Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cinematic Journeys From One Traumatic Transition to Another: Puberty, Aging, Alzheimer's

This event fits right in with one of my main interests, life transitions. How do we go through them, help one another through and how do artists depict them in their work? So much of what we go through alone is being experienced by others who also think that they're alone.

The Royal Nonesuch Gallery in Oakland, CA has a Serial Life Crisis film series. Saturday, February 27th drops us immediately into the warm lap of puberty.

"We will start our exploration of leaving one stage of life and beginning another on an awkward note with the trials of puberty in Slums of Beverly Hills (Tamara Jenkins, 1998), followed by the fears of leaving college in Kicking and Screaming (Noah Baumbach, 1995) and ending with fading stardom in Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)."

The gallery will have more in the series in March and April so keep watch for upcoming additions.

What other films do you think could be added? Were there any movies that helped you through tough times? Any that seemed to mirror transitions that you went through?

Recently, I remember the film Hanging Up with Walter Matthau, Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton and Lisa Kudrow. It is a good film about a family's dealing with
their aging father who it may be assumed has Alzheimer's Disease.

I discovered this film while my siblings and I were dealing with our mother's Alzheimer's and it became a transitional sort of film for us. There's something interesting about art, film in a situation like that. It doesn't have to hit you over the head. In fact it probably doesn't have to when we're going through something major in life. We can look at something with a different kind of analysis.

All of the factual, rapidly changing [and sometimes controversial] information that you take in is vital and helpful, and it seems neverending. Sometimes it's the art, the film, the music, the visual arts that seem to give you an escape or help when nothing else will, whether it is creating or viewing/listening or both.

I wrote a short article with Alzheimer's movies and songs which includes some ideas that were helpful to me.

If you're reading this on my Facebook Fan Page, you may also want to check out my blog.

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