Tag Archives: Spock

Mourning in the Movies

29 Jun

This past week, I watched The Godfather on the big screen with my dad and my nephew. Obviously, it is a great movie, and I have seen it many times. However, this time was different. In a dark theater with no distractions, I was able to focus on details  that I had missed and also fully enjoy some of my favorite scenes.

One of those scenes is the funeral of Don Corleone. Movie funerals have always fascinated me. Usually, they are essential to the plot, but that does not have to be the case. For me, a well filmed funeral scene stands out, and I do not know why. Perhaps, it is because a movie funeral makes the film more realistic. It could be because it provides the ceremony of a funeral without a person really being dead. It could simply be the drama of it all. Whatever the case, some of my favorite scenes are funerals.

The funeral of Don Corleone is especially good because of all the underlying consequences. The heads of the other families get out of their limousines for the burial of the Godfather while they are plotting to bury the entire Corleone empire. Michael knows a betrayal is coming but does not know who the culprit will be. As people mourn his father, Michael is set up to be assassinated by Sgt. Fish from Barney Miller.Godfather

Another great movie funeral actually involves an assassination. Before Paul McCartney sings the iconic theme song. Before Jane Seymour makes her appearance as a Bond Girl. Before Roger Moore makes his debut as James Bond. Before all of that, an American agent is killed in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He watches as a jazzy funeral procession passes by and does not realize until too late that it is his funeral.Jazz

With that, Paul McCartney is cued to sing, and Live and Let Die begins.

Before the death of the agent, the jazz band is playing “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” a traditional gospel song. Other movies have also used well-known religious songs to great effect. This is where I have something to confess. In my mind, one of the most beautiful sounds in the world is “Amazing Grace” being played on a bagpipe, and no movie does this better than Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. As Spock is buried in space, Scotty plays the pipes.Spock

Then, Spock is shot into a dead planet that immediately springs to life.

I guess that you could say Spock went out in a Blaze of Glory. That can also be said Valeria, Conan’s girlfriend in Conan the Barbarian. After being killed by a poison snake arrow fired by James Earl Jones, Valeria is mourned by Conan and burned on a funeral pyre. The wizard thinks the pyre will not burn, but the fury of Arnold makes it burn.Funeral Pyre

Another dramatic exit took place in V for Vendetta, the graphic novel inspired story of a masked terrorist. When he dies, his muse, played by Natalie Portman, puts him on a train filled with explosives and flowers.Vendetta

She then sends it down the tracks toward Parliament. Once there, he finishes what Guy Fawkes started way back in 1605.

As far as funerals for graphic novel anti-heroes go, V has nothing on The Comedian from The Watchmen. His death drives the plot of the movie, but there is more greatness. It is a miserably rainy day.Comedian

The other anti-heroes show up. ┬áDr. Manhattan even wears a suit. However, those are not even the best parts. “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel plays over the scene to greater effect than it did that scene in The Graduate.

Then, there is the mourner who hides during the service. My favorite movie funeral scenes have someone watching from the distance who feels like they should stay away. Once everyone leaves, they go to the grave for their own private ceremony. In The Watchmen, Rorschach is the outsider who moves in after the fact.

In Cooley High, it is Preach who comes upon Chochise’s grave after everyone else has gone. This is another awesome scene. A drunken Preach reads a poem over the grave as a classic tune plays over the scene.Preach

Then, he wads up the paper and takes off into the gloom. This movie is also cool because it tells what happens to the characters as they grow older.

Alright, those are cool, but my favorite funeral scene with a distant viewer is in a western called The Sons of Katie Elder. The sons have come back home for the funeral of their mother. There preacher says some great words, and mourners tell the sons how great their mother was. However, one son is missing. He is a gunslinger who does not need to make a public appearance. He is John Wayne, and he is standing in the rocks looking down on the funeral.Katie Elder

John Wayne is also part of another great movie funeral. As his family is being buried in The Searchers, the Duke shuts down the ceremony because the time for praying is over.Searchers

The time for vengeance has arrived.

The time to end this post has also arrived.

The Day the Christmas Tree Adventure Began

9 Dec

For several days, we have been waiting for the opportunity to put up the Christmas tree. Several things have been getting in the way, but today was the day that everything came together. Excitement filled the air as we started the process of putting everything together.

My stepdaughter came up with the idea of having a real tree. It was a great suggestion because there is something special about a real tree. We had them a few times as I was growing up, and I can remember how good they smelled. However, a real tree meant some other things had to be done. We needed to get new lights because the artificial tree has its own lights. We also needed to get a stand that would handle a real tree.

We headed out to Target to get the stuff before picking out a tree. The day started out well. There was a great lunch. We were having fun pushing the cart through Target and making our way to the Christmas corner. We got a bunch of lights before checking out the ornaments.

That’s when things got a little dicey. I guess we all had a different idea about decorating the tree. My wife wanted something traditional with traditional colors. I guess traditional is the right word. I wouldn’t call it fancy, but I would say that she wanted something nice.

My stepdaughter was thinking of something fun and colorful. That sounded good to me because I have always thought Christmas should be fun. Without realizing that there was a difference of opinion, I said something about fun and colorful being a good idea. Hindsight by the pound is cheaper than foresight. In hindsight, I should have just let them work it out.

We went with the colorful ornaments, but I wasn’t finished saying things that I should have kept to myself. My wife had been talking about flocking the tree, and I had a question about it. If we were getting a real tree, then why would we put fake snow on it? That seems to defeat the purpose of getting a real tree. If that’s the case, then shouldn’t we just get a fake tree that was already flocked? As you can imagine, the release of my inner Spock didn’t go over very well. Now, I know what to do with my inner Spock – keep him innered.Spock 2

With the trimmings purchased, it was time to purchase the tree. There a couple of places near the house, and we picked one of them. By this time, the cold precipitation of the past few days was coming back. We walked through the forest of cut trees and picked one out. The guys who ran the tree stand looked something like these guys.Deliverance

Don’t know them? Well, they like banjo music and Ned Beatty.

We got out of the woods better than Burt Reynolds with a bow and a canoe.

The tree is in the garage drying from the rain, and the Christmas tree adventure will continue tomorrow. Hopefully, I will convince my wife to flock the tree before then.

Logically, It’s for the Poet

8 Oct

When this blog began, the front page of WordPress was a listing of those blogs which had been chosen as “Freshly Pressed”. I found several blogs to follow by squeezing the melons in that section. Now, the front page of WordPress has changed to some sort of sliding pictorial format.

Example, “For the Foodie” slides into “For the Photographer”. I suppose that the slides show potential bloggers the variety of things they can write about in the WordPress world. It’s an alright front page, but there is one thing that I have a question about.

Why does “For the Poet” have a picture of Spock in a wig?