Passing snapshots

Last week it was wet, cold and miserable. Today it is bright, warm and beautiful, just like yesterday. It feels summery tonight. There’s a residual heat in the air that speaks of summer to come. The mind shifts with that. You feel different. Your expectations change.

Here I am then sitting at my Mac typing away at it a little after 10pm. I’ve just from watching the last two-thirds of Chinese Box. It’s not a big movie. Most people won’t know it. It’s a movie I liked enough once to download it and burn onto a DVD.

Tonight I caught it on cable. That’s how I found it the first time maybe 6-7 years ago. You know, you flick between stations boredly. You land on a program that you haven’t seen before. You pause to watch a bit more and you think, this looks interesting. You watch a bit more. Something clicks in you. You’re not so bored anymore. The newspaper you were reading is set aside. Slowly your attention focuses to a point centred on the screen. That’s how it was the first time I saw this.

I watched tonight and found something of the same. I was surprised, and glad. I was drawn into the movie, the movie itself, and my memory of it – and perhaps something of the memory of the years intervening. Here comes the same river, and I step into it again.

There’s something about this movie that really resonates with me personally. It’s set in Hong Kong. Jeremy Irons is a world-weary journalist. He falls for woman who owns a bar. In the background there is another woman he wants to write a story about. And then there is his health, which will degenerate critically.

The backdrop is Hong Kong itself, one of my favourite cities in the world. It made such a vivid impression upon me that a lot of it seems familiar to me in the viewing, in spirit if not actual place. I could sooner live there than somewhere like KL, livable as that is.

So I’m there and watching the movie and I can sympathise with the Irons character, and know dead-set I’d probably fall for the same woman if I were in his shoes, and sort of envy something that feels so real to him initially, then to both of them. In the end it’s a quietly sad movie that leaves you wistful. It feels authentic on a little stage. A snapshot.

So I come to write again feeling the warmth prickle on me and my own mind going back. I’ve got plenty of those snapshots in my life. Some of them are here. It’s the authenticity now, I yearn for.


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