Tag Archives: film

From Easter Cometh the Wise Man

DSCN0355This year’s Easter feels different, perhaps because 2016 is an election year. Less the customary Easter weekend of peace and spirituality, it’s caucuses, delegates and speeches that capture attention. Brightly lit stages spotlight well-dressed politicians addressing hysterical followings. (That the politicos resemble various dark horses and lame ducks strutting around a field of wildly chirping chicks is probably just coincidence.)

Perhaps not so ironic then, my annual spring viewing of Ben-Hur, the 1959 MGM masterpiece about the life of Judah Ben-Hur, just took on all new meaning, starting with the famous chariot race scene.

Roman citizens storm the bloodied sand on the huge coliseum racecourse. Flailing their wings in hysterical delight, hundreds dash toward Hur, their new charioteer hero. Despite a smashing victory over several chariot teams, Hur remains calm, caressing the four white stallions who led the way, horses who also crushed fallen foe Messala under their hooves.

Pontius Pilate, Rome’s leader, awaits arrival of the new champion. Ascending Pilate’s emperor box, Hur’s face glistens from sweat, accentuating expressions of humility, exhaustion and pride, contrasting stony Pilate, Rome’s grey-haired figurehead clothed in fine woven fabrics.

“A great victory. You are the people’s one true God,” Pilate tells Hur. “For the time being.”

Pilate rises from his throne and approaches Hur.

“I crown their God!” he proclaims, placing a leaf circlet on Hur’s bowed head.

The crowd noise is deafening. Having used strength of character, intelligence and humility to stay alive against so many odds thus far, and now utilizing his mighty courage in the arena, Hur has suddenly accumulated power and status beyond the imaginable. His headdress now accentuates a new countenance – fear.

~

Messala’s trampled body, what’s left of it, is strapped to a table below the coliseum’s ground level. Through wretches and groans echoed across the dark chamber’s cool air, Messala begs the surgeon, “Cut the legs off me, but not before I’ve seen him – in full body.” Amputating legs in an effort to save his life is less important than presenting a strong image to Hur, a boyhood friend disenchanted with Messala’s eventual entry into the Roman power politics game.

Hur slowly enters the room and approaches Messala’s bedside space, the scene of a broken man he once respected, the same soldier he’s crushed and beaten in the heat of competition.

Strained whispers utter, “Triumph complete, Judah. You have crushed the enemy.”

“I see no enemy here.”

“You think they’re dead, your mother and sister, and the race over. It isn’t over, Judah.”

He knows what he’s about to say will crush Hur, the admission that Rome secretly sent his mother and sister to leper colonies long ago to live out their lives in misery.

“It goes on, Judah, the race … is not over.” Exhaling his last sentence through withered, useless lips, Messala has gotten in the last word.

~

Egocentrism is the personality trait that all people with great political power share. It was necessary to get to the top before, and is today, particularly in America with the political system as currently structured. Gone here are the days of tyrannical leaders trampling bodies to get to the top. What we have instead are intelligent and educated people (savvy, sometimes ruthless and charismatic if nothing else) – Hilary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Bush, Cheney, Reagan. ‘Winners’ all, but I don’t trust them.

Often, the wisest people are those who chose neither to follow nor lead. They follow their hearts. In that way, they do good for the world.

Ben Hur was too good for the political arena he had entered.

DSCN0356

It’s ironic the actor chosen to play Judah Ben Hur was Charlton Heston, figurehead for the politically powerful National Rifle Association.

Ego riding the wheels of charisma will take you anywhere you want to travel – or chirp.

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Clear Sight As Only A Shop Teacher Can Give

010How is anyone to know in seventh grade what they’ll be when they grow up? From my school experiences to that point, the one thing I did know was that the last thing I ever wanted to be was a teacher. Bland, boring, there didn’t seem much to appreciate about them. Until I met my Industrial Arts instructor.

Mr. Silvey. The entertainer.

On the first day of class, with his thick, black southern accent, I listened to Old Man Silvey modify, if not maul, student names during roll call.

“An, An, An–a, Anabird?”

“Here,” I said.

“Bear, Bear-a, Bear-a-Bear-a Bearatrone?

“Here,” Bertron said.

“Cor,  Cor, Cordit, Cordedreedio?”

