In her review of Sing Street, Sheila O'Malley points out, "There are pitfalls everywhere in a coming-of-age period piece like this one." She argues that director John "Carney avoids them easily, keeping the film on its proper track" And, she explains how this works: "It's extremely confident: It knows what it wants to be, what story it wants to tell."
And--coming back to the advice of the the other day--that's what a person needs to be, too. Gotta be confident. Gotta know what you want to be. Gotta know what story you want to tell, the story being you and how you present that self to the world. Easy to fake on the Internet. (I wrote a whole master's thesis about it.) Harder to fake in the real world. And, I mean real confidence, not the pathetic arrogance and ego-centrism that pretends to confidence online or, lately, in politics. Party lines draw people into corners where they're quicker to defend their positions out of the illusion of confidence rather than any actual measured logic or thought. And the bullshit piles upon itself in both directions... All directions.
What we need is people who actually take the time to think. Or at least to dream. Something beyond, or better than, bullshit rhetoric stolen from online echo chambers... And, I'm drifting back into politics. I've been avoiding politics as much as I can lately. That's why Sing Street for over a week now. I had a list of dystopian, politically-inclined films for the month. And, I just couldn't. Because, I'd rather dream than tear down. I'd rather think than react. I'd rather love than hate.
O'Malley describes something important about this film. She writes:
While "Sing Street" is often hilarious (in a darkly honest way), it's also so full of heart that by the end you've seen a film where dreams really do mean something, where escape hatches exist, you just have to be old enough and imaginative enough to take a chance.
The kind of thing we need more of, not just up on the screen--movies are full of dreamers--but in reality. Dare to dreams that life might be better for people who aren't white cisgender males, dare to imagine that those who have might actually be good enough to help those who have not. That women and minorities can have power.
For example, today I woke up to the announcement about the new Doctor in Doctor Who--Jodie Whittaker, and a bunch of frightened little men going on about how it's about tradition, not gender, the most bullshit argument there is. Your tradition, you sexist jackasses, is about gender, is about bigotry and sexism, and you need to stop being frightened when someone dares to take a little of your power away.
And, my dreams get me arguing politics again.
Maybe I just can't avoid it.
Not without, say, chasing after a few dreams myself, occupy more of my time with things new and exciting. Let the world burn as long as I can enjoy my little corner of it, I suppose. Except, that's exactly the worst way to think about it and just what might actually help. A bad dichotomy.
We do need to believe that escape is a possibility, that hard lives can be left behind, that whether you pick yourself up or get help from someone else, you might actually rise up from whatever drudgery is keeping you down. We need to both operate as if, and absolutely ensure the truth of it as well, societal prejudices and norms can be overcome. And, we need to operate as if we could actually find consensus if we tried. That arguing is not all. That being the loudest doesn't mean you're right. And thinking you're right doesn't mean you can dismiss everyone who disagrees with you.
Me--I like art. Movies especially. Beautiful things set up to reflect the world. Sometimes the reflection hurts. Sometimes, the reflection is better than my immediately reality. But, there's always something to see. (Even a bad movie can show you something useful if you look at it the right way.)
Sing Street inspires me to want to want to be better, to try some things I've been pretending for a while I haven't needed to do anymore.
The world needs more inspiration. Like the Doctor Who thing... I wish I could find one of my friend's Facebook posts so I could credit who said it, but I'll just have to paraphrase it anonymously. The gist was this: the new Doctor is a woman and the world won't end, but in ten years a bunch of little girls worlds would have gotten bigger. That's the exact notion that frightens far too many men, and too many women as well, I bet. But, it's what we need. I mean, it's not like men have done such a great job with it.