“To be an artist means never to avert your eyes.” – Akira Kurosawa
My first date with Beth Broderick was to Akira Kurosawa’s, “Dreams” at the old Dundee Theater in Omaha.
Last night, for one-night-only, Film Streams screened Kurosawa’s beautiful and haunting film. I met Rob Gilmer, for one of what he calls our “Widower’s Club” outings, so we watched it together.
There are lots of odd coincidences about last night. Rob’s husband, Rene, died exactly six months ago. Also, Film Streams bought the old Dundee Theater and is in the midst of remodeling it for what they hope is a grand opening by the end of the year. For me, Film Streams was a surrogate for the Dundee Theater.
Also, my birthday is tomorrow.
“Dreams” is admittedly an odd first date film, but keep in mind, I didn’t exactly know what to expect when I asked Beth to go. In the years since that date, I remembered it as a gorgeous film that was mostly sequences of nice dreams. I didn’t recall the apocalyptic parts very well. I vividly recalled “Sunshine Through The Rain,” “The Peach Orchard,” and “The Blizzard.” I recalled the others, like “Crows” and “Mount Fuji in Red,” but they only came back to me as I watched them, again.
This viewing, literally decades later, I was struck by how frequently apocalyptic it truly is. I mean, it is still gorgeous, even parts like the long, slow blizzard sequence, but Beth must have questioned her judgment about me after that night.
On a side note, my personal dreams got more harrowing after Beth died, as you might expect.
I should have taken her to a romantic film, but I was mostly interested in cool artsy films, especially back then.
It was emotional watching the film last night. The first time I saw it, I was completely entranced. This time, I was thinking about Beth as much as the film. I was thinking about us dating and I was recalling some of the bad dreams I’ve had over the past year and a half.
I’m probably replaying the film in my head as much this time as I did the first time.
There was also a guest speaker after the film. It was a discussion on the states of consciousness with Dr. Sanjay Singh, Chair of the Department of Neurology at Creighton University School of Medicine. So, the discussion of Dreams was simultaneously clinical, and emotional, and conjured up both real life memories and memories of my own personal dreams.
It was a lot to take in for one night, to be honest.
Rob and I talked for a half an hour on the sidewalk outside the theater after the event ended.
I’m tired, but I’m also wired. It’s approaching 3:00 AM and I really need to try and sleep.
Perhaps, I’ll dream.