OMGabe

by Gabe Berman – the author of Live Like a Fruit Fly

Archive for the tag “movies”

La La Love


“And how amazing was La La Land,” I asked my friend on the phone last night while we were going back and forth about movies.

To my surprise, she said with surprise, “You liked La La Land!?”

“No,” I said with confidence. “I loved it. It’s probably one of my favorites ever.”

“I just didn’t feel Emma Stone in that part,” she explained.

“I hear ya, but I wouldn’t have cared if she was played by a goddamn rhinoceros. It was the way he loved her. That’s all that mattered to me. I couldn’t breathe from him.”

And with that, right there, as I heard myself say those words, I figured out why I loved La La Land so much.

We think we miss being loved. But the truth is, we miss giving love more.

At least that’s the way it is me.

love/thanks,
gb

www.WinTheWarWithYourMind.com

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Love Love Land

Have you seen La La Land yet?

If you haven’t, let me tell you, pay no mind to anything you’ve heard.

It isn’t good.

It isn’t bad.

It’s this:

Exquisite.

An exquisite flow of beauty in celluloid form.

It’s so lovely, and so soulful, I would bet it single handedly balances out the ugliness casting a dark shadow on our lives lately.

Without it, this planet of ours would probably careen off course and spin helplessly into the cold cosmos.

And it’s impossible, at least for someone like me, not to be self reflective while witnessing it unfold like flowers in bloom on screen.

Here’s the thing: I know one day my life in this form will end. And if it’s looked back upon by others, my accomplishments may not amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

But do not be deceived.

For I have loved.

Loved limitlessly, without conditions.

And I have stood in awe of love. Time and time again.

It’s truly the only thing that matters.

Fuck all who say otherwise.

– gb

www.WinTheWarWithYourMind.com

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No Sleep Till…

My dad would have known in two seconds.

In less than that.

But my mom wasn’t exactly sure.

“Hey, where in Brooklyn is that?” I asked.

We watched the movie Brooklyn tonight and she didn’t know where this one specific scene was shot.

My dad would have said something like, “That’s the corner of so-and-so and so-and-so. I once worked three blocks away from there. And you see that car? It’s a ’49 Pontiac. My father had one.”

I’m truly grateful to have the opportunity to spend so much time with my mom, but I really missed him being around tonight. More so than usual.

I miss, so much, seeing them on the couch together.

And me, being me, knew full well it wouldn’t last like that forever so I took rolls and rolls of mental photos of my parents falling asleep on each other’s shoulders. It’s just that I was hoping to keep those photo books in storage for as long as possible.

But as my dad was fond of quoting, “The best laid plans…”

And listen, I know I’ve been writing about my dad being dead for a few years already. But if you haven’t experienced losing a loved one in such a horrible way, I’m simultaneously envious and relieved for you. But let me just say this – there’s no getting adjusted to it. It’s awful. Always.

I mean, of course I smile and make people laugh and I enjoy existing for the most part, but his absence on the couch is still as shocking as wet sponges hooked up to a car battery.

I’m teary as I type this and got teary earlier when I couldn’t watch him watch the movie.

But these weren’t the only two times I cried tonight.

I also lost it a little when I saw Tony look at Eilis in Brooklyn. He fell in love with her, deeply, before he was even conscious of it and it was portrayed so perfectly and delicately and beautifully.

I’ve been in love like that and it’s the goddamn greatest ever, but that wasn’t what pushed tears through my tear ducts.

I cried because I’ve loved like that. And I’m in love like that, everyday. Incessantly. With just about everything beautiful. And that made me cry when I realized, for the first time really, that’s all I have.

That’s all I have.

Love.

That’s all I got to offer. And I know, thoroughly, down to my bone marrow, that it will never, ever be enough in this world.

And that’s sad.

It’s just so sad for so many reasons.

But at least I know why I’m here. Finally.

So, if you’re reading this now, there’s a pretty good chance that I love you. Whoever you are. And if you’re thinking these are just words, think again.

Please.

thank you,
gb

Love Looks Like This

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Fuck Pride

It took three tries and two long pauses between those tries to get the goddamn sentence out of my mouth.

“Remember the music from that movie daddy…”

“Remember the music from that movie daddy would…”

“Remember the music from that movie daddy would…always whistle. Once Upon A Time In America with Noodles? With De Niro playing Noodles?”

My mom checked back into the old files in her mind and within a second, smiled in acknowledgment.

And after I almost cried three times, I smiled too.

It was a nice moment for us to share.

We watched Tarantino’s latest flick together tonight. The Hateful Eight. Ennio Morricone composed the music for it. And for the Once Upon. My dad would randomly whistle a song from that score while reading the New York Times. And then he’d look up from the paper and say to me, “Hey, Noodles!”