“Si,” Peppy Cordero said. Shy, reclusive Peppy was Eastern Junior High’s only Mexican. Because of Mr. Silvey’s pronunciation, however, Peppy was now known as Cordedreedio to everyone in class, perhaps the whole school.

By the time Mr. Silvey got to the end of the alphabet and, “Val, Val, Val-val-val-val Stee Val?” – the real Steve Val looked impressed Mr. Silvey had gotten a name just about right.

After roll, Mr. Silvey kept the enunciation Olympics going, describing to the class the great shop project he saved for last every year, the  “the dee … dee … dee … fis shape coin holda … widda  … fell-cova unnerside like you see here, boys.” As I watched him stroke the smooth shellac coating of what we interpreted to be something called a deep fish-shaped coin holder he displayed in his hand, I knew I had to make one of these fine, wood products.

Then came the second day, the real first day of Mr. Silvey’s Industrial Arts course.

Sitting at my workbench, I watched Mr. Silvey snap shut his attendance book and announce, “Na, na, naz time for … film, ah ‘Warnin’: Safey Firs,’ boys.”

“Uh no,” the tall, pimply guy sitting next to me said. “Not ‘Safety First.’ Last year, three guys left class to go to the nurse after watchin’ that film. One kid didn’t make it and puked everywhere.”

“Puked? From watching the film?”

“Believe me, I saw it. Some real gory shit.”

“What, the puke?”

“No, the blood ‘n guts ‘n all. You’re gonna die watchin’ this film.”

If the film was that gruesome, it’d make somebody throw up today for sure, which would make me do a rebound throw up. I made up my mind I’d close my eyes through the entire movie.

And I did. Almost. I peeked. Twice. The first time, I saw a giant, curly-shaped burr get shot out from a two ton drill machine that mangled some kid’s face. The second peek, a grisly operation on the kid’s eyeball, followed by another operation on a kid’s arm, shredded to fibers from an even worse shop catastrophe.

When silence filled the room and the lights came on, I scanned for pale, puke-prone faces and wobbly gaits, but saw kids celebrating the film instead, reveling in real life gore. How sick. I didn’t get it. With all the blood and guts, why would anyone want to be in this class, let alone teach it? This is “art?” Who is Mr. Silvey?

For weeks after, the only power machine I got near was the soft cloth buffer. Not only unthreatening to life or limb, students who operated the buffer didn’t have to wear safety goggles, and ours were disgusting. Who knew who put the oily layer of skuzz all over them? Some geek with acne? A kid with flu? One of the grease balls guidance counselors dumped in shop classes every year?

In choosing so many buffer projects, I never got to make the coveted end-of-year fish-shaped coin holder. A lot of guys in class saw me as slow; Mr. Silvey did not. Instead, he encouraged me with what I could do. Come May, sensing my interest in the unpopular, mundane plastic envelope project, Mr. Silvey gave me the project’s plans, master template and my very own bright green piece of plastic pulled from his personal locked cabinet of materials.

By the end of his course, I saw Mr. Silvey not as a teacher with oddities, but man of empathy, enthusiasm. He reached me. He got it. He was my favorite teacher.

Bored in all my other classes, I drew caricatures of teachers during lectures. Caricatures of the male instructors came easiest. They fashioned outrageous sideburns, moustaches and beards – even nose and ear hair if they could grow it.
It wasn’t long before I’d identified a curious subset of middle-aged, balding instructors who exhibited something I labelled “the angle of incidence = the angle of reflectance” principle. This rule posited that teachers with little hair above the eye line had more forced hair growth below it, suggesting the angle of reflected bald head surface above equaled the greater incidence of hair below. And, interestingly enough, I found that the angle of incidence rule was true mostly of math and science teachers (fortunately only the males).

Wasn’t this the work of a true genius, a student far from average, with tremendous art ability to boot? Except for Mr. Silvey, none of my teachers saw this. I didn’t get it. And why did anyone become a teacher if he wasn’t interested in inspiring students to do something great, or at least, motivate them to be the best they could be?

Mr. Silvey cared. He helped me see how teachers could motivate students: in his case, much through an entertaining delivery as anything else. I saw how important teacher inspiration was to student learning and, in the process, it angered me how teachers failed to motivate students. In fact, it angered me a lot. You could say it even motivated me.

