This is another “prompted” piece from the past, and the prompt was actually a photo, which I posted at the end here. I hadn’t gotten back to my usual lyric writing yet at that time (I was writers’ blocked for a few years), so my reactions to the prompts at this point were editorial-like writings. I thought they might finally get to see the light of day in this forum, hence this and my previous entry.
The Reel Life 8/1/09
Life is a film. A movie, in fact. There’s a beginning, a middle and an end to it, just as any film has. There is even a back story to the beginning, often mysterious at that. There are supporting characters, antagonists, many settings and changes thereof. Life is even like the films that are a series of acts, a la “The Godfather”, “Star Wars”, even “Austin Powers”, though fortunately not as ludicrous.
Many plot twists will occur, ones that the viewers never saw coming, and there also are moments you could predict with your eyes closed and under water. Sometimes the plot develops so quickly you wonder, “How did I get from that scene to this one?” You will even question the meaning to the whole story.
Some of the life-films are epic in their length, while others are tragically short. These life-films don’t generally stick to a genre, rather they flit from comedy to drama, from tragedy to human interest piece, from romance to documentary, from mystery to satire.
There are political scenes, love scenes, revelations, soliloquies. There are monologues, dialogues, denouements, thrills, moments of violence, acts of kindness, and acts of forgiveness.
There are moments when you simply can not wait to get to the next scene. Some scenes are embarrassing, uncomfortable, or strike a chord that hits home. There are also boring moments you wish you could fast-forward.
My good friend Billy said the world’s a stage, and we are its players. Bill never got to see a film, but I think he’d agree with me in this comparison. There was much he understood before his time, before his own ending.
Unfortunately, these films do come to an end, and these endings can be funny, peaceful, sudden or drawn out, horrific, or, extremely rarely, just the way we want them to be. The endings are nearly always unpredictable, but we keep guessing anyway.
Ultimately, the director makes decisions without your consent as to content, duration, theme, and tone, but you can sometimes figure out where the story’s going. You just need to look at it frame by frame.