On Live Folks Watching
28 May 1996

From a much appreciated letter of appreciation from a MM regular dated May 12/96:

... As a university graduate some years ago with a major in social work & minor in education ... & one interested in my own process of 'healing', I can vouch for the insight I've derived from your excellent selection of films.

Another note from the same person followed two weeks later reinforcing that thought. It quoted a Carl Jung (whoever he was) from a video, 'The Wisdom Of Dream'.

The movies are more efficient than the theatre. They're able to show the collective unconscious since their methods of presentation are so unlimited.

The commentary in the video went on: In our own life, we only get a chance to see perhaps one little piece of a whole archetypal pattern, but in a movie we can have the whole pattern laid out for us in a couple of hours, and in a great enough film, there's really a sense of having been translocated from one's own personal experience ... to something truly universal.

I've been thinking along those lines since the profound experience of watching Dead Man Walking. This powerful film had transported me to the Deep South and taken me right inside the skins of a murder/rapist and a nun who helped him to come to terms with his crime and to die for it. Two incredible situations! Two situations that Brucie Saunders will never find himself in. But because of the film medium, because it was so expertly handled, so credible, so accessible, I was able to try on those challenging and totally alien experiences for two hours.

It struck me also that now I'd joined a body of millions who had 'lived' through that same experience. Now those experiences have become a common benchmark through which we can explain ourselves to each other. We can talk about those issues and emotions now, knowing we've all been through that identical scenario together.

Last night, watching Bridges Of Madison County with MM's packed house, all captivated, all dancing slowly round the kitchen, enthralled and buckling at the knees with Francesca (or Robert Kincaid, depending on your orientation), it struck me once again - what a powerful thing, this movie phenomena!

Enjoy the July/August /96 lineup

Bruce Saunders