Won’t You Be My…Father?

Did I not mention that I’ve seen Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Gah! I saw it last Tuesday.

I read or someone mentioned that they cried when the trolley hit the tracks. Well, I cried during the open sequence. When I heard Mr. Rogers friendly voice sing out the theme song, I died.

I love this movie. I was so very moved by the story. Mr. Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister. He lived every bit of a Christian life and touched so many lives doing so. He was allowed to follow his heart, passion and creativity. His son described him as the second Christ. LOL Hard living with Jesus for a father. LOL

What a wonderful man Mr. Rogers was. I wish he was my father. Or that my father could have been like him. Or just to be his friend and neighbor would have been enough. I was always calmed and enthralled by the show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I love that our world allowed a show like this to exist, even for a short time.

There is goodness in the world. Mr. Rogers was proof.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”–Fred Rogers

The Shining

You may not know, I love Stanley Kubrick films. 2001: A Space Odyssey. A Clockwork Orange. Dr. Strangelove. Full Metal Jacket. I’m even planning to devote an afternoon to Barry Lyndon. I have it on DVD, haven’t seen the whole thing yet.

One of my favorites is The Shining. I also watched the documentary Room 237 on Netflix. It is detailed fan theories of the meaning behind this complex film.

I’ve seen The Shining several times and I never get tired of it. During the quiet parts, my family and I (yes, even my 14 yo watches it, ’cause she’s cool) crack jokes at the absurd moments of acting. Such as, Jack is asleep at the writing table and starts to have a graphic, violent dream and is moaning in his sleep. After seeing the movie several times, you can’t help but find this funny upon the third viewing.

It’s supposed to be disturbing. And it is. The first few times. But if your husband makes these same noises in his sleep IRL? It’s funny.

Plus, seeing the doc about The Shining gives you awesome little Easter eggs to hunt for.

Anyone a Kubrick fan?

I wasn’t when I was in my teens, but after seeing 2001 as an adult, I really started to dig SK and was often moved by his themes. I feel The Shining was perhaps his most complex and symbolic film. The Native American aspect of the movie was deeply provoking for me. What do you think, SK fans? What’s your favorite of his?

Let’s All Go To the Movies.

More from Vol. 2 of Present Tense

My mother and father have lost the will to parent. I am sitting in a dark movie theatre with Mom, Dad and my sister. I am five, almost six.
Oh, God. That man’s face has just been attacked by an octopus egg.
Oh, God. The android’s head is decapitated from his body and milky fluid is shooting out from his neck.
I am screaming. I am crying. I am being ushered quickly to the lobby by my mother.

We lounge for about a minute.
“Ready to go back?”
Okay, there are no more bodiless robots. Popcorn.
I have to have my legs in my seat. I am sitting cross-legged. No aliens can possibly eat my dangling legs if they are safely tucked up, away from their snotty teeth.
Oh, God. There’s spaghetti exploding from that guy’s open stomach.
Oh, God. It’s a baby alien. I am screaming. I am crying. I am being ushered.
A minute.
“Ready to go back?”
My parents also let me watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Deliverance (ABC Presentation of the Week). Also, A Thief in the Night.
This 1972 (made before I was even born) Christian classic talks about end times. Christians are taken to heaven in the rapture and non-believers are left behind. Everyone has to take the 666-Mark of the Beast tattoo or they can’t buy eggs and butter. People who just want a little breakfast are arrested for trying to buy groceries, and a girl with a balloon gets beheaded on a guillotine. There’s a fun song at the end, too.
I wish we’d all been ready…

The synopsis of this movie may be slightly inaccurate. It’s what I remember and the impression that remains.

I lived through what seemed like a very real threat of nuclear annihilation during the height of the Cold War and was constantly worried about being microwaved to oblivion by a nuke. These movie nights and paranoid world destruction fantasies could be considered the bright, sunny moments of my childhood with an abusive father. My prayer, as I got older, became this:

If I have to die–God, just don’t let me die a virgin.