I wonder when I’ll stop being eviscerated by these memories.

Hopefully never.

love/thanks,
gb

My new book – Love Looks Like This

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Forgive Me Father…

Sitting here at the kitchen table, at one in the morning, in the house I grew up in, I’m about to type words which suddenly sound like a confession.

I just caught the end of Almost Famous, a movie I’ve seen many times, and the final minutes made me feel more alive than real life usually does.

It’s as if every expression of unconditional love, friendship, forgiveness, and selflessness I unknowingly miss from my childhood has been summarized and exquisitely encapsulated in a few facial expressions and dead-on dialogue.

Why a confession?

I don’t know really, but that’s how it’s resonating.

Maybe because I’m admitting that I’m not always so in love with life.

And that’s a little sad.

I just wish I can feel the feelings this film leaves me with more often.

I swear I’m going to figure out how. I’m going to dedicate my whole goddamn life to it. For me and for you.

Because that love, stripped down and exposed, is an intoxicant like no other.

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Fuck Matt Damon

You know what, fuck us.

Just, fuck us.

Fuck our whole goddamn species.

I saw The Martian the other night and these were my exact thoughts as the closing credits hit the screen.

Fuck.

Us.

In case you’re not up on the movies, The Martian is a new one starring Matt Damon.

He plays an astronaut who’s left for dead on Mars by his crew. But get this ladies and germs, he’s totally alive. And they totally go back to save him while all of Earth’s inhabitants sit on pins and needles.

It was awesome.

Such an awesome movie.

So awesome that I clapped as soon as it was over.

Nevertheless, fuck us.

It’s so pathetically human to risk everything, without sparing an expense, to save just one person.

As we should.

But what’s so pathetic of us is that within just two klicks of everyone reading this, there’s definitely a kid who went to bed hungry or some old person who’s totally been forgotten about.

And I certainty don’t see any sympathetic mother fuckers forming candlelight vigils in the middle of Times Square for these poor folks as they did for Matt Damon.

C’mon Gabe, it’s just a movie.

No, it’s not just a movie.

It’s our reality and you know it.

But no one’s life is worth more than anyone else’s.

Our species is totally fucking doomed until those nine words become our collective religion:

NO ONE’S LIFE IS WORTH MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE’S

And not to freak anyone out, but I’ll let you in on a metaphysical little secret: there’s truly only one life. And it’s flowing through all of us.

Right now.

In this exact moment.

Life, this perfect, unified, inevitable, ineffable force, is flowing through you and I, through the rich and the famous, the sick and the poor, the birds, the bees, and of course the trees.

And what should we be doing with this one life of ours?

Caring for it. All of it. Because, we are it.

thank you for trading your time for these words – it means the world to me,
gb

buy my goddamn book here: www.livelikeafruitfly.com

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Found In Translation

Lost In Translation is a transcendental meditation which originates innocently on screen, but soon blossoms, delicately and tenderly, outward through my soul.

I watched it for the first time tonight since seeing it in the theater fifteen years ago. And when I say transcendental meditation, I’m not referring to Maharishi’s TM. I mean transcendental, as in something that transcends.

Transcends ego. Transcends everything that makes us less human. Less beautiful. Less separate. Less loving.

Because deep in the moment, underneath everything, all that’s there is love.

And if you allow yourself to really be with this movie, if you allow your senses to open to it completely, if you surrender to the experience of it, a subtle hum of raw love will overtake you. Almost intravenously.

A raw love for the spaces between sentences and thoughts. A raw love for the uncertainty between what’s happening and what will happen. A raw love for the truth that tugs on our pants like a wide-eyed child. A raw love for a love which moves so slowly, and so solidly, we must pause to feel its presence.

I always pray to feel less sad, but if it means I’d have to feel even an ounce less alive and less content and less grateful in times like this one, I hope that prayer is overlooked and unanswered.

It’s late at night as I write this and I know the world will be right back in my face as soon as I awaken but maybe, just maybe, a trace amount of this effortlessly enlightened, lighthearted dewiness will continue to reside.

I hope the same for you.

www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

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I Do All Of My Own Stunts

I listened to Charlie Parker as I cooked dinner tonight.

Jazz isn’t out of the ordinary for me, and it’s not like you can listen to anything else after watching Whiplash on demand.

So it was me, and Bird, and the sound of sizzling Brussels sprouts drenched in sriracha sauce. All I needed was a glass of Cabernet and it totally would have been a scene in a movie.

It surely felt that way.

But right now, my life feels like what happens to characters after a movie ends. The credits roll, and in the theater you’re like, “I wonder if he became a famous musician after all of this? Do you think he got back together with that girl?”

And the person you’re with says, “It’s just a movie. Nothing happens with them next.”

