Frank Capra said “Film is a disease”.
He went on, but that’s enough for now. I caught the disease early on. I used to feel it. And they used to take me to the movies all the time. I used to feel it whenever we walked up to the ticket booth with my mother, my father, my brother. You’d go through the doors, on the thick carpet, to - past the popcorn stand that had that wonderful smell - then to the ticket taker, and then sometimes they’d get - these doors would open in the back and there were little windows in it in some of the old theaters and I could see something magical happening up there on the screen, something special. And as we entered, for me I think now, it was like entering a sacred space, a kind of a sanctuary where the living world around me seemed to be recreated and played out.
What was it about cinema? What was so special about it? I mean I think I’ve discovered some of those - some of my own answers to that question a little bit at a time over the years.
First of all, there’s light. Light is at the beginning of cinema, of course. It’s fundamental - because it’s created with light, and it’s still best seen projected in dark rooms where it’s the only source of light. But light is also at the beginning of everything. Most creation myths start with darkness, and then the real beginning comes with light - which means the creation of forms. Which leads to distinguishing one thing from another, and ourselves from the rest of the world. Recognizing patterns, similarities, differences, naming things - interpreting the world. Metaphors - seeing one thing in light of something else. Becoming enlightened. So light is at the core of who we are and how we understand ourselves.
Martin Scorsese, “Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema”
(2013 National Endowment for the Humanities’ Jefferson Lecture, live at the Kennedy Center)
After you learn every story your mother told you about
prom caught hard in the back of her throat.
After your sister finally tells you what happened the night
you didn’t pick up the phone.
After that party your freshman year of college, when you
drank all the vodka and then threw yourself at that boy
who was so not into you.
After the picture frames, the wine glass, and your vows
lay broken on the floor.
After you remember every racist thing you said as a small
town white teenager. After you realize that no amount of
present day enlightenment will make those words unsaid.
After you accept there are things you will never know
about your father or the man you love. After you accept
that each reminds you of the other. After the night they
met and shook guitar-calloused hands, staring each other
down with matching blue eyes.
After he asks you to marry him, and you say “Not yet.”
After you find your underwear in the dark curves of a
stranger’s sheets and leave before sunrise. After you,
sobbing, confess what you’ve done, and he does not
There is shame. There is fear. And there is this dizzying
When Strangers Click, a 2011 documentary about online dating.
It reminds me of that famous Margaret Atwood quote: “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” It also reminds me of something written by one of the mods of Sex Worker Problems: “Misandry irritates. Misogyny kills.”
I mean, it’s just true.
“Misandry irritates. Misogyny kills.”
That’s it. That’s it right there.