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Life Altering Perspectives

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As a teen, I read the book "The Loved One" by Evelyn Waugh, being that my naturally morbid nature and adherence to black humor always led me in such directions, plus I always wanted to visit Forest Lawn which seemed to be the place being satirized. Loved the wit and viewpoint of the American way of treating thanatopsis and thoroughly enjoyed the film version which I saw afterwards.

Being that I had not seen the film for many years, I marked it on my movies to watch calendar to review, plus I was looking forward to seeing the bit with Tab Hunter as tour guide for Whispering Glades also. Then, a sad event occurred. Someone close in my family milieu died unexpectedly this past weekend, putting all friends and relatives into a state of depression at their loss.

The day of the viewing, I was home just waiting the many hours before getting ready to attend the funeral home visitation and turned on the tv. While flipping channels, I encountered the TCM one, and fittingly or unfittingly, "The Loved One" was just about to begin.

I wondered...should I watch this film? Understandably, films about death are a lot more humorous when one has not just had a loved one suffer such a fate. Then an opposing thought came to mind, that it might be good to watch to take my mind off things so dire and full of despair. The film started...I could not laugh at the usual things I might have found amusing, yet in some perverse way I think I kept watching wanting to suffer a bit, in honor of the lost person whose life had been taken.

I then remembered a thought encountered in a book I read about Carl Dreyer once, in which he said something like, a scene in a film is changed and encountered in a totally different way, depending on the perspective in which you place it. If you show two people in a room quietly eating dinner, the audience may find it boring, banal or just very low key, but then attend it with a companion shot of a dead body in the room right next door to their dining area, and the former scene takes on a whole new perspective to the viewer. Hence, I realized that watching "The Loved One" while mired in the mist of a similar situation, would change my perspective, and mayhaps, open some doors that could prove beneficial in the long run. Or...even if not, testing one's own humanity and ability to deal with unpleasant situations, might be mind altering so...I ended up watching the whole film.

What I got out of it, is neither here nor there and something I'm sure none here or the TCM staff would be the least bit interested in, so I shall remain mute. What might be of interest to the few here who are into such life changing events, would be if others have seen films under such differing circumstances and would like to share any thoughts about such.

Sorry to interrupt the usual proceedings with moribund tales more worthy of Thomas Mann, and I apologize beforehand for all that find this post boring or not up to their standards. Thanks for listening.

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