Seeing Red Desert at the Dryden

I was feeling a bit depressed but I wanted to see Il deserto rosso (Red Desert) anyway so I walked out to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.)

The movie was extremely impressive. From the introduction, I gathered it was not intended so much as a condemnation of industrialized society, but rather a portrait of its beauty. It does so, however, by showing industrialization as boldly and plainly as possible. The protagonist — the wife of a high-level manager at a chemical plant — is set against this landscape as a way to demonstrate it. Her world is shifting beneath her, but the hard gray of industrialization stands sturdily.

I think most people naturally gravitate to her plight, and as such, see it as a rather bleak movie. Given my mood at the outset, I was ready to let it all wash over me in that way. But I also understand that the industrialized facets were just as central — and if you can believe that the man-made structures are the protagonist, the whole thing seems pretty uplifting.

When I left, I decided to just walk straight home. I was still in a funk, but was also affected by the film. I kept looking at the world in odd ways — looking at things that I would ordinarily ignore.

My mood got particularly bleak when I (walking home alone once again … as usual) decided that this was all there was; that my best years were behind me and solitude and ever-weighing loneliness was all I had to look forward to. From here on out, there would be no surprises and I'd just trudge through day-by-day, step-by-step.

All of a sudden, a cat raced past me, startling me. It ran ahead of me and plopped on the ground begging to be petted. I declined its advances, but it reminded me things aren't always the same.