Not an Adventurist.

Thoughts of a quixotic weirdo.

Category: Films

God will find you

I found this post in the drafts of my blog and it’s now a year old. I’m going to post it without changing anything because I was trying to say something at 3am when I wrote this a year ago. If it doesn’t make sense, watch Wit anyway. At the end, I’m going to add a couple thoughts from the present.

This semester I’ve been taking an Introduction to Film class, which has been absolutely fantastic. One of the things we do in that class is discuss the different elements of filmmaking, which is then accompanied with clips from various movies, or the like, to show the elements on screen. Throughout the semester, one film that was consistently brought up in class was the movie Wit. On Friday we were discussing spirituality that can be found in movies, and once again this movie was brought up.

So, after finding out that the entire movie is on Youtube, I decided to start watching it at 1am on Sunday morning.

It was probably, simultaneously, the best and the worst decision I’ve made so far.

The film made me bawl, sob like there was no tomorrow. There was rain flowing out of my eyeballs, just as the storm was picking up outside. It was so coincidental.

I’m now going to take a moment to write about some of the beautiful moments of the movie that really made me think about life, death and happiness, all at the same time.

The main character of the film is a scholar, specializing in the poetry of John Donne. (Upon watching the film, I then researched him and read up on some of his poetry.) As she is discussing her analysis of one of Donne’s poems with her professor, her professor goes into a monologue about what the poem really means and how the punctation makes all the difference in the overall meaning of the poem. This poem ties the entire theme of the movie together, because the main character, Vivian, finds out she has cancer and begins to struggle between life and death for about a year of her life.

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Vivan’s professor explains that the translation is incorrect because there should be a comma where the semi-colon is on the last line.

“‘And death shall be no more’ COMMA ‘death, thou shalt die.’ Nothing but a breath, a comma, separates life from life everlasting.”

I think this is one of the most beautiful lines of a film ever.

In the grand scheme of things, death is just a blip on the plan of eternal life, just has she mentions and explains in the movie. Though it may be subtle, there is definitely a spiritual aspect to this movie. Through faith in God and heaven, death doesn’t mean an ending, all it means is a pause, or a comma.

“Death shall be no more, death, thou shalt die.”

[Spoiler Alert]

At the end of the film, Professor Ashford once again makes an appearance, bringing her wisdom and her thoughts with her. As Vivian lay, almost lifeless in her hospital bed, Ashford, instead of reciting a Donne poem, reads The Runaway Bunny to Vivian. The story follows a young bunny telling his mother that he will run away, however, no matter what he turns into, his mother will find him and continue to be there with him. Professor Ashford says, “A little allegory of the soul. No matter where it hides, God will find it.” This scene is so wonderful and absolutely beautiful because Vivian is found; she has been alone for the entirety of her suffering, and just when she begins to slip into unconsciousness, she is found, much like the way God can find us.

I believe that this is something we should try to remember. I know, some people may not believe in God or life after death, however, I do. I believe it with all my heart, which is one of the reasons I think this movie is so beautiful.

We can be found, even in our loneliest times, when we feel like no one is there for us and our suffering is beginning to take over. I honestly believe that God will find us wherever we may be and He will help us. He can save us.

***

As I was rereading this, I realized how much I needed the point I was trying to make. God knows us and he can and will save us. This is super important for me to remember because life is hard and questions are always there, however, if I can just hold on to the idea that God can save me, that should be just enough to get me through. Right now, it seems somewhat hypocritical for me to post about faith and trusting in God, but God is welcoming to everyone — no matter where our faith stands.

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You’ve Got Mail

Let’s talk about You’ve Got Mail, aka one of the best movies ever made in the history of film. Ever.

