Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

Carpe Beatlemanium

poster_across-the-universe1.jpgIt’s enough to make a Beatles fan both cringe and grin, sometimes at the same time……I’ll go ahead and say it: I’m embarrassed by how much I liked this movie. – Jeffrey Chen Windows to the Movies 

“What do you remember about the sixties?” my son asks.

“I was just kid,” I reply, “I remember I prayed alot.  Mostly for the war in Vietnam to end so Uncle Butch could come home.  And, oh, for God to get Donny Osmond to marry me.  Actually, that was probably the seventies.”  I lose myself in thought. 

My son loses interest.  The Uncle Butch he knows is a grandfather.  So is Donny Osmond.  I realize I don’t paint the portrait I try to paint for him.  I’m at a loss as to how to answer his question.  The answer is too big and my attention span is too short.  I too lose interest and move on to other thoughts.

Then I go see the movie musical, Across the Universe.  And there it is:  the answer to my son’s question, a cinematic CliffsNotes on the sixties (or was it the seventies?), a social/cultural documentary told through the words and music of the Beatles detailing the background noise of my childhood.  

I’m not sure the movie is for everyone, but I for one love it.  The love story:  sweet, the issues: real, picking out the obvious and not-so-obvious symbols strewn throughout the film: as fun as solving a Where’s Waldo puzzle.  At times I feel I need a notepad to keep up. 

And the music, oh my goodness, the music.  It’s as if hearing these songs for the first time.  I am amazed at how with a slower tempo, a  different voice, or use of a song in an unexpected context can trick my ears into thinking I’ve never heard these words before.  I purchase the two-cd soundtrack within twenty-four hours of watching the movie. 

The arrangement of Let it Be is the most moving rendition I’ve ever heard.  And Joe Cocker singing Come Together ?  Of course!  Joe Cocker singing Come Together.  He has the perfect rasp to pull it off, and the percussion makes it, dare I say, better than the original version? On a similar note, I truly believe Bono IS the walrus.  All featured artists are fabulous and breathe new life into the words and the music my generation teethed on back in the day.

I pick my son up at baseball practice, stereo thumping.

“Gah Mom!  Can you turn that down?”

“No,” I say, handing him the cd liner notes.

“What’s this?” 

“The answer to your question.”

Coo-Coo-Ca-Choo.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

November 1, 2007 Posted by | Beatles, Best Lines, Blogroll, Donny, Family, Her Royal Nerdiness, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Movies, Music, Parenting, Theater | | Leave a comment