Creativity is alive and well within me. All forms and shapes of art have been welcome since the days I’d hang on to my mother’s dress, fearful of strangers at our door. Cinematography captured my attention since cartoons would dance in the shape of elephants, performing a complicated ballet with classical background music to help the dancer along her way, twisting and twirling. Normally, after a certain age, children let go of their love for cartoons and move on to more adult adventures. I didn’t get the memo. Into my thirties, I would still wake up on Saturdays, after a long week at work, and turn on the cartoons. So I love cartoons. It’s a harmless joy. Parallel with my love and admiration for cartoons is my mind grasping at the stories in movies. What a feast! Black and white film offers textures and shadows we seldom have an opportunity to experience. Color film is color film. Who could want more? When I view a film, I see it entirely and go back often to revisit the film in case I missed something or if maybe something happened while the film slept. I’m a believer that the best music written in the last century and a half is tucked away at the end of movies while they entice us to watch the credits of the hard-working minds and hands that created this piece of art. The cinematography is the battleground where the story unfolds. The score is the rhyme and reason that keeps our eyes and ears on the screen while scenes change. There is a story, there is a visual background for this story to evolve, and there is a musical score that keeps our brainwaves in the mood the director is seeking. Let’s not go crazy; the story is the main character. Then you have actors and actresses. They fascinate me, not because of their brand value. Who they ‘sleep’ with is of no relevance to me. I live in awe of their ability to peel off their skin, hide their ego, and metamorphose into someone foreign. Some actors and actresses are more incredible than others. Denzil Washington and Meryl Streep appear to use controlled facial expressions to convey emotions they do not show. How on Earth do they do this? I wish I knew. In the movie The Manchurian Candidate, when Ms. Streep is bathing her son, the closeup of her face tells a long and sordid story. She doesn’t move a muscle in her lovely face. Are we reading her mind? Is she capable of mass mental telepathy? It sure feels that way. Mr. Washington is equally gifted in changing his persona into the character the storyteller has trusted with his talents. “Training Day” shows off this talent as he converts himself into a dark, corrupt, and soulless person. It won him an Academy Award.
I often wonder what the performers dream about. Do they dream as themselves, or do they continue to become other people? They are living, walking art.
In my voracious appetite for new visual input, I, just like most people, look for new things to watch. I cruise around Netflix and other streaming services, taking inventory of what I’ve watched and want to revisit and what is new in movie town. It suddenly dawned on me that I have never followed the superhero movies. Going all the way back to Superman, Batman, the guy that walks walls, and all those cartoon characters. For someone in love with cartoons, my lack of interest in cartoons made into movies suddenly surprised me. Why? I just looked over them as if they didn’t exist. I never do that. I pondered on this for a couple of weeks, and the answer to my question revealed itself. I’m into the dark side. My heroes are the creatures and monsters that lurk under your bed. It’s possible that I am in love with Gary Oldman for his portrayal of Dracula. Frankenstien and I would definitely be good and close friends. Any creature from the swamp is welcome into my home. The monster that won my heart forever is The Creature in the series Penny Dreadful. At some point, she tells him that he may be the most human being she has ever met. I concur.
Your superheroes are lovely, but my creatures are real. Superman and Wonder Woman would never befriend me. Maybe because I do not need rescuing? I don’t know. Frankenstein and I would discuss how he came to be pieced together, and it is worth the pain to once again be alive. The Creature and I would recite poetry, drink wine, and cry. With my friends Frankenstein and The Creature, I would see light at the end of the tunnel. Their friendship offers something superheroes cannot: feet on the ground, love in our hearts, and fire in our stomachs.
Thank you for reading.