Monday, April 21, 2008

The Squid and the Whale

From writer/director Noah Baumbach's brilliant, heartbreaking The Squid and the Whale:
When I was around 6, my mom and I -- she and I ducked out of Julie Glynn's birthday party to watch "Robin Hood" together on our tv. I liked Errol Flynn. And I was glad that she let me leave the party early to watch the movie. She and I loved that movie. It's like... it's like we were pals then, and we'd do things together. We'd look at the knight armor at the Met. The scary fish at the Natural History Museum...

I was always afraid of the squid and the whale fighting. I could only look at it with my hands in front of my face.

When we'd get home, after my bath, she'd go through all the different things we saw that day at the museum. And we'd get to the squid and the whale and she'd describe it for me. Which... it was still scary... but it was less scary...
A profound and moving portrait of a dysfunctional family in mid-80s Brooklyn, trying to get on in the wake of a divorce.

I can still hear the sound of my parents arguing through the thin walls. These extended yelling matches in a foreign language we didn't understand. Doubly foreign because we probably wouldn't have understood it even without the language barrier.