Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bonus Features

"Well, Penny, like anything worth writing, it came inexplicably and without method." ~~ Karen to Penny in, "Stranger than Fiction"
Watching the bonus features on the DVD for the movie "Stranger than Fiction" rekindled something which has been flickering in my mind for years.

I've always loathed Will Ferrell. The characters he has played have, to me, been vulgar and stupid. The few interviews I've seen with him were silly, nausea provoking, and quick, gimme the remote - turn this OFF! idiocy.

"Stranger Than Fiction" was recommended to me by people I trust, so I kept an open mind when I learned Ferrell was the lead. To my pleasant surprise he was excellent in this mostly serious role. Just brilliant. Huh? Will Ferrell?

For some reason I found the incidental interviews on the DVD's bonus features somewhat perturbing. The cast and crew described the lead actor in words incongruous with my perception of "Will Ferrell." Humble? In the moment? Intelligent? Interviews with Ferrell himself astonished me. He behaved like a normal, mature adult. "Remember," I told myself, "he's a performer, playing a part. Stupid is the act, not the whole man. There is more."

Just as there is to each one of us. Rumination began.

Let's face it, not unlike a celebrity with his professional and private persona, most of us have our public and private personas, the public image being remarkably different from our private genuine selves. In order to fit in, or be invisible, to hide, or to impress, a facade is created and projected to the world: this is me!

Masked, lest we be found out, we walk our paths. Society is a cruel mistress, rejection is hard and fast, crippling even. Posing prevents our true faces from being seen and thus judged, and yet to be false, to bury ourselves in fakery induces a sort of madness. We search. We stumble. We excuse and we rationalize. In our conditioned states we sense something is terribly wrong, but what? Out of touch with our integrity, our honesty crusted and scabbed over, we play the roles which protect us, roles we've created from trial and error all our lives. Ridiculously complicated roles.

To stop the sham. To just stop. To quit piling on the crusty muddy costume of pretense so that what is normal and true can be revealed would be incredible relief. Right? To cease the posing!

But to be seen! To be known! Vulnerability terrifies! I know some of the evil that lurks in my heart, and I am not certain of what is good about me. Do I have the courage to look deeper, further, to come to realize the full extent of both? And to reveal them outwardly? To make use of my good gifts, I must discover them. To eradicate my evil, I must face it, admitting it exists. Vulnerability is required.

How I long to sort of unzip my costume from head to toe, kicking the rumpled heap aside, in order to step away from it in courage and confidence that the truth of who I am is enough to accomplish my purpose from God. I don't have to fake. I don't have to hide. I don't have to perform.

Besides hiding me and shielding me from unsettling aspects about myself, does this costume protect others from me?

More ruminating is required. And prayer.

I still don't like Will Ferrell's typical work, but I do have a tad more respect for the man. How weird that bonus features on a DVD would stir me to contemplate personal authenticity.

Mysterious Ways!

Postscript: I'm back to brooding again, yes, 'tis true. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I just need some sun. Sigh.......


Deanna said...

I so agree, about Will Ferrell and the movie.

And I greatly appreciate your ruminations! Such truth in pondering the masks we wear and the limits on removing them.

We'll have a skippity day or two come spring...

Anonymous said...

This a thoughtful blog post, one that may cause serious self reflection and pondering. There are several levels of posing. The public,"don't say that it is judgemental, not P.C.". And the family level,you just don't talk about that episode,Least said soonest mended philosophy. All this vs what you feel and think at your core. And let's not forget that as time goes on our ideas and attitude may change, thing we once thought good or bad may, with time alter.

Cherie said...

Thanks, Tom and Deanna! Glad it's not just a lack of sun, but that you two know what I'm talking about! :-D

I look forward to a skippity day or two!

Pam said...

Cherie, believe it or not, I haven't read your post yet, or the comments. I read the first couple of lines and stopped -- Liz and I rented Stranger Than Fiction and haven't watched it yet. I'm not a fan of Will Farrel (did I spell that right?) but the movie premise looks good. I shall be back to read your post and comments after we watch it, either tonight or tomorrow!

Wouldn't it be funny if I stopped reading the post too soon and it had absolutely nothing to do with the movie?? Yet here I am going on and on and on, blah, blah, blah...


Cherie said...

It IS funny - yep, pretty funny - uh huh, cause this entry does indeed have nothing to do with the movie itself. LOL

Smart move, though, Pam. It could just as easily have been a spoiler.

I loved the movie, by the way. Saw it in the theater, then rented it for the girls to watch. Makes ya think. Hope you like it, too!

Pam said...

Hi again, Cherie. We just watched the movie and I couldn't agree more with your assessment, reflections, and ruminations. As I watched Will Ferrel I realized liked his character very much in this role, yet have despised him in just about everything else I've seen.

This posturing, acting and hiding that we do so that we appear a certain way to others -- do you suppose all this hiding started back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve realized they were naked and were compelled to cover up? Even then they only liked part of what they saw and were embarrassed or ashamed by the rest.

Cherie said...

Good point about the Garden of Eden and Original Hiding, Pam. Food for thought!