Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Deja Vu

(Aplogies for the re-found re-post on Kavenagh). I don't know how to post it into the past, where it belongs.

I rented a film called "Deja Vu", directed by Henry Jaglom. I watched it 4 times back-to-back.

It's not the first time. I've done it before. The film is poorly directed; yet it charms me. One of my favorite Schubert pieces, “Serenade” runs throughout the film. Vanessa Redgrave appears in it. That is reason enough to rent it or pick it up at the library. It could have been a great film. Vestiges hint at this potential, for example when Venessa Redgrave speaks.

The film explores how people react when they meet the love of their lives. According to the film, true love is felt the moment you meet the gaze of the one you were meant for. This is a platitude, of course. My friend Patrick Kavanagh once said, “If platitude should claim a place, do not denounce his humble face”.)

You might be happily married or about to marry. Then you meet “the one”. Do you believe in love at first sight or go about your business and dismiss the feeling?

For me, watching the film conjured a sensation of Déjà vu because it was filmed, partly, in Israel, where I traveled with my first love, Bill.

The opening scene features "Dana" (female lead) strolling down a marketplace outside of Tel Aviv. Strange fabrics stretch over and cascade beneath crumbling walls, blotting out the sunlight from above. Trinkets, or belly dancer coins, faintly tinkle as people brush past.

I can still smell the sweet exotic spices that clung in the stifling absence of air as I inched along the cavernous passageways so many years ago. Goats and the skinned flesh of unknown creatures dangled from hooks, strung up overhead in rows for purchase, covered with flies.

Vendors in traditional long garb with missing teeth and mud crusted feet pushed past me selling coffee from strange brass contraptions or pita bread filled with gobs of Hummus.

In the film, the marketplace is overrun with Western tourists. When I strolled down these shadowy cobblestone streets, it was a different world. I was an oddity. Bombs were flying in from Lebanon. It was not tourist season. To say that people stared, is an understatement. My guide and best friend Carol, (a.k.a. loyal cab driver) was with me. Sometimes he would grab my hand and drag me away from a group of men selling bread or... He negotiated my purchases. I spent each day with him while Bill worked. Carol waited in the Taxi line up outside the hotel until I arrived. He would accept no other commission. He waited. He reminded me of my dead father, affable, kind and protective. 30 years later, he is as real and vivid as any friend I have ever known.

Later in the film, Dana meets a mysterious woman (ghost) at a cafe overlooking Jerusalem. This sets into motion a journey that leads to her true love. I sat at, perhaps, the same table and remember watching the boys riding donkeys below. Later she strolls along the Mediterranean, in Tel Aviv, past a cafe dotted with tables by the sad sea. It wasn’t a happy place when I was there. The city was in shambles, literally crumbling. I can still see Bill sitting at such a table by the Mediterranean Sea, beneath an enormous white umbrella. He's smiling his crooked smile and waving at me. I don't sit with him because he is conducting business.

What happened next, I will never forget. (Cliffhanger, courtesy of Pool Boy)


SF said...

to repost patrick where he belongs, go into edit post and at the bottom, where it says POST OPTIONS, you can change the date to whenever you want...

as for this post - deja vu is amazing. That sense of "being back again" sure makes going to the movies so much fun - particularly if you have traveled or moved as much as me. When I see a movie or television show filmed in NYC, I pay closer attention to the background than I might otherwise....Same with Paris..hmm that LOOKS like that little patisserie near Isabelle's house where I ate 3 croissants...Hey, that view of Times Square is from right in front of the Virgin Store...

JIMSIGHT said...

Good Movie, two thumbs up..I think you capture the essence of the market place better than the art director did in the film. Have you seen Blow-up (made form the short story "las Babas del Diablo" circa mid 60ish, scored by Herbie Hancock..Ms. Redgrave is stunning, need I say more.

Sidebar- Have you read "The Kite Runner"?

Thanks for the cliffhanger royalties, no need..

JIMSIGHT said...

oops..."The Droolings of the Devil" sorry forgot to translate.

Charmaine said...


Do you mean to say that you saw Deja Vu? I was under the impression that only I saw it.

If you rent it again, watch the special features/commentary with the director and actress. She was more interesting then meets the eye.

Is "Blow Up" the name of the film you recommend?

JIMSIGHT said...

Yes I have seen it, I would say the the thread of the film is Honesty, yes?...hmmmm so many others in her filmography that may be more deserving of a second look.

Prtty sure it is either one word Blowup, or hyphenated Blow-up.

Fly home tomorrow, YAY!!

JIMSIGHT said...

BTW, if you have ever seen Brian DePalma's Blow Out starring John Travolta, De Palma acknolwedges that the theme and title both come from Blow-Up, however he never gives up any props to "las Babas del Diablo". F him.

Perhaps you thought they made the film for you? LOL you ae very funny in that respect.

Spicy Latina said...

Ummmm, I really think the two of you dorks need to go out again! :-) Charming glad you blogged, I emailed you and was about to text you, I thought Evil Surfer did something to you.

Charmaine said...


Why does everyone think that Evil is going to kill me?

Just in case, he's Clay Palmer, residing in Carlsbad. It's true,his address has too many 6's in it.

Briana said...

Several months ago, an Eddie Murphy movie was filming a few miles from my house. Dan's cousin is some kind of crew member for movies (grip, key grip, I don't know). Anyway, he took us on the set to watch. We were there for about 3 hours and saw maybe 5 minutes of filming. Eddie would come out for two minutes and then retreat to his trailor for an hour. It sucked. And I have a good source who tells me that Murphy is a total a**.

JIMSIGHT said...

spicy, I was going to call her too...LOL...we are not dorks, we are just to old to have any interest in Kid Rock..

I was a GRIP, I drove Camera Cranes, was telling Char about it at dinner, then she started fumbling with her breasts, I lost interest in my own story...hmmm, but I never noticed what she was doing, I sort of promise.

P.O.M. said...

Oh dear, you need to get out more!