Are you a person who can tell a good story? Or explain the general outline of a novel or movie, include one or two compelling anecdotes to make the case for opening your mouth, and no one’s eyes glaze over?
I remember the first time I was conscious of storytelling; it was 1974 and I was all of 10 year’s old. I was at Samantha’s house and she had another friend visiting, Kara. I remember thinking “Kara” seemed like a worldly name, more so than Marsha, Jeff, or Julie-Ann. Maybe it was because Samantha and Kara’s fathers both worked at the nuclear power plant. Splitting atoms and overseeing their cool-water baths stimulated brain activity, clearly.
It was a late winter day and we were walking around our neighborhood. Kara was recounting the movie plot of The Great Gatsby, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. She explained the details of the movie, including Tom Buchanan’s murderous hit and run of his mistress, Myrtle Wilson.
My mother didn’t let me go to movies often, and I hadn’t heard of The Great Gatsby. Being named Kara and having a father who worked at a nuke plant opened up the doors of life, it seemed. Ironically, as I grew older, I became a F. Scott Fitzgerald devotee.
I can sense my blog reader’s eyes glazing over just a bit now. Sorry about that.
When I see a movie or read a book, I think about it and remember it thematically. War and Peace was a “sweeping historical drama, epoch of another time, Russian,” and The Great Gatsby is “an American Jazz Age novel of longing, materialism, and betrayal.”
I saw the documentary film Un Rêve Américain on Wednesday. You can watch the trailer here, it’s in French.
I can’t describe it very well, other than to say it was a “quest” movie.
It’s 8:00 a.m. and the duties of the day are piling up.
I’m sorry I wasn’t able to speak more eloquently about the movie and tell you why it stirred up my own passionate quest for Franco American identity. It’s a disastrous scene here at my old house on the hill. The maple sugar cake I made, the “Oh, Canada” cake, flopped.
DeeHan says I need to invest in cake flour. More than three things went wrong while I was making the cake yesterday; I think it was more than the flour.
DeeHan says it’s not a failure, he says “it’s the process.” He says “cooking is forgiving, baking is not.” He promises to elaborate on this when there’s more time.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”