How was I to know eighteen years later I’d be a teacher? Go figure. I even taught art, all a reflection upon one very entertaining and empathetic instructor – Mr. Rozell Silvey.

This was an excerpt from the chapter, “Education,” in my memoir, Maybe Boomer.

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Labor Day, 1955: Raining on the Picnic, Not the Film

TrainDuet800documnt 48bit dust152Not a drop of rain falls. Even though the river rolling through the peaceful town is muddy, nothing deters the community from celebrating their beloved Labor Day picnic.

This idyllic community celebration is the primary setting of “Picnic,” the 1955 film starring William Holden and Kim Novak, the story of one day in the life of a rural gathering of middle-class folk in mid-America during the mid-twentieth century. The sunny day shines happiness on everyone during the all American holiday, from toddler to great-grandmother.

Enter the drifter, fresh off hitching the rails, and the day begins.

After sowing wild oats for years, the drifter, Hal (William Holden), one-time football player and big shot, says he’s ready to settle down, and this place is it – Small Town America, USA.

Looking for work, he befriends a family and boarders who live in their house. By noon, the entire household has headed down to the huge picnic at river’s edge.

What fun: the 3-Legged Walking Contest, the Pie Eating Contest, the Girl Carrying Contest. A Talent Show, too, not to mention music from Ernie Higgins and the Happiness Boys.

So what’s making young, pretty Madge (Kim Novak) so moody? She has the handsome drifter’s eye, that’s for sure. Better yet, the town’s richest, most eligible bachelor, is after her.

What about her sister, Millie (Susan Strasberg), who’s edginess is obvious with every move? She has a foolish tomboy look no one really pays attention to, but she’s going to college – not Madge.

Is Rosemary (Rosalind Russell), one of the house boarders, angry because she’s an aging, single, schoolteacher when in reality she’s got more life and spunk than twenty others her age?

And why has Hal started to turn after tasting the sweet allure of peaceful small town life?

After all, their Labor Day picnic has everything. The Trained Seal Game, a sort of ring toss contest where women toss rings at the stems of Tootsie Roll Pops protruding from mouths of men on bended knees with hands tied behind their back.

The Needle in a Haystack Contest: boys diving willy-nilly into a huge stack of dusty, dirty hay for nickels, dimes and quarters the older men have thrown in.

The Talent Show, complete with stifled teens singing corny standards and barbershop quartet numbers. Nearby, a cute baby grimaces. Or is it a scoff?

The Balloon Bursting Contest: Which contestant can blow up a balloon to pop first? The long, nerve-wracking tension is broken with a ka-boom, and another baby cries.

But, of course, there’s always the constant upbeat sound of Ernie Higgins and the Happiness Boys lingering in the background.

How could this picnic go so sour?

The entire town bowed to Madge’s beauty. But, from her seat on a rowboat sailing slowly upon the dark water, Madge seemed ashamed by the throng’s gushing, repulsed she’d just been crowned Labor Day Queen of Neewolah (Halloween spelled backward).

The big picnic dance seems transcendent. The handsome, muscular drifter danced so sexually, so comfortably with Madge. Was that what made Rosemary uneasy enough to break up the festivities all by herself?

Even Hal and Madge’s secret, moonlit rendezvous down by the river later is less than romantic, more a moment to exorcise personal fears, flaws and demons to each other. Her pose suggests yearning, yet she changes course, looks off, and says, “But we’ve got to get back to the picnic.”

“Do we?” Hal replies, as a train rambles slowly out of town behind them.

In their own separate ways, in this instant of time, Hal and Madge have realized something. And with it, the dare is on. The train, a vehicle for change, beckons each to go. By stepping up on it, riding the rails, is there life and hope beyond this town?

No, not if they if they’re looking for a better version of it, because there is no town like this. It doesn’t exist. If it did, it would surely be composed of hollow, blind followers.

“Picnic” author William Inge deliberately injects scenes into his story to beg scrutiny about this American utopia. Those boys in the haystack, America’s youth, diving blindly after money. Other youth, bottled up into singing safe and soulless music that won’t offend the elders in control. Men, like trained seals, begging for love as if some game. The gluttony of gorging on food – pie – the all American dessert. Libido should be scorned, pushed out of sight, out of mind. Everyone, everything is under control. When will the balloon finally burst?

