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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Movie Theology

I had computer trouble today. Upon returning home after a mere two-hour absence, I found my favorite browser reluctant to connect to anything Google. So my fingers began flying faster and faster across the keyboard, initiating scans and reconfiguring settings, to where I could barely follow their flurries. After an hour, problem was solved by placing masking tape over a 3/4 inch area of the touchpad where the heel of my hand rests and fouls things up. Then Firefox allowed me to sign into YouTube without telling me it was a "suspicious site!".  I was delighted by what I found there.

Several years ago, I posted an early scene in my favorite Movie Theology film. It is called variously, Stairway To Heaven and A Matter of Life and Death. It was made three years before I was born. I first saw the film as a kid and it got me started on movie theology. Until this most recent visit to YouTube, I had only found snippets of the work, but this time found the whole film, which is posted under the next paragraph.

It begins with a brief survey of the universe, which the gentle-voiced narrator describes as "rather fine".  From there we are drawn into an amazing scene, an aviator calmly watches his airborne craft ruin in fire around him while uttering these lines into his transmitter: the next world starts "...where this one leaves off, or could leave off if we'd listened to Plato, Aristotle and Jesus --with all our earthly problems solved, and greater ones worth solving...are you pretty?"

A Matter Of Life And Death:



And, of course a very young Kim Hunter is quite pretty. I hope you'll enjoy the film (before its assignment to Public Domain is yet again disputed). This post of it celebrates recovery from my laptopical lapse, and tests the proposition that Providence favors the diligent digital defender --I played the keyboard fortissimo-- against cyber-rebellion, even when the problem is solved with masking tape.

23 comments:

  1. You have discovered the true meaning of life. Perseverance to solve a problem gave you an extra reward by giving you access to something you had been missing.

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    1. Uncertain about life's true meaning beyond it having much to do with learning. And yes, errant technology must finally give way to masking tape.

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  2. Dear Geo., I saw the very contrast programme today: "The Brand New Testament" - which I thought hilarious and poetic, but nor reverent. I loved it though.

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    1. Dear Brigitta, I have just read a synopsis of "Le Tout Nouveau Testament" and am totally intrigued by God's problems with His daughter. Hilarious that He gets deported to Uzbekistan!

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    2. It was really, really funny (in a special French way; a bit like "Amélie", though quite, quite different) - I loved the unexpected poetic coincidences, the joie de vivre, the acceptance how people are. After the film people went out with a smile on their face (and before sat till the very end of closing credits).
      Of course it is a risk to recommend a film (or a vacany place, or a book) - I can only say I was enchanted.

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  3. My computer woes are often so numerous that they induce migraines and maniacal behavior. I'm glad that you solved this one with masking tape - - rather than with an ax.

    I know a lot about films and Hollywood, but I've never heard of "A Matter of Life and Death" (...sounds like it's computer-related....). I'll try to watch it, before it's deleted....

    Word of advice:
    If you find anything on YouTube that you'd like to watch, do so IMMEDIATELY, because it probably won't be there the next time you look.

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    1. Excellent advice, Jon. Hope you enjoy the film. A bit of trivia: I notice the role of Bob Trubshawe is a combination of 2 of Niven's friends --the real Trubshawe, Michael, who served with Niven and became a lifelong friend, and the character of Trubshawe, Bob, who was portrayed by Robert Coote.

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  4. Adding masking tape to my Fix All tool kit, along with the packing tape, the duct tape, and the WD40 (or in a pinch, Pam cooking spray).

    I enjoyed the movie very much. Reminds me of Heaven Can Wait.

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    1. An excellent array of remedies in your Fix All kit, Jenny. And I'm so glad you enjoyed the film! There is something enchanting and poetic in the idea that a teardrop contains "love and truth and friendship" and can change the verdict of celestial forces.

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  5. I started watching the film. Another wonderful find, thank you for that.
    I intend to get back to it soon. Your classic film tips are terrific.

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    1. Thanks, Tom. So pleased you're enjoying it. I seldom post a whole film but this one was so well done and made such an impression long ago that it recommended itself.

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  6. Geo-
    My second response. I finished viewing the delightful film. It has been years since I've seen David Niven and that was enjoyable too. I wonder if a young Rod Serling saw Stairway to Heaven. Again, thanks for a great tip.

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    1. I feel certain Serling was well-schooled in Movie Theology. His writing reflected a fascination with the fantastic, the everyday mysteries that couldn't be entirely refuted by reason.

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  7. it has been said that duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
    tape, in all its various forms is a wondrous thing.
    well, that, and disposable plastic tablecloths.

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    1. Good point! Israeli physicist Moti Milgrom has made a strong argument suggesting the temporal-spacial universe is elastic. Why not adhesive as well?

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  8. I wish I could say I watched the film, but alas, woodchopping and shoveling took up much of the day, along with naps.
    Kim Hunter.....Stella! Took a moment to make the connection.
    And David Nevin....I think he had his own bedroom in the Hearst Castle, not far from you (relatively).
    I want to be the James Bond he portrayed in the original Casino Royale. Or Raymond, in Bonjour Tristesse.
    Oh, and just a small comment on your reply above....elasticity and adhesive are usually the opposite in terms of qualities....elasticity implies a certain 'slipperyness' on the part of the molecules, needed to stretch. Adhesive molecules are 'sticky cell' molecules that facilitate binding.
    Sorry.

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    1. No "Sorry" required, Mike. The phenomenon is still under review and promises to be for quite some time. My reference to Milgrom is from 10-15 years ago when old space probes were inexplicably decelerating at the edge of the solar system. His Modified Newtonian dynamics(MOND)proposed force of gravity deviates from the traditional Newtonian value to a very different force law at very low accelerations at 10−10 m/s2. He was looking for a reason apart from the gravitationally ampliative effects of dark matter --hence a quality of spacetime both elastic and adhesive. Milgrom favored a cosmological equation that predicted the effect without dragging dark matter into it, at which point I was distracted by shiny matter and will resume thinking when recovered.

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  9. Our computers hum along beautifully most of the time, making it all that much more frustrating when they start hitting a bunch of sour notes. For the past week, we've had an issue with the Internet kicking our tushes offline, requiring a reset... and another reset...and another... It happened so often, I started thinking about how I could reeeeeally "boot" the computer. Seems like Southern Bell has finally fixed the problem, because so far, no problems today. And I didn't even have to use any duct tape. (If the problem had continued, I might have had to use the tape on my own mouth, if ya get my drift...)

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    1. When technology goes haywire we realize how powerful it is, and how much it affects our emotions. Hope Southern Bell's wards will hold and not just go "fiddle-dee-dee" like Margaret Mitchell's southern belle.

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  10. Just looking in to wish you a Happy 2016, since I am almost entirely lost in an offline writing fog (a good kind of lost, very productive!) Masking tape is marvellous but OMG that film! I've been in love with it since I was tiny and own a copy still on an almost worn out DVD. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. Let's both have a happy year! I'm pleased we have a favorite film in common --mine's on VHS-- and wish you every success with your writing project.

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  11. Watching the opening of this movie, I can see why you like it.

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    1. So pleased you're enjoying it, Sage. Hope it helps distract somewhat from your recent leg injury.

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