Saint and poets, maybe

My mind is still reeling from having seen Linklater’s new masterpiece “Boyhood”, a work of such startling depth and deceptively simple beauty. There are individual moments that I just cannot get out of my head.

The scenes I remember most vividly were not big and flashy at all. They were simple conversations in which people found themselves suddenly able to break through and find a way to show their love for each other. These scenes always came as a surprise — just as they do in real life. The night we saw the film at the IFC, the entire audience was rapt from beginning to end.

I imagine that audiences must have had a similar experience in 1938, seeing Thorton Wilder’s “Our Town” for the first time. That was another experimental work which took its audience on a journey through twelve years of “ordinary” lives, only to arrive at the same powerful conclusion — that there is nothing ordinary about life.

I am reminded of the conversation in “Our Town” between Emily and the Stage Manager, after she has found herself emotionally overwhelmed by the simple act of revisiting a single day of her childhood:

“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?” she asks. “Every, every minute?”

“No.” He replies, “The saints and poets, maybe — they do some.”

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