Inge saw what many in America couldn’t, wouldn’t or didn’t back in 1955. It makes you wonder what we’re not seeing beneath our very noses today, exactly sixty years later.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/k1A1vqmkftw“>http://

For more film articles I’ve written, click the following.

“The Graduate:” https://mikeandberg.com/2014/12/21/graduate-film-college-parents/
“To Kill A Mockingbird:” https://mikeandberg.com/2014/11/02/nostalgia-film-mockingbird/
“American Beauty:” https://mikeandberg.com/2014/09/09/role-models-american-beauty/
The 2015 Oscars (including “Hollywood Express,” my own documentary on Hollywood):
https://mikeandberg.com/2015/02/21/hollywood-oscars-identity/

 

 

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Memorial Day, Mom and Maid Marion

Maid Marion; arroyo dew drops grass 002For me these days, Memorial Day is about recalling memories of my mother, gone ten years now this November. Even as a boy, one who often sized his mom up as the Wicked Witch of the West and Cruella de Vil all in one, I realized Mom was everything, my queen, buried beneath an unfortunate plight.

On one drizzly Saturday afternoon, I stayed inside to watch TV in the basement. Curled up on the couch, basking in the warmth and eternal sunshine of Sherwood Forest, I viewed the entire two hours of The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn as Robin and Olivia deHavilland as Marion. The swashbuckling action and colorful pageantry of the uplifting tale thrilled me. But there was more to the story than that.

I most loved watching the scenes of Robin’s comradeship with the poor townsfolk, and particularly his quest for Maid Marion’s elusive love and attention. Zoned in on this sub-story, only one thing interrupted my focus.

The gentle whir from the sewing machine seemed much louder today than usual. I glanced across the basement at Mom, hunched over in her hard chair, struggling to darn clothes on our antiquated Singer sewing machine.

When I reconnected with Marion on screen, I saw a woman who – under the lavish headbands and finely darned dresses she wore – reminded me of Mom, her pretty face and petite body trying to reveal their selves.

If only Mom smiled more, I thought. When I looked at her, sometimes I wondered if she’d have been happier born in Marion’s times. I wished she could hold herself higher knowing she, too, was pretty and often kind. Like Marion, she stitched her own clothes and made home a court for her king. Had Dad ever noticed her face, her work, her beauty? Why did she take the disrespect, just to be Official Andberg Family Martyr for all her pain and suffering? I hoped one day she’d let loose of the rules, the ties that bound her, to be more joyful like Marion. Mom and Marion were inseparable to me and would be forever, while Robin became my hero instantly, and role model for life.

In his book, “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood,” Howard Pyle wrote, “So passed the seasons then, so they pass now, and so they will pass in time to come, while we come and go like leaves of the tree that fall and are soon forgotten.”

Not forgotten, dear memories of Maid Marion – Mom.

The above excerpt is from my memoir, “Maybe Boomer.

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Get on Board the Hollywood Express

CH 12  Depression sq SELF PORTRAITIn this year’s Oscars where history, genius and war are highlighted subjects among the films nominated for Best Picture, so is identity.

In Whiplash, aspiring drummer Bob Ellis confirms his future desire: “I wanna be one of the greats.” But his mentor and teacher pounds it into Bob’s head the reality of who he is now: “You are a worthless pansy-ass.”

In Boyhood, little Mason struggles with growing up and a father who asks, “What do you want to be, Mason? What do you want to do?”

Still Alice, although not Best Picture-nominated but includes Julianna Moore’s Best Actress nomination performance, centers on a woman with Alzheimer’s whose past identity must define her future’s: “I must stay connected to who I once was. To live in the moment … is all I can do.”

And in Birdman, a struggling ex-megastar suddenly reprises the role that flew him to stardom. “You were a movie star, remember? You’re Birdman!” as if to say, “That’s who you are now and always will be.”

Films are visual expression about one’s identity. The film-making process itself lends itself to questioning who you are even more, or it did for me.

“Quiet on the set. Roll tape. Mike Andberg’s ‘Hollywood Express’ documentary. Take one. Action.”

 

About to graduate film school, my biggest question at the time was, “Do I stay or do I go? Do I move to Hollywood to make films or not?”

I was filled with wonder making the documentary on my first trip to Hollywood. Constrained by a student budget, I packed only twelve minutes of 16 mm film stock for the entire project (from which making an intelligent four-minute film deserves an Oscar for something). I had no agenda but to capture what I thought was interesting about Hollywood.

