No, Monday is in no way the new Sunday but I didn’t blog yesterday so I was hoping to pull one over on you. Did it work? One could say I’ve already botched my attempt to blog 100 days in a row. I prefer to say that “life happens”. I had an overreaction yesterday. As I’ve mentioned, I’m recovering from Strep Throat. When my daughter complained that her neck was stiff and she had a sore looking throat, I immediately wanted a doctor to check her out. So, no blog post. We’re still waiting for results on the strep test but it appears she is fine. Certainly no meningitis. Better safe than sorry, right?
What I wanted to blog about is the movie “Boyhood“. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Critically acclaimed movie written and directed by Richard Linklater. I borrowed it from the library and finally sat down and watched it.
As you may know, the movie is filmed over the course of 11 years. I have to wonder what my thoughts would have been had I not known this little fact before viewing. Would it have been immediately obvious? Or would I have wondered how on earth they found actors that look so similar? Either way, it was a brilliant concept. Well done, Richard!
What I love most about Linklater films is his completely unconventional way of telling a story. There is nothing contrived about his methods. Most movies are well, dramatic. Big things happen. All the time. For most people, life just doesn’t happen that way.
So this got me thinking about anxiety disorders. People are quick to blame anxiety on so many different things: Population growth, too much social media, allergens, too much work, being coddled by parents. I will happily (or anxiously) agree with most of those but I would like to add another one to the list: Movies and TV Shows. Before screens we had to rely on books but it takes longer to read so I’m guessing the constant flow of dramatic things happening are less jarring.
Watching the movie, I caught myself expecting Big. Dramatic. Things. to happen at various points in the film. I’d cringe or brace myself for something bad to happen. Something like “oh no, they’re going to get in a car crash… oh no, someone is going to get shot… oh no, she’s going to have a heart attack”. Usually, I’m right but not when it comes to Richard Linklater films. It is because he doesn’t rely on typical formulas. The intent isn’t so much to entertain the viewer as it is to share the experience unfolding on screen. I liken it to being a spirit guide watching its charge. We’re getting intimate insight into these characters’ lives in hopes of learning something about ourselves.
I have to say, I much prefer watching this sort of film. I really think all my years of watching episodes of Hunter, Monk, and BH90210 (I’m being funny) have trained me to overreact to life. It can’t be healthy. Most of the time, big dramatic things aren’t always waiting to jump out at us. Life is usually more subtle than that. Experiences shape us the same way weather erodes a mountain. It’s not one big strike of lighting. It’s the constant elements beating down that changes its shape.
I loved this movie because the boy had a real life. I wish he didn’t have to experience any trauma and pain, of which he certainly had more than his fair share. Yet it wasn’t a life of constant tragedy and euphoric highs. He pushed on through, observed, reacted, dismissed, internalized, and lived each day. He survived Boyhood and without a lot of unnecessary drama and anxiety, I was entertained.