And you’re like, “I guess you’re right.”

But you still think about it silently on the car ride home. And again before you go to sleep. “He really was a great drummer. Maybe he got a gig at the Blue Note. And I hope he stabs that J.K. Simmons bastard to death.”

And then you start worrying about him in jail after he kills his teacher. “I wonder how many push ups he could do?”

And then you start thinking about The Shawshank Redemption. “His first night in the joint, Andy Dufresne cost me two packs of cigarettes. He never made a sound.”

And then you fall asleep.

So, I’m like a movie character after the credits. Guy gets his book published, lives on the beach in Florida, guy’s father gets sick, guy moves back to New York, father dies. And then the movie ends and you turn to the person you went to the movies with and whisper, “I wonder what he’ll do next.”

I’m kind of just waiting. Seeing which way the universe will unfold. Listening to jazz. Writing this to you. Yes, you. The person reading this right now.

After I ate, I was interviewed by some blog-talk radio station and then I sat back in front of the TV. Not much else to do with this continuing blizzard outside.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was on. A true story about a writer who at the age of forty-three, suffers a stroke that leaves him completely paralyzed. Completely paralyzed except for his left eye. Which he blinks out the alphabet with.

I turned it on during a flashback scene. His father was sick and he was shaving his face for him. They jokingly mock each other back and forth and then his father says, “I remember what I wanted to tell you – I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you.”

Coming out of the flashback, voiced over, the writer says something like, “Praise from my father. We’re all children, we all need approval.”

Jesus man, what are the chances of “coincidentally” turning the TV on right at this scene? It really is like I’m in a movie.

I remember my dad’s scruffy face so well. I rubbed my face against his right after I watched him take his last breath.

And on the couch tonight, watching this movie about this guy who can only live through memories, I decided to feel grateful. Really grateful for everything.

My breathing. The heat that kicked on in the house at that moment. Etcetera etcetera.

But then I started to question it all. Once again. Is it okay to feel grateful after realizing and re-realizing the abhorrent suffering of others?

I guess the answer is yes. Anything that causes you to feel grateful is okay in my book.

And maybe that’s the answer. The answer to the question I’m always asking myself. What’s the best way to live this life of ours?

In appreciation.

In appreciation of all the little things. Always.

Because the big things just seem to happen. With or without our approval, asking for, or understanding of. They just seem to happen.

Listen, I know I’m not saying anything new here. We’ve all heard the “be grateful” rap before.

And I honestly had no idea I’d end up talking about this when I first opened my laptop. I was just thinking about that kid in Whiplash and I just wanted to write about how much I miss being young. Being young with myriad possibilities.

Alas, such is life.

And what happens to me next in this movie I’m in?

Who’s to know really.

Maybe the pages have already been written by the great scriptwriter in the sky, or maybe it’s being written as I go. Maybe it’s a quantum combination of both. No one knows for sure and be wary of anyone who professes they do.

Here’s one possibility for the next scene though: A woman found my book Where Is God When Your Loved Ones Get Sick? on Facebook and she fell in love with it. It turns out that she’s friends with Robby Krieger, the guitarist from The Doors, and since I mention his old band a few times in that book, she’s giving it to him this weekend.

Maybe he’ll tell the world about it and I end up living happily ever after.

I’d like to see a movie like that.

thank you for trading your time to read this – it really means the world to me,
gabe

www.WhereIsGodWhenOurLovedOnesGetSick.com

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Nothing Left To Let Go

I’m broken wide open.

Gloriously so.

All I am, right now, is an exposed heart.

Warm. Loving. Gentle. Full.

Unaffected by any anxiety.

It’s the way I get after seeing a truly lovely movie.

I wish I can feel this way forever.

Because I’ve felt enough of everything else.

Like the last bit of sun at the end of a summer’s day, I will sit in this for as long as I can.

I wonder if there’s anyone else in this moment who feels the same.

I hope so.

I really hope so.

with love and gratitude,
gabe

www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

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Love Equals MC Squared

I know it’s old fashioned of me, but when a movie really permeates my soul, I applaud it in the theater as soon as the first words of the closing credits hit the screen.

It’s definitely a little dumb since the actors and writers can’t hear me, but I don’t care. I clap for the them, and the director and the lighting people, right there anyway.

But my favorite is when my adulation allows others to bring their hands together. People who normally might feel a bit too self conscious to do so.

The other night I removed my glasses, dried my eyes and clapped after the last scene of Interstellar.

Maybe it wasn’t the intended message of the movie, but here’s my takeaway: love transcends everything. Even time.

It now reminds me of what I once scribbled to myself a few years back: Time isn’t passing. We’re passing through it.

love/thanks,
gabe

– – – www.DoYouNeedAMiracle.com – – –

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