martin Scorsese’s Hugo was just playing on the overhead screen as part of the in flight entertainment program on American Airlines. Although a slow moving film, it is one that tells the story of every filmmaker, actor or other sort of artist and was a rather apropos film to see at this moment.

It is a story of dreams, of something from nothing, of the true joy of acting and film. Aside from simply accurately portraying real life in a grittier way as movies are wont to do, it describes-no, it paints, the picture of a far more intricate process. See, film, when it was discovered was a novelty. More, it was magic. It was nothing more than a more complex and expressive card trick. Card tricks don’t talk, they simply entertain. Movies however, they can tell stories.

Ah, the wonder! A dragon chases a group of warriors! A rocket shoots the moon, who’s surface is likened into a mans face!

When the movie ended I glanced over at the laptop of someone a few rows in front of me, who with the in flight wifi was watching a modern TV show. The contrast is stark.

Although I’m generally far more into movies and TV that portray modern life, or at least life in some sort if realistic way, Hugo seems to have brought out a new side of the art to the forefront. It made prominent the idea of imagination, of classic cinema, of the romance which drew most of us into the business in the first place.

Listening to some old rap, Biggie etc., although not in the spirit of a movie set in France, and it’s reflecting upon my mood of appreciation for classic cinema and art. Notice Marylyn Monroe. Marlin Brando. The Greats. They didn’t simply act. They weren’t in their own heads. They were alive, they were vibrant, buzzing with a charismatic invisible force at every glistening moment they spent on stage or screen, dancing, acting, singing and entertaining an audience of mesmerized people.

It also reminded me of something I think about mostly every waking moment, which I suppose may sound a bit trite.

I will succeed.

I always know that, believe that, feel that, and know it has to be. You see, I don’t have a plan B.

Well, technically I do. I’m a capable individual and can take care of myself. But I don’t want a plan B. Because there can’t be one. As our wonderful character Papa George, the brilliant filmmaker told us, “the world is a machine and we’re all just a piece. We need to be here and have a purpose.”

I think we each know where ours is, and I most certainly feel mine.

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