Steven Speilberg does it agan

Instead of Kansas, Steven Spielberg gives us New Jersey in his latest film, The Fabelmans. Instead of Dorothy, he gives us Sammy Fabelman. Instead of Uncle Henry and Auntie Em, he gives us Burt and Mitzi Fabelman. And there’s a Wizard in the movie too. That’s Uncle Bennie. Instead of a tornado, it’s a train wreck that will transport Sammy to Oz. And not just any train wreck. It’s the circus train wreck in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth. And it won’t be the Yellow Brick Road that will get young Sammy to Hollywood, but making home movies.

It’s 1952, and Burt and Mitzi Fabelman are trying to convince young Sammy that he’s going to love The Greatest Show on Earth. When he sees the train wreck on the big screen, he is hypnotized. Not by the movie or the train, but by the train wreck. He’s got to see that again.

When his father gives Sammy a toy train for Hanukkah, Sammy wrecks it the way they did in the movie. The train isn’t wrecked but his father tells him he needs to be more responsible.

Now we know that when a parent tells a kid in a movie to be more responsible, there’s going to be trouble. And sure enough Sammy sneaks around and does it again. Only this time, his villainy is aided by his mother. Mitzi Fabelman has turned into Glenda the Good Witch. Instead of a pair of red slippers, Mitzi gives the hero of this tale a camera. “If you film the train wreck, you can see it over and over again.”

And that is how Steven Spielberg begins his autobiographical film. Movie making is Sammy’s Yellow Brick Road to the Oz of the 20th Century and those childhood fantasies of wonder, JawsClose Encounters of the Tihird Kind,  E.T., Jurassic Park, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

But things aren’t all peaches and cream in the Family Fabelman. It’s like Professor Harold Hill sang in The Music Man. “There’s trouble right here in River City.” But the one thing that keeps Sammy going is making movies. It’s something that will lead him straight to a legendary filmmaker’s office.

As you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed The Fabelmans. Enough to see it twice. And want to see it again. It reminds me of why I love movies the way Cinema Paradise did. When we can stream whatever movie or tv series we want, there is something that is missing for me. And that’s the WOW experience. The kind of experience I got when I first saw No Time for SergeantsBen HurPsychoIt’s a Mad Mad Mad World, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings and The Color Purple, and so many others on the big screen in movie theaters.

The Fabelmans gave me that rare experience.

Looking around

They say he crawled out from under a rock.
He looked around and took him some stock.
“Maybe I’ll stay and give it a knock,”
he said and then made off in a trot
To see the sights never to be forgot:
Four seasons and time without a clock,
Snow and the green, the cold and the hot,
Rivers, mountains and all within eyeshot,
Roses, daisies and forget-me-nots,
Lions, tigers, leopards and all that lot,
Kittens, cubs and faun ready to be taught,
Robbins, sparrows and birds that mock,
Horses wild and peacocks that strut.
All in all a pleasant place to flop.
So he did.

Moonlight and midday

The sea is blue
at high tide at night,
a moon above
a great ball of light,
stars sprinkling on
a canvas of sky,
gulls cawing out,
“Come with us and fly.”

Dolphins and whales
through the seas they run,
singing their songs
under moon and sun.
Waves of water
rising and falling,
sea and the wind
hear the shore calling.

Blue and the blue
the sky and the sea
and the white clouds
and shadows of trees.
Sand brown beaches
nesting turtle eggs
till the sea calls
from the water’s edge.

The sun setting,
moon rise in the east,
stars returning,
the great and the least.
The horizon
a distance away,
sea and the sky,
moonlight and midday.

The sea is blue
at high tide at night.

Micropoem of the day: Trees

This ain’t your Joyce Kilmer “Trees”. You know the lines. “I think that I shall never see / A poem as lovely as a tree.” I agree with the sentiment but not sure I care for the poem. Maybe it’s just become to familiar. I have been known to sing ecstatically over trees. They are such lovely creatures. Definitely a superior species. I think God must have liked Planet Earth a lot because She gave us trees. And so many. So this one is for the trees. 

The old trees commune
with the younger ones
on how to tree.

micropoem for the day: night skies

I woke up this morning thinking about night skies. How they spread out before us and give us a sense of wonder. Now that brings a large hmmm to my mind. I am not one of those people who go out and spend a lot of time out in the open looking, and perhaps studying, the night sky. But maybe I will start. Like the old fellow said, “It’s never too late.” And his wife said, “Better late than never.”

blue moons, harvest moons,
full moons and moon pies,
a moon for every season