13.12.12

The Body

Upon my insistence, Sebastien saw Stand By Me for the first time, last week. Have you seen it? I think one of the older kids taped it off TV because when I was about 8 years old, my little brother and I would watch it all the time.

For those of you whom have not, Stand By Me is a Rob Reiner film based on the Stephen King novella, The Body. Will Wheaton of later internet fame stars as Gordie in his first lead role.
Gordie is an introspective preteen coming up in the slick hair sterility of the 50s and will grow up to write professionally.  The audience knows this because the framing story is of him as a man reflecting on a death he reads about in the paper.
When the main story is introduced, Gordie's family is still reeling from the recent death of his older brother Denny, played in flashbacks by a fresh faced John Cusack.
The plot itself is interesting but the story arch of a man reflecting on his coming of age is hardly a new concept. Even done well, scrambled eggs are still just, well, scrambled.
But there is a bit of a minigame--or substory, if you like featuring a character named Lard  Ass. My brother and I would say his name like it was a secret, laughing each time in high childish giggles while squinty eyed smiles passed between us.
We binged on this film. It babysat us. Even so, we had an argument over the language at the end. I believe the line is, "He died almost instantly." I contended that the character in question died almost at once, but my brother felt that the word almost indicated the character lived. As in, He almost died. It was frustrating, but he was smaller than me, so I let it go, figuring it was better he believed in happy endings. 
The thing that makes any movie interesting, ultimately, if we're honest, is seeing ourselves in the characters. And sure, I do love to write, but I think I related to River Phoenix's character, Chris Chambers, the most--even though Corey Feldman and the hot guy from Sliders were in the film as well.
Chambers was sort of the mother of the group and had a hard time stepping out of the shadow his family cast. He's introduced with, "He came from a bad family and everyone just knew he'd turn out bad. Including Chris." I'm not ashamed of my family or who we are, but like Chris, I expected this would be my lot and for my early years in education, it was. Things got better once I headed off to school in Vermont. 
After not having seen the film for at least 20 years, it was interesting to see so many of my favorite 50s songs played back to me. I kept wondering if I liked them because of the film or if they were just that good. I'll never know. Also, mailbox baseball, playing chicken and a complete and total barf-o-rama, this is where I learned about all three of these hallmarks of my youth.
Watching it again, I can honestly say that both the cinematography and setting were wasted on 8 year old Erin.
















And I had forgotten completely about the body.
But a good story stays in the back of your head just like a good song. Speaking of which, check out the last mix I made for my little brother by clicking the image. It's free for download.
Genre: Little bit of hip hop and a whole lot of Rock and Roll
I listen to it all day on December 13 and June 2nd. But if one of the songs comes up any day in between, I hit the forward button and I don't look back because there really are no such thing as happy endings.
I'm not being sullen, you should accept this: your whole life is nothing but waves--the energy moves, but the water stays right where it is. You'll have high tides and rip tides, changes in currents and a hundred hard summers swimming with the sharks. But sometimes you'll squint in the glare and smile just to be there. Christ, I don't have to tell you what you already know. Surfs up,  Kundun.

Sebastien and I leave for the States in 4 days. I should start practicing my "No sir, I have nothing to declare" face. Admittedly, I'm not overly excited to sit in a plane for 10+ hours but I'll probably eat a whole jar of pickles as soon as I land...or nachos. Or Both. Does that make me weird?

On verra
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