Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hitchcock & Thankfulness Rendered Meaningful Through Disappointment

Yesterday I put up a post on Thanksgiving, today I wanted to briefly talk about disappointment and the way that plays into learning to truly be thankful.

If you've spent much time with me you know that I love film. I have a few filmmakers that I'm particularly fond of: Edgar Wright, Quentin Tarantino, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, the Marx brothers, George Romero. But perhaps more than any other, I love Alfred Hitchcock.

So that you might understand my excitement when I found out that our theater released the program for the 28th annual Olympia Film Festival and we were running not one, but two very special Hitchcock films: Dial M for Murder in 3D. Like most people I'd never seen Dial M in its original 3D and it was really good, the 3D wasn't over the top (in the infamous scene with the scissors they don't pop out off the screen and feel like they'll stab the audience in the face as I'd imagine they would in many 3D films today).

But the newly rediscovered first half of Hitchcock's first film The White Shadow was the thing I was really excited about this year. When I got home from work (I work the graveyard shift) Rachel was supposed to head off to the theater to work the morning shift at the Fest but was feeling awful. So I went in her place and as a result needed to sleep through The White Shadow.

Rachel felt really terrible about this. I just kept thinking about something I'd seen recently on with the caption "Ah, first world problems."

"Like who cares? There is an AIDS epidemic in Africa, Big Oil is raping Northern Alberta and screwing over the natives, some economists are estimating real unemployment is somewhere around 20% in the US...etc, etc, etc."

I don't have a nice wrap-up for this one, just that I think this dovetails nicely with what I said yesterday about consumerism. I am convinced that unlike the liturgy of advent, the liturgy of consumerism thrives off of the small disappointments and encourages us to turn them into crushing blows. The one thing consumerism cannot abide is the idea of "enough". I must always have more.

Indeed, I would argue our being thankful is rendered meaningless without disappointments and I think that is something those of us who have things so comfortable, forget all to often.

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