listening to nino rota

i’m listening to nino rota soundtracks for fellini films

and I am transported back

to happier times

times without care

times of hope

times when a good future beckoned

 

the music reminds me

not so much of fellini

but of other films

that I would see at

the various revival houses

scattered around los angeles

 

ah, that phrase

revival house

sounds religious doesn’t it

well, why not

the movies

are the mythology of the world

and los angeles is rome

to hollywood’s vatican

a religious experience indeed

 

when i went to the revival houses

not so many years ago

my favorite film makers

spoke to the human heart

asked questions about what

we find right and wrong

moral and just

in this world of ours

 

and i would come away

feeling that at least

there was some

common language

for decency

for hope

 

now

i can’t watch the films

of some of my favorite film makers

because they have revealed themselves

to be so badly flawed

so hypocritical

that i cannot believe

anything that they put on the screen

 

lesser film makers

more cynical

more base

but more honest

being cynics

offer no hope

just a belly laugh

at our fate

 

the old revival houses are shuttered

just as churches are closing down

all across the country

the revival houses

stopped showing movies

stopped sharing dreams

and turned into stores

to sell carpets

and then smart phones

and then 99-cents or less

and then closed for good

like a cemetery

dug up

and bulldozed over

for a freeway

 

i look

at my neighbors

and people

whom i called

my friends

and ask

who are you

where are the good spirits

the camaraderie

we shared

in those dark theaters

under those glorious dreams

where are they

 

there is a new spirit

stalking the land tonight

and it is ugly

and selfish

not giving a damn

for others

or the pain

it has imposed

an ugly spirit

sucking everything

into a deep dark void

of self interest

not realizing

like a snake

consuming

its own

tail

that

it

is

damning

itself

 

i hear nino rota’s joyous music

and I want to be

back in that time

when we sat

in the dark

and shared

a tear

and a laugh

nuart flyer edit

Writing Report, July 25, 2016

Thinkage