Friday, April 25, 2014

Journal Entry and Golden Door

I lasted exactly 53 minutes on my work shift today. Cancelled tomorrow's shift and headed back home to bed again. This is the 5th straight day of being brought down by the dreaded vertigo/flu/sinus infection/cold/ whatever-the-fuck-it-is,-too-miniscule-to-matter,-too-awful-to function disease of mine.

It IS getting better. It was just so bad that better is still not close to functional.

The GOOD news is that I have an interview on Monday for another job. A sit-at-a-desk-with-a-calculator kind of job. Oh Lordy, let it be a good one.

This being-in-bed business has only one up side. It's so boring that even bad movies on my Roku hold some appeal. In the past five days, I've snoozed through a LOT of them. But today I actually watched one that really caught my mood, my attention, my sensibility. A really GOOD film.

It's an Italian film called "Golden Door" (but should have been translated "New World" from "Nuovomundo" )directed by Emanuele Criasese. This is the synopsis online:

Desperate and poor Sicilian family seeks a way out, and, having heard reports of rivers running in milk and coins falling off of trees, leave their stony rural cottage and buy passage to America. The trip to the boat, aboard the boat, and at Ellis Island is one of wonder and hope and usually very little dialogue. A magical movie that succeeds in illustrating the other, humble, ordinary and tough passage to the new world without mafia dons or violence. The huge disadvantage of illiteracy is beautifully illustrated here, and the risks associated with leaving behind everything. Amazing, touching, real. The customs and rules of early 20th century already seem archaic, even though it was less than 100 years ago.

For example, in the film, single women were not permitted entry into the US, which is why Lucy was seeking a man to marry.

What made the film magical is that it was a film of visuals, using the camera to convey the magical realism that exists in people's heads, like the pictures above/below. The Sicilian kids believing that American produce is GARGANTUAN and that rivers are filled with milk.

Agnes Godard uses the power of cinematography in ways that are thrilling and charming. A visual feast. One of my favorite scenes was the ship pulling away from the harbor (on its way to America). The deck is crammed with immigrants and the wharf is crammed with the people left behind. They face each other, are crammed together seemingly, a sort of gray portrait of faceless masses facing each other, huddled masses, if you will -- and THEN the ship slowly pulls away from the dock...and the division of the two groups slowly unfolds, and just strikes the right chord for a dozen different emotions about leaving the old country, about separation from all they knew, about the luck of the draw, about the great divide in all of our lives...well, it was just one of those moments!

Well, you might think I've ruined the film for you, with too much information. But, no. Rent it immediately. It's a little treasure.

Or I'm just so damned sick that something that's not mediocre really rocks my universe!?

But someone else liked it too: Here's a much better review than mine! Wesley Morris says it with the reverence I feel! Review online ##


  1. Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. See the link below for more info.


    1. Thanks for dropping by. I'll check out that link!