Favorite Quotes: Ernest Hemingway – A Farewell to Arms

“That night at the hotel, in our room with the long empty hall outside and our shoes outside the door, a thick carpet on the floor of the room, outside the windows the rain falling and in the room light and pleasant and cheerful, then the light out and it exciting with smooth sheets and the bed comfortable, feeling that we had come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal…We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others.”

copyright renewed 1957 by Ernest Hemingway
photo: The Modern Library

Favorite Lyrics: Bruce Cockburn – “To Keep the World We Know”

Haze hangs over hills
Bright in the morning breeze
It’s warm in the endless sunshine
Not so good to breathe

Smoke of a thousand fires
Filling up the sky
All around the great wide world —
Forecast: warm and dry

The hills of California
Romania and France
Algeria, Australia,
Siberia’s expanse

The countryside of Greece and Spain,
The Amazon the same —
From the tundra to the tropics
Our world’s gone up in flames

Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey

Even up north in Iqaluit
Where there’s not a tree for miles
Fire shoots out the kitchen tap
Apocalyptic style

Waters rise, grassland dries
Mother Earth, she weeps
Willful ignorance and greed
Prevail while reason sleeps

There are people who live to believe
In the good we all can make
There are people who live to believe
In how much they can take

Ashes and mudslides all around —
Is this any way to go?
Got to think past your bank account
To keep the world we know

Hey hey hey takvatuak silarjuak …… ……
Hey hey hey tamnatuummat silarjuak ……. ……
Hey hey hey unatuummat silarjuak …… ……
Hey hey hey taamnatuummat silarjuak ……. ……

There’s a drive to live at the heart of things
Gotta sink a pipe into that spring
And let it water everything
To keep the world we know


Written by Bruce Cockburn & Susan Aglukark for the album: O Sun O Moon (2023)
Bruce Cockburn © Holy Drone LLC
the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8SFqvVJFlI
artist bio: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/bruce-cockburn-mn0000631579/biography
photo: ℗ Linus Entertainment Inc. Marketed by True North Records.

Movie Review: I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) – directed by Charlie Kaufman

Another intriguing and baffling movie from Charlie Kaufman. I’m going to go out on a limb here and state that I think the movie is about the very human propensity for imagined possibilities, alternate storylines, simultaneous realities, all taking place in our heads, sometimes all at once. The movie is a visual depiction of our ability to create our own realities through our perceptions. The protagonist, Lucy (Jessie Buckley) can carry on a conversation while thinking about something else entirely. She nearly gets caught doing this a few times by her perceptive and inquisitive (one could say “annoyingly intrusive”) boyfriend (the always excellent Jesse Plemons) but he can’t possibly realize the scope of her imaginings and ruminations. He gets a glimpse through her recitation from memory of a poem she’s just written (or did she?)

The movie is baffling on many levels: plot, time, setting, characters, etc. The characters are sometimes old, young, middle aged. Their names and occupations change. Rooms change, people appear and disappear, chronological time is shuffled. There is no way for the viewer to know what is “real.” We only have the protagonist’s thoughts and actions to guide us and that’s not particularly helpful because she is just as baffled, off kilter, and increasingly uneasy as we are. (There are some horror movie tropes in the film to help raise the tension and to ensure that not all the suspense is interior. These are done with humor and another example of Kaufman having some fun with movie viewer perceptions/expectations).

I think the movie is attempting to map the often unacknowledged dark corners of the human psyche: the worried, anxious, unsettling places our minds go sometimes. The protagonist has set the tone from the start by stating that she’s “thinking of ending things.” Her life? Her relationship? Her current circumstances? Her current reality? And what are the calls she keeps getting and not answering and the voice messages from an older man asking deep dark questions without context, like voice messages from someone’s random inner thoughts?

Kaufman is very adept at going from pleasant, comfortable and normal to foreboding and weird in a single scene. The movie will require more than one viewing to catch the nuances and you will never catch them all, I’m sure. Your brain wants to figure out the plot and your heart wants to feel what she’s experiencing but you will play a lot of catch up while watching this movie. The movie also questions “what is reality” by constantly changing what we thought we knew about the characters, plot and setting. It’s kind of a dirty trick, drawing us in with all the “tricks” of good movie making, just to “flip the chess board” and spill all the pieces by making us doubt everything we’ve just witnessed and processed.

Excellent acting, carefully composed scenes, tight editing, measured pacing showcase Kaufman’s expertise. He’s fully in command of our reality for the duration of the film and boy does he get a kick out of messing with it!

written by jbm 4.23.2023
see also my review of “Synecdoche, New York”
the director: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charlie-Kaufman
photo: Netflix

Favorite Lyrics: Bob Dylan – Chimes of Freedom [apropos of Ukraine]

Far between sundown’s finish an’ midnight’s broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An’ for each an’ ev’ry underdog soldier in the night
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

In the city’s melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden while the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin’ rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an’ forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burnin’ constantly at stake
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An’ the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for-granted situations
Tolling for the deaf an’ blind, tolling for the mute
Tolling for the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased an’ cheated by pursuit
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Even though a cloud’s white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
An’ the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
An’ for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Starry-eyed an’ laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an’ we watched with one last look
Spellbound an’ swallowed ’til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an’ worse
An’ for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Copyright © 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1992 by Special Rider Music
written by Robert Zimmerman for the album: Another Side of Bob Dylan
the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDOHhx_dk1g
artist website: https://www.bobdylan.com/
photo: Columbia Records