Circling The Light

Ten years in my Hell’s Kitchen apartment and only this afternoon I discover roof access? How is that possible?

New York, New York: Big City of Anonymity.

Last night’s Tribeca Film Festival offering was a documentary called, “James Benning: Circling The Light.” It painstakingly chronicled avant garde filmmaker James Benning’s creative process. Basically, Benning believes that film, as a technology, has progressed too quickly since its invention some 100+ years gone by. He endeavors to stay true to it’s original capabilities: full-reels of synch sound. So he’ll shoot, say, 2 1/2 minutes of traffic on LA’s 101. Or seven minutes of 16mm at the Salton Sea. It’s patient stuff. It’s meditative. There is little change in the picture. Narrative, if any, is incremental.

Like life. Ten years later, I discover a brand-new, slightly-higher vista on my world just a few steps from my door. What is it about a few extra feet that makes the earth below look so radically different?

And so the week concludes. This quiet Friday finds me some four stories above 56th Street. I have just finished a pizza, and my third beer. I am watching ‘The Last Samurai.’ Though it wasn’t theater fodder for me, I couldn’t miss it. To me, Tom Cruise is my generation’s older brother. As he struggles with his school naivete (‘Risky Business’), so too will I. As he struggles with his place in American history (‘Born On The Fourth of July’), so too will I. His growth, though cinematic and, perchance, cliche, foreshadows mine.

And so, tonight, we wrestle with courage. And so, tonight, we wrestle with honor. And so, tonight, as the world frowns upon our western-hemispherian stripes of red, white and blue, we wrestle with morality.

What to do? Float on: good news is coming.

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