When the storm of life is raging / Stand by me

by chuckofish

How was your weekend? We enjoyed a glorious mid-winter weather break this weekend with record-breaking temperatures in the low 70s. Wow. After church the OM and I headed down to Ted Drewes only to find it closed with a sign saying it would be open by Valentine’s Day! Why? I have no idea. Confused and let down, we drove back to our flyover town and settled for Andy’s frozen custard, which was good, but just not the same.

Otherwise the weekend was pleasant enough. I did some more work on the basement re-organization project and went to lunch with some girlfriends. Again, we were thwarted in our plans, due to our chosen restaurant being too busy. Everyone and his brother was out and about this weekend!

Since I had finally gotten the DVD back from the boy, I watched Road to Perdition (2002) and enjoyed it a lot.

road-to-perdition-original

I was quite struck by the cinematography, so  I looked up the cinematographer, Conrad Hall who, it turns out, won his third Oscar for this movie. I found out that he was the son of James Norman Hall, who along with Charles Nordhoff was the author of Mutiny on the Bounty. He was born in Tahiti and studied filmmaking at USC. Nominated ten times, he won Oscars for American Beauty (2000) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1970) and the aforementioned Road to Perdition, his last film. He was nominated for one of my favorites, The Professionals (1966), but not for another favorite, Cool Hand Luke (1967). Indeed, he was a great cinematographer.

The beautiful musical score is by Thomas Newman, who is the son of the great Alfred Newman (How the West Was Won and many  others) and the cousin of Randy Newman. Thomas has been nominated twelve times for an Oscar, but has never won. He composed the music to Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Oscar and Lucinda (1997) among many others.

Considering that The Road to Perdition is a movie about Irish-American mobsters, there is not an overabundance of violence. (But it is directed by Sam Mendes and not Martin Scorcese.) Bad things happen, terrible things, but first and foremost it is a very low-key film about fathers and sons. Tom Hanks plays the anti-hero who is so screwed up by his upbringing that he cannot escape perdition, but he does the best he can to save his son.

Daughter #1 sent me the link to Bob Dylan’s speech accepting the MusiCares Person of the Year Award. Read the whole thing, because it is quite the speech. Bob is just the Best.

bob-dylan-musicares-2015-billboard-650

I can not tell you how much I love it that he quotes the old hymn “Stand By Me” in front of all those unbelievers! Testify. When I do the best I can / And my friends don’t understand / Thou who knowest all about  me / Stand by me.

The Old Testament reading on Sunday was the wonderful passage from Isaiah 40:21-31:

21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?

22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

23 That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.

24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.

25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?

28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

So do not faint and grow weary, Kiddos. All will be well. Have a good Monday.