Seeing ‘Donnie Darko’

Drawing of a stylized rabbit head with fangs.

Rabbit rabbit, you’re following Donnie around town instead of him following you physically down a hole, but it’s a different kind of following since Donnie follows your instructions how to avoid the end of the world, strange indeed to go along with the advice of a person wearing a rabbit suit, yet to keep this world alive and kicking — including, of course, your family and friends — following that advice would be worthwhile, and perhaps we shouldn’t care if nobody else can see Frank (or Harvey in another life) or the liquidy columns stretching from some people’s chests and hardly anybody believes in time travel, because if those things are important enough to you that you believe in them while some people scoff at their existence (like the Easter Bunny, unicorns, hope), then believe in them with your heart—we need comforting things around us while some people demean things, perhaps merely to feel superior.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Seeing ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’

by Sigmund/Unsplash

Grown-ups have more power than children in making many decisions — like where to live — and some grown-ups have a great deal of power — like a captain in the military — but a child can have the power to conjure fantastical creatures and talk with them, creatures inspired by the fairy tales she loves to read: printed words peel off pages then flit around then transform into a faun, greedy toad, monster with eyes on his hands, which caused me to wonder why the girl would imagine such creatures and not an array of friendly ones (graceful unicorn and teasing, loving wood sprites), but then I realized she is following the pattern of fairy tales, which don’t describe kids floating on ice-cream clouds of easy lives, but who need to face nasty witches and trolls — so the girl would create similar tests for herself, offering the chance to become the brave heroine who deals with nasty creatures by besting them or eluding them.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Seeing ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’

Photo of a hand holding a milkshake in a tall glass, and a red and white striped straw sticks out of the top of the milkshake.
by Content Pixie/Unsplash

While some women run with the wolves, other women are wolves—in this case: assassins, the main one (Sam, short for Samantha) having followed her mom into the business and is joined by a young girl through a quirk of fate and the young girl shows interest in assassin as a career choice, but thankfully Sam strongly discourages that, and we’re left to wonder (maybe just me) that if Sam’s mom owned a craft foods market, would Sam have followed in that business—but then, they don’t make movies about craft foods markets (or maybe they do, and I’ve missed them), yet that’s a detour I’ve unfortunately taken, which is kinda like Sam’s career, because through her choices, the male-run organization that used to employ her shifts to putting a bounty on Sam’s head, turning her into John Wick with lipstick, which is a nice little rhyme but is unfair because Sam is her own person, not John Wick or Jane Wick or Candle Wick—she’s Sam, short for Samantha, and she’s a wolf you don’t want to mess with.

(Speaking of wolves, the fierce anthology We Are Wolves contains horror short stories by female writers.
My review of the book is here.)

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams

Seeing ‘Paterson’

A street in Paterson, New Jersey, with stores on either side and traffic on the street.
Paterson, NJ (2014) by Jared Kofsky/Wikimedia Commons

A quiet movie of people’s (mostly) quiet lives, showing how a person’s outward appearance can project nothing of their inner life — that a bus driver composes poetry in his head while shuttling passengers from stop to stop — that a cupcake baker also enjoys painting black-and-white patterns around the house and wants to learn how to play guitar — that people can have the urge to craft their thoughts and feelings into a form of art, like a guy practicing a rap in a laundromat; the people we see in life and might not pay much attention to them (waiters, shop clerks, fast food restaurant cashiers), so little attention that they are forgettable the moment we walk away from them — how these people, within the routines of their lives, can harbor deep creativeness that may not make them rich and famous but can make them rich in expression by forming artworks that are inspired by their heroes and have their personal touches (from experiences, opinions), so no other artwork has ever been created that exactly, uniquely matches the one now being crafted.

copyright © 2021 Dave Williams