A life in threes

Tag: film

(No) small thing.

I’ve been overthinking things a lot lately.

And sometimes, I forget.

Weeks go by and I realize that I’ve lost sight of the overall picture.


Today, I wanted to do something different.

I went with my family to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Even though I don’t consider myself as much of a Star Wars fan, I know that my husband and kid were anxious to see the movie.   (Meanwhile, I was somewhat skeptical of the hype, so I didn’t want to go in with too many expectations.)   But so much was their excitement, that my husband pre-ordered the tickets online on Tuesday, at $17 a ticket.   At first, I’d assumed that these tickets had been more expensive than usual because it is the opening weekend, but then my husband apologized to me this morning because he’d realized too late that he’d purchased tickets for the 3-D version of the film.

Due to some specific visual issues that affect my binocular vision and depth perception, I’ve never been able to experience a 3-D movie.

(Of course, I’ve attempted to see several 3-D movies, over the years.   Though it seems more of a waste of money as my personal visual experience of 3-D movies has ranged from mildly frustrating to headache-inducing. …hence his desire to apologize.)

But I really wanted to be a good sport, so I figured that I could find a way to adapt.  I brought my prescription glasses, hoping that the best case scenario would be that the film would appear only somewhat blurry if I used them in tandem with 3-D glasses, as that had been my experience in the past.

But you know what?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an entertaining film.   The action was fast-paced and the plot was engaging.

But that wasn’t the best part:

Star Wars:The Force Awakens was visually stunning.

Perhaps it was the curved screen, or the surround sound stereo system, which likely adds to the feeling of being immersed in the action and sound of a film.  (After all, the theatre was billed as an RPX experience*)

But I really couldn’t get over how vivid and bright things appeared onscreen.

Perhaps this is how a 3-D movie should look.

Perhaps I was actually experiencing a 3-D movie for the very first time.

And for me, this is no small thing.



*RPX stands for Regal Premium Experience, which is supposed to have better picture and sound quality than IMAX, complete with a giant, IMAX-size screen.




A secret life, daydreaming vs. experience, and a way of seeing.

To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to see and be amazed and to feel: that is the purpose of life.” – Life Magazine’s motto, in the 2013 remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

***Possible spoilers ahead, so please do not read if you intend to see this film!***


On Monday afternoon, my kid and I went to see Ben Stiller’s remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

I have always loved James Thurber’s short story of the same name.

Honestly, I did not expect Stiller’s remake to stick to Thurber’s short story very much, as I’d felt that the 1947 version with Danny Kaye had not been very close, either.

(I’ve always thought that sticking too close to Thurber’s story would have been difficult to do, anyway…so I’m not surprised to read so many of these sorts of reviews now that I’ve seen it.)

But nonetheless, I found this film slightly amusing, poignant, and very inspiring.

Personally, I wasn’t disappointed.

There were a few wonderful moments of connection for me in this film, that – just as it is with the act of daydreaming – have more to do with my inner landscape than anything outward to do with the film itself

….And that is exactly what I enjoyed about this film.

For example, the most wondrous, unexpected moments for me were connected to seeing the footage of Greenland, and Iceland, for several personal reasons.


You know, I very nearly cried with delight, seeing Walter as he skateboards down an almost impossible winding road into the town of  Seyðisfjörður just before the volcano erupts.

He glides down this road as it snakes past these lovely rocky cliffs that rise up on either side.

Those mountains, those cliffs….aw, man.   Just beautiful.

Walter has tied chunks of black ashen rock to his hands with pieces of his dress tie, so he can lean and weave, touching the road, guiding himself around the exhilarating curves:


It was exhilarating just watching that, for personal reasons, as well.

Suddenly, I was overcome with a hopeful rushing thought crowding in my head:


(…kommen Sie hierkommen Sie hier …)


Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.

The other moment that struck me so much, concerned vision, experience, and the photographer’s eye.

When Walter finally catches up to the photographer that he’s been pursuing, the photographer is ‘waiting for the shot’ of a snow leopard in the Himalayas.

He and Walter sit quietly waiting, talking softly, until the snow leopard comes into view.

They are hushed and still, and we, as viewers, see their view through the camera lens for a good minute or two, before the leopard moves out of range.

And when asked why he didn’t take the shot, the photographer answers:

Sometimes I don’t.   I just look.  I just see it.

I have known several photographers who have also voiced that same sentiment: You cannot truly see if you are distracted by the attempts to capture the image, create the result.  The photographer sees, prepares and frames the shot, but at the moment of actually clicking the shutter, ze has moved from ‘seeing’ to ‘capturing’ that moment.   Ze has, in a sense, lost the moment of seeing, of experiencing the beauty of the moment, in attempting to capture the ‘beautiful moment.’

That moment is a red cardinal sitting on my backyard fence.

Stop trying to capture the moment, fearing the loss of the memory of the moment.

Stop worrying.

Stop preparing.

Just let the moment unfold.

You don’t have to hold it in place.

Just see it.

Just experience it.

And I loved that.

And I loved that Walter Mitty, in this film, became what he was – not by daydreaming – but by doing, by allowing himself to see, to experience life itself.

Life with a capital L.

In my opinion, that’s good advice.