Thursday, February 12, 2009

movies that make me flash back


There are movies that remind me of things that happened to me. MAN ON FIRE is one of those. They're not always even close to what happened, but when you see them, they transport you. A friend blogged about smelling smells when he watched a different movie and it reminded me of this one. Good movies do that. They transport you. Sometimes in a good way. Sometimes not. Burned gunpowder, food smells, the distinctive sounds of some cities, the distinctively metallic smell of fresh blood and the battlefield odors of corruption, feces, and yes, there is even a smell I associate with broken dreams of the dead. I can't tell you what it smells like, but sometimes I smell it and remember. 

Weather and the smells of seasons, the rush of wind through pines or night blooming jasmine that come to you when your mind is stimulated by films, is the oddest thing. 

Films about Asia bring back the morning markets, the sound of cities waking up. The bicycles being peddled into town at 4 am loaded with produce. The fresh fish, eels, bugs (to eat - because it's all protein) and the livestock - from golden retrievers to chickens, cats and even rats.

The cry of birds, the croak of really big frogs, and all of those impressions that you hold in your subconscious waiting for them to be unlocked once more.

There is also the Asian bar scenes. Thirty bars, all small, side-by-side, catering to different types of customers, each with it's own music blasting at least three times as loud as it needs to be. The confused melodies carry out into the street where vendors hawk gut busting curry, chicken pieces on a stick and the girls sell three kinds of chicken to tourists looking for a cheap thrill.

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