Här har du ditt liv

I got through another lecture, although it was annoying that I had to remind a security guard to unlock the door to the classroom. When I returned home, I saw the Johnny Carson show with Jay Leno and Fred Savage. I then watched Jan Troell’s “Here is Your Life,” which followed the life of young Olof in Sweden. The time period was 1916-1918, and the working life is rough. One young teen dies when logs roll on top of him. The scene was disturbing. I would certainly hate to die at work, and getting crushed to death is deeply frightening. Olof reads a lot and says that he likes philosophy. He becomes political, although I didn’t see that he ever helped himself with his expression of his beliefs. It’s an age of hard, physical work, although the jobs that take Olof away from the mill are not especially meaningful. He gets fed up with his jobs and tells off his bosses. He has his first drink and has sexual relationships, although they don’t fit the romantic picture of old Hollywood movies. Watching this movie makes you feel that Troell is headed in the direction of “The Emigrants,” which might have been his best film. Someone does suggest that Olof learn English. I don’t understand how Olof and his friend could run around naked like they were in “A Room with a View.” I wouldn’t want a friend getting a look at my genitals. Olof takes another job selling candy in a movie theatre. I guess this is before the time when they started selling popcorn at the movies, or, well, I’ve never been to Sweden, anyway. Olof becomes a projectionist, although these are not the days of “Gone with the Wind.” They are silent films. I didn’t see anything like Chaplin, Keaton, or Lloyd on the program. The feeling isn’t like “Cinema Paradiso,” and in fact Olof says that he gets sick of the movies. Quentin Tarantino called “The Hateful Eight” a roadshow, but Olof really does go on the road with his projector. The railroad is seen as a source of reliable, steady work in this time. Olof becomes bolder in his behavior. The elements in Sweden seem relentless with all of that cold and wind. Watching this movie definitely did not make me want to visit the country. I noticed a couple of actors from the Bergman movies in this oneo Max von Sydow and Gunnar Björnstrand. Max von Sydow always makes a strong impression with an appearance in a film. Except for Olof’s mother, the woman in the story are not too important, just stops along the way in a young man’s life. Olivia is an older woman who runs a shooting gallery, and goes from one man to another. Somehow, I think you could have predicted that she was headed for a fall. The movie was nearly three hours long, but it was interesting for most of its length. I think we just want to see if this young person’s life is going to go anywhere. The last shot of the movie is an aerial shot that shows Olof as an isolated speck in the landscape. I thought it looked quite striking. It made me think of the last shot of “Easy Rider.” The movie was in black and white, and it was Jan Troell’s first film. It must have seemed like the start to a very promising career in 1966. He did come up with “The Emigrants,” which is going to be released in a Criterion Collection edition, and he came back years later with the recent “Everlasting Moments.” I fell asleep for a while and watched the ending to the Banacek episode about the missing football player, called “Let’s Hear It for a Living Legend.” After the explanation, I wondered about the color of the player’s pants. The caper couldn’t happen today because of all those cameras that are continually pointed at all the players. I don’t have the same feeling for television shows that I did in the 1970s. There is too much of everything these days. John Brodie played a role in the program, and his performance was not worthy of an Emmy. I thought that he looked heavy. I don’t think I recognized the football stadium in the episode. Some of the people who died on February 3 include Woodrow Wilson (1924), Buddy Holly (1959), Ritchie Valens (1959), John Cassavetes (1989), Nancy Kulp (1991), Audrey Meadows (1996), Al Lewis (2006), Maria Schneider (2011), and Ben Gazzara (2012). Today is a birthday for Isla Fisher (40), Morgan Fairchild (66), and Blythe Danner (73). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 3, Elton John hit Number One on the singles chart with “Crocodile Rock” in 1973. In 1983, the Earth, Wind & Fire album “Powerlight” was released. In 1996, Queen Latifah was arrested for possession of a handgun and marijuana. In 2006, Al Lewis, who was Grandpa Munster of The Munsters, died at age 82.

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