O ye of little faith.

1 Mar

A bloke’s favourite films is a touchy subject.  Often, they are etched into our psyche at crucial emotional junctures and any criticism of our shiny, shiny  list is like, well, a statement that we evolved incorrectly. Take, oh, Jaws for example. Sure, it’s a movie about a giant shark that eats people and then goes boom, but it was also the first time, as an eight year old, that I became aware of communal self consciousness and the power of ritualized story-telling.

Until then, the vanguard of ritualized story had been St.Anthony’s Catholic School. Now, taking out Sister Allen and her weird hump and relish in giving you a good crack  over the knuckles with a ruler, by “A Current Affair” christian standards, St.A was alright.

But, god… so-much-talk. Daily sermons in a profoundly intimidating school church. The priest waxing away was doing his level best to inspire us to the light I’m sure, but the thesis that found its way into my bones was “God is boring and angry.”  Kinda like an angry ex who role plays with his Star Wars figures and a cross-bow.  Meanwhile, I stared at Karen Lucas’s pig-tails in front of me and fought a desire to pull them, giggle and then wet my pants.

Up to that point, the ‘temple story’ was something to be punished by.

Then Jaws happened. And the temple was rebuilt.

That’s what’s going on in a bloke’s favourite movies. Nothing less than the proof of god.

Permit a bit of role-play then…

So you say… the shark looks fake, and I respond, but MY soul isn’t.

But it’s just a silly summer movie –  Yep. Since when is silliness banned from the divine and what the hell has air temperature got to do with it?

But the shark still looks fuh-ake – Oh Jesus Christ! Look, we’re all in this dark room together, screaming a primal epiphany as the big plastic bastard bites a boat in half, and if I’m not mistaken, you hit the roof and stayed there when it popped up during Brody’s chum sequence. For that one scream, we were all in the same place, beautiful animals in the dark, a single light guiding us.

Men are solitary beings. Women too, just it seems to express itself differently. The cinema offers us lads an anonymous place, a safe place to bond with stories that reveal the dancing soul we wish we wore, not the perhaps luggish, tight-lipped spirit you encounter day to day.

We go to the movies to see ourselves. The best of ourselves I think, So next time you feather that copy of “Runaway Train” or “Mad Max 2” and cast a mocking eyebrow at their eighties soaked viscera, pause before you chortle, there may just be an eight year old soul resting in your hands.

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