Rolling ever westward by car from Santa Fe, New Mexico, I asked many questions along the way. “Doesn’t moving ahead to something new mean the loss of something else? Didn’t the people who ventured to Movie Town leave a life behind just to pursue their art? What am I willing to leave behind? Am I even going to Hollywood to make film? – Oh, don’t think so much. Just go.”

Cue the beautiful palm trees, sleek Jaguars and huge billboards driving through Hollywood. “Oh my gosh, this place is amazing. But isn’t it just a fantasy world here?”

Cue downtown Hollywood and Vine. “Oh, come on. Look around. People here are just like regular people walking along the street anywhere. We’re all the same, aren’t we?”

Cue all the people approaching me because I have a movie camera in my hands. “Yeah, but isn’t fame what most people here really want? Is that what I’m after? What do I want to be? What do I want to do?”

It’s funny, isn’t it? I had any subject to choose from in creating my little Hollywood documentary and it wound up being a personal essay about me and what I wanted – or didn’t want – to be.

As it turned out, I never moved to Hollywood. I never pursued film-making. But I learned a lot about myself in the process of deciding I didn’t want to dedicate my life to it, and why.

So, I can’t help it. I hope this years’ Oscars go to films about identity.

 

Image above:  Self Portrait by Mike Andberg, 1996;  24″ x 36″ charcoal on paper

 

 

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Being Benjamin: “The Graduate” – Then and Now (an ode to Mike Nichols)

At the end of the film, “The Graduate,” Benjamin Braddock and Elaine Robinson are running for their lives. Darting into a Santa Barbara municipal bus, barely escaping their parents’ contempt and wrath, Benjamin and Elaine are on their way to living their own lives. Yes! Good for them. They made it. And “The Graduate” will end on a happy note.

But wait. Their jubilant smiles have disappeared. Sitting alone together at the back of the bus, they’re not even talking to each other either. Fade out? Roll credits? The film’s over? What? And who is this Mike Nichols guy?

Mike Nichols was one of the new, young Hollywood directors springing up in the sixties. “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” his directorial debut in 1966, presented controversial social issues rarely seen in Hollywood films then. The following year, “The Graduate” was released on December 21, 1967 – forty-seven years ago today. Sadly, on November 19 of this year, Mike Nichols passed away at 83.

Because of Mike Nichols and the power of “The Graduate,” I saw life through a close-up lens, one that expanded a view of the world I desperately needed at the time. Watching “The Graduate” this week brought back that same hyper-impressionable Mike Andberg, the half-person who, more than anything, wanted to be anyone but himself. Sad, but true. Such is the power of film and how it can be used as a benchmark in life, for better or for worse. I had no idea at the time how Mike Nichols – through his lead character, Benjamin Braddock – would influence me in so many ways.

About to be a freshman at Maryland University, I couldn’t wait to look like Benjamin strolling around campus in a brown corduroy sport coat (just as Benjamin did at Berkeley for what seemed like the entire second half of the film. Hmmm, not a bad way to live life – to stroll, to wander, to drift.) Sadly, I wore baby blue tee shirts under my open corduroy coat, blowing away any sex appeal the jacket may have initiated.

My next goal was finding just the right shades to look like Benjamin. Shopping all over College Park was worth the effort getting my hands on a pair of large, dark-rimmed sunglasses (that really looked nothing like Benjamin’s, nor did I look any more like Benjamin when putting the spectacles on). Wearing them at night was cool, too – perhaps the best pay-off. That’s what Benjamin did.

Since Benjamin shunned the bar scene, so would I. I, like him, preferred to spend my Saturday nights gazing for hours into space, out the window, or through an aquarium, all to the introspective sounds of Simon and Garkunkel’s “Parsely, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” playing in the background.

Being part of the So Cal beatnik scene one day could be cool for me to join, but I’d seen how Benjamin tuned out the hipster crowd at the hamburger drive-in by rolling his ragtop down so he could eat alone with Elaine. That’s what I really wanted – an Elaine. Beautiful girls, beautiful dates, beautiful never-ending campus life. Benjamin (played by Dustin Hoffman) had a big nose; so did I. Benjamin got women; so would I.

