Tag Archives: extremely loud incredibly close

extremely loud incredibly close. part two.

celery. we recently brought this wonderfully crunchy cradle for soy butter back into the house (it wasn’t ‘kept out’ for any reason). it got me thinking about brent celek, philadelphia eagle’s tight end, and then of course i thought about tom selleck, and invariably these thoughts led me to the vision of a piece of celery that looks like tom selleck. anyone with the ability to make this vision a reality? i would be forever in your debt.

critics, critical, constructive criticism – more words on my “c” journey. it seems that being critical, rather than accepting (or creating our own) has become the approach/reaction upon discovering something new. it goes like this – a company comes out with a new product (director with a new movie). first adopters say ‘yah I got it, it’s cool, but…’ then others get it/see it and say ‘yah some nice features, but…’, then the world adopts it/watches it, and the first adopters say ‘it was better back in the day’ and everyone is using it happily, but no one wants to admit they like it until years later when it’s ironic and cool to be retro. how’s that for being critical?

i read three reviews of ‘extremely loud incredibly close’ – all were not glowing the way i have about this movie, which is fine, but then i went to the comment section of the reviews – you know, the area where us ‘common folk’ can weigh in on the topic at hand, where somehow, even if the discussion starts with a debate about hand soaps, it turns into a name calling feast for r’s and d’s – and as i scanned the comment sections this time, expecting to read raves about the film, i ran into a number of complaints, the number one being that it wasn’t at all like the book, that the ‘film adapter’ missed huge parts, and that the actors were not what they thought of in the book and blah, blippity, blah, blah. no. movies, that are based on books, are not going to be the book – things will be left out, the characters you saw in your mind will look that way on film ten percent of the time, dialogue between characters may be different, and so on – if you can’t handle this – hire someone to read you the books (in the comfort of your own home) and use hand puppets, that you create, to bring ‘your book’ to life. sorry, i cringe when i hear ‘it wasn’t like the book’.

now, criticism and being critical are important. to me, those words have undo negative connotations. being critical means that you are examining something – not putting it down. the problem i see is that people act like they are being critical, and in reality they are either 1) proving how much they know about something by being a critic of it 2) they don’t like anything that is mainstream (i fall into this camp from time-to-time) or 3) they are angry about everything and use products and movies to unleash their pent up aggression that spawns from being the last one on their block to get the nintendo entertainment system (nes). ‘yah i heard mario was stupid anyway’

i think about this with the girls, family members, and friends too. i can be critical, mostly constructive, but sometimes i am critical of things that are inherently who they are – do we need to point out everything in the name of honesty? no. be critical of things and people, but do it in a way that is offering something other than your ability to use google or misdirected angst for being stood up at prom. or write a blog and unleash all your anger and thoughts in a semi-coherent way – leaving others confused and some inspired.

i’m not sure what i am trying to say. i guess it’s more of an observation. it seems as though we have all become critics, and perhaps in that shift, we are failing to enjoy things for what they are. food (holy bologna does food get criticized), technology, sports, movies, everything – we are critics. perhaps my struggle is this – being a critic implies that you are an observer, and i want to be a participant – i want to be criticized. i want to criticize myself. it’s how we grow.

so, around in another circle i go – hope you are all well.

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extremely loud and incredibly close. part one.

this is part one to what may be a three-part posting about my reaction to this film. i don’t discuss the movie in detail, so no spoiler.

