On being larger than life

My family was troubled, to say the least.

As a defensive move I attempted to miniaturize life into something I might be able to manage better than they did. I now realize the futility of that approach.

My formative years.

My formative years. I loved dad’s Buick.

Today I watched the 1993 movie Sirens again. I have seen it many times. The movie, besides containing a lot of delicious nudity, is about recognizing the scale on which life happens.

Where do we learn life? I think we learn much of it at the movies. At least that is true for me. Public schools teach algebra. Employers teach time clocks, or the executive equivalent. I much prefer what the best movies can teach me.

Movies, the best of them, anyway, teach us that life is bigger than we give it credit for.

There is no particular plot in Sirens so much as a general observation of the process by which the Campions are gradually transformed into warmer and more inquisitive partners.—Roger Ebert

Hugh Grant’s character learns to appreciate the role of women in the life of human beings. That is a lesson our “real” world has not learned. This movie is a valuable resource in that effort, and I recommend it highly.

The larger message in this post is that we have been taught to miniaturize our experience of life. The results are catastrophic. Other famous films that address this aspect of human experience include Field of Dreams, It’s a Wonderful Life, A League of Their Own, and Doc Hollywood.There are many, many more.

In the hands of another director Sirens might be less subtle in its style and more concerned with some kind of erotic payoff.—Roger Ebert

If you are still defining a real sense of what life-size looks and feels like I recommend great films.

Please share your favorite life-enhancing movies in the comments section.

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