Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, November 27, 2017


I watched a DVD of The Dead based on a sort story by James Joyce. Reflecting on the film, everyone in the story is dead, dead to life, emotion and intimacy. The dancing is stilted and evenly measured. The pianist races through her piece with precision and no feeling. The older woman sings a song of love and sadness with no apparent awareness of the emotions of the words. The drunk drinks to avoid his harridan of a mother. He compliments the singer with blatant lies about how wonderful she is. The observations about opera are clich├ęs. The conversation about religion at dinner is stupid, without knowledge or insight. The monks lie in their bed-coffins to take away the sins of the people. Jesus had already done that in the Christian religion. The communal meal is pro forma. The tenor is the Christ figure. He brings love, tenderness and intimacy in the beautiful song he sings. The wife is so touched that she realizes she has no intimacy with her husband. She tells him that she once loved a boy who loved her so much that he died when she went away. The husband realizes that he has never loved anyone in the deep way the long dead young man felt toward his beloved.

The movie shows how alcohol, good manners and traditions can make people dead. Music and love bring new life.


Blogger AHarris said...

Robert - Thank you for this. I've never understood the damn story nor the film until I read this. Even Sr Sam at Dominican managed to make it even more confusing. Now I can go back to it and read it well and with some enjoyment.

3:48 PM  

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