we went to a movie last night. it’s interesting how we come to be exposed to certain music, literature (why isn’t there a cool word for music like there is for books), or movies (‘cinematatic experiences’ as i like to call them – and push my fake glasses back up my nose). i would say seventy-five percent of my exposure to these three portholes of ‘soul oxygen’ are introduced from a ‘trusted source’ (yes ‘trusted source’ – so much easier to say family member or friend, but ‘trusted source’ has weight – right? like i have a team of people working to find new information for me.), ten percent comes from magazines or on-line sources (definitely not always to be trusted) and wait, *whispers to self* seventy plus ten is eighty, eighty minus one hundred is… seventeen percent. (sorry I’m practicing in case anyone asks me to ‘walk them through the math’, what a funny thing to ask someone, likes it’s going to change their manipulation of the numbers. “oh you want me to ‘walk you through the math’, darn, um, well, *whispers to self – loud enough to be heard* two plus twenty carry the eight, so, six. yes, i have six sheep.” too funny) back to where I was going (where are we going?) twenty percent of my exposure is from blind luck. yes, just stumbling onto something. i found nellie mckay that way, if you haven’t heard her music – you should – now i’m one of your percentages of exposure. i was at the library looking through cds, the cover looked interesting – it was just her looking happy in a red jacket, i listened to it, and have since passed it on to others. you’re welcome nellie, which you have to say mckay after, or people think you’re ‘repin’ the lou’, and who but a few could blow through a reed for that city. just kidding – a fine place. just a little sports rivalry, i wanted to work mr. reed into this post, and didn’t want to make a silly ‘hot in herre‘ reference.

breath of air.

spoon man. yes, i'm up to four.

i ‘stumbled on’ a book a few years back called “extremely loud, incredibly close” by jonathan safran foer, and it moved me. it made an impression, so much so that i had to ‘trade it’ to a family member i rarely see, and don’t remember how or when we exchanged it, for one of his other books “everything illuminated” which was also turned into a movie. we went to see the ‘film adaptation’ (sorry my fake glasses were sliding down my nose again and needed a reason to be nudged up) of “extremely loud incredibly close” last night.

my goal is not to write a review or ruin the movie – if you have read the book- or seen the movie, then you already know what i know, and you tell others to read the book or see the movie. see, my goal is to advocate for this movie – because i want everyone to cry. yes, for those of you who don’t know me, i am an emotional person. our wedding, the girls first days of day care, the wind blowing east, are all lip quivering, shaky voice experiences for me. that being said, i have never seen so many people leave a theatre in tears. it was awesome, and inspiring. something happens when you become a parent, or have parents, something happens when you are human, your view of the world changes. (not all people are humans) you start to see everything through the lens of someone who has a shit load of responsibility – to put it bluntly. you kind of matter more than you did, and this understanding makes you more vulnerable to be a crier at a movie. i know, some people cry inside and don’t outwardly show emotions, i’m cool with that, and can see through the flesh on their cheeks. i think what makes me emotional in situations that i observe (movies, t.v. shows, or airport drop offs – your welcome for clarifying) is that i put myself in their place. i find something i identify with, and then create a landscape in my mind where all the people in my field of vision are suddenly ones i know and i see myself moving in front of me – stay with me – and i feel. simply put. i allow myself to feel. guess some of that may be empathy.

i think we were twenty minutes deep in the movie and i had already wiped my eyes, put my pointer finger on my eyebrow and pinky to my mouth (try it so you have the full picture) in an attempt to raise the top of my eye, causing a bit of pain, and making it easier to not turn into a total mess. the reason for my, and r.’s, emotional response? we saw some of our relationships with our girls, specifically a. – only because of age – in the characters, and i suddenly was watching a film of memories and couldn’t get my head around not being around, more specifically, not having them in my life – not being in theirs. i’m welling up as I write this. it’s something we can all think about, something that we can all gain perspective from – what if ‘they’ or ‘i’ were gone, as in dead. what would i miss? what would i leave? what do we do during the days, hours, minutes that we are together that they carry with them as indelible images? i identified with the dad in the movie’s quirkiness. we all have it. it’s called individuality. it’s what separates us from others, it’s what makes us, well, us. we can forget to expose that sometimes, or forget how much of it is being observed by our children, and the importance of it is insane. sharing quirkiness, or in other words, being ourselves, gives others a chance to share theirs, and with kids, that is of paramount importance. express and don’t be afraid to be what and who you are – a simple trite message, but one we need to remember, one that, as we age, is easier to forget. being yourself, by the way, is not just clothes, music and slang, it’s the way you smell the lid of the soy butter container and lick the spoon. it’s the things your loved ones remember when you’re gone, it’s your impression. share it.


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