Benjamin was a master of casual, deadpan reactions. He even yawned after his big kiss with Elaine. How cool and suave that act was, as if an attitude of “not really needing it (love)” turned women on! To him, marriage was a game. To him, his parent’s marriage was a wreck; Elaine’s was a wreck; in fact, my parent’s marriage was a wreck. It’s best to play it easy with love. And whatever you do, don’t do what your parent’s did.

So, here it is, many years later, and I’ve never married. I’ve also discovered treating women in an unemotional, casual, even-headed and deadpan way never really worked. Neither did it keep me from feeling deep pain when rejected. Even though I eventually dropped use of corduroy coats by day and shades by night, I wonder now how many years I felt far too comfortable as the man who inspired the coat idea in the first place.

I also wonder what took me so long to pay attention to the positive sparks ignited by “The Graduate” – my desire to go west and get away from my native east coast security; to feel the excitement of Hollywood; to experience the warmth of Southern California; to explore the San Francisco area bridges – all images of places introduced to me in the film. Yet, I waited until my forty-third year to go to film school. Forty-fifth to see Hollywood and Southern California. It wasn’t until this September I visited San Francisco and beautiful lower northern California for the first time. In part, this is what became of me.

As for Benjamin and Elaine, one wonders what became of them. Much older and wiser now, I say they probably became just like their conventional, values-depleted, money-oriented parents. Perhaps that was Nichols’ view, too (who, like many things, was far ahead of me in seeing this scenario). Mike Nichols was a visionary and great director.

I’m a film devote and helluva DVD spinner.

I guess I can live with that Mike.

 

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Remember This? The Idyllic World of “To Kill a Mockingbird”


Sometimes I get the urge to house hunt. I go to open house events and savor the dream of owning my own house one day. And sometimes I wonder just what it is I’m looking for, what I’m attracted to, what I’m not, and where my preferences come from.

One of my favorite movies from childhood is “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Although a 1963 film, it’s set in Depression-era Alabama. As a young boy raised in Maryland during the sixties, for some reason, I sensed the days depicted in the film were “better” than the contemporary times I lived in. It was just my reaction to the film when I watched it.

Visiting various open houses last weekend here in Santa Fe, I walked away several times feeling empty. Where were the rose gardens in the front yards? Where were the people mingling in the street, walking to and fro? Where were the houses adorned with porches and stoops and sidewalks welcoming visitors to the front door?

Cue: “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Oh my God, the image of my perfect house is exactly what I viewed in “Mockingbird.” Could I have held on to this image of hallowed house and home for so long?

Yes. That’s exactly the image I still yearn to see. After watching a DVD of the movie later that house-hunting day, I realized I wanted not just the houses, but the streets, the people, the neighborhood, the community – even cranky old Mrs. Dubose. Call me corny, but I still crave the Maycomb, Alabama, I saw in “Mockingbird” with its white, wooden houses and green grass lawns, and apparently have all my life.

Cue: the documentary on “To Kill a Mockingbird” enclosed inside the DVD case. No, the Maycomb in “Mockingbird” was not filmed in Maycomb. It was not even filmed in the South. In fact, it wasn’t a real town, but a movie set. Every house was constructed from scratch and the street built on a Hollywood back lot. What? My entire image of house and home is –  and was – built upon the foundation of a movie set, flats and scene designers handy work?

I viewed “Mockingbird” one more time. Yep – a suspicion come true. Upon closer inspection, beyond the beautiful hickory trees adorning Maycomb’s main street where Scout, Jem and Atticus lived was the beautiful Alabama Mountain Range (er, the San Gabriel Mountains just outside Hollywood). Boy, had I been duped. As a child, even an adult, I never thought to question whether Alabama had big mountains. Or I consciously didn’t want to.

And that’s the power of film, and specifically “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It took us to a quieter time in America. It also took us to a period where discrimination and ignorance were far more prevalent. In teaching his children to face prejudice in the eye, Atticus Finch tried to construct an uplifted community, not just one surrounded by the idyllic trappings of a world surrounded by white picket fences. For all these reasons, they made an irresistible world to me.

Cue: a sense of reality. I guess I can abandon the idea of house hunting in rural Alabama some day. And what have I been thinking here in Santa Fe: rose bushes, pitched roofs, green grass – in New Mexico?

I’ll just have to return to the movie and the Alabama of my mind for that house (and all the nostalgia that went with it).

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