This is what goes on in my head every single time I watch it:

  • “So, if I meet a guy I absolutely hate, we’ll probably end up falling in love.”
  • “Which guy have I hated from the beginning?”
  • “No.”
  • “Can I be Meg Ryan?”
  • “This soundtrack is the best.”
  • “This movie is the best.”
  • “I want to own a cute, little book store. Romantic comedies thrive on them, therefore, I should be able to thrive there.”
  • “Until Fox Books up opens down the street.
  • “Romantic comedies are the best.”
  • “I should have a Meg Ryan marathon.”
  • “If I play the soundtrack in the background of my life, will I trick the universe into believing I’m in the movie?”
  • “I love this.”
  • “Wow, where are the tissues.”
  • “GETS TO ME EVERY TIME.”
  • “Let’s watch it again.”

Basically, I just wanted to express my love of this film, as I usually do whenever I watch it.

Until next time, old friend. (And by “next time,” I probably mean “next month.”)

Walter Mitty and The Power of Color

Recently I saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty…twice. Thanks to Provo’s local dollar theatre, I was able to see the movie without breaking my bank account. I had heard great things about the movie before I went to see it, so I figured I might as well go and watch it.

I couldn’t have been happier with the decision to go see it. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you definitely should look into it. It is so worth it.

I haven’t read the story and didn’t really know much about the storyline before sitting down in the theatre. Basically the extent of my knowledge of the film was that Ben Stiller directed and starred in it, Kristen Wiig was in it, Adam Scott had a disgustingly horrible beard and the adventure had something to do with a photo negative.

The film itself has multiple themes that you can draw out of it, but I think the most prominent is something Cheryl, Wiig’s character, said, “Life is about courage and going into the unknown.” One of the ways the film does this is through the use of color. I cannot express my love for the entire production design in words but I will attempt to show you the beauty of the colors of this movie, and how it helps add so much to the theme and to the movie as a whole.

Throughout the movie, the colors and design help to exemplify the theme of becoming more adventurous. For example, in the beginning of the film, Walter Mitty is seen in his small, simple apartment. Within his apartment, the colors blue, grey and white are present.

This color palette follows the story as Mitty goes to his job and all the way up to the moment he decides to pursue Sean O’Connell. These colors portray a sense of simplicity, much like the life Walter Mitty lives before he decides to do something spontaneous. When Walter daydreams and zones out into his own world, these colors fade and his scenes are more colorful than his own life. This shows how he wants to live an exciting life, and can imagine it in his head, but he isn’t willing to step out of his simple lifestyle to go find the things that put color in his life.

Interestingly enough, Cheryl, his love interest, isn’t seen wearing the same color palette as the other characters in the film. Though most of the workers at Life magazine have the same color scheme as Walter Mitty’s apartment, she has a brighter shirt on that makes her stand out, once again showing Walter that he needs to be courageous enough to speak to her so that his life can become colorful.

Though much of the beginning of the film has a bluish color to it, everything from the setting to clothing types, when Walter lands in Greenland and is asking about renting a car, two cars are available, one red and one blue. If one were to be consistent in the color scheme and palette of the movie, one would guess he chooses the blue car, but instead, he chooses to take the red car. This signals the beginning of a new section of the story and signals Walter’s transition into his new life.

This is the first introduction of a new color. This new color, red, is found throughout the middle part of the movie. Not only Walter’s car is red, but as he continues his adventures, more red is integrated into his wardrobe; first by wearing a red sweater, which was given to him by someone on the boat and later, by wearing a red jacket while hiking the Himalayas. The “red” stage symbolizes his stepping out of his comfort zone and into a new adventure. In addition to that, he’s happier.

After Walter finds Sean O’Connell, a new color is introduced. When they both go to play a pick-up game of soccer, there is a yellow tint to the scenes, adding another color, a warmer color, to the palette.

Therefore, over the course of the movie, the color palette evolves to include the three primary colors. These stages follow the primary colors and each color adds a new tone and part of the story. This yellow is a balance between the previous blue and the newer red, and brings a sense of calmness and peace to the new setting and Walter’s life.

I just really love this movie a lot and I hope you all go and see it. It’s fantastic and visually stunning. It definitely helped me learn things and take an important lesson out of the 125 minute movie. Be adventurous, be courageous, take risks, live life, go out into the unknown because, in the end, it’ll be okay. Go find yourself, have adventures and live. 

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”