Every year, I watch Star Wars on my birthday.
It’s a tradition that goes back more than twenty years. I usually invite a bunch of friends, and we watch one of the Star Wars movies. In fact, one year, in Kazakhstan, we watched all six of the movies, back to back.
It was a long day.
And over the years, I’ve made substitutions. I’ve watched Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Lord of the Rings (the entire trilogy in one sitting – exhausting), and E.T.
But they’ve always been films that looked backward, connecting me to my childhood.
This year, I made the conscious decision to go the complete opposite direction, to look forward. And so I invited friends to watch the 2016 film, Swiss Army Man.
This is a film directed by a duo known as The Daniels, and featuring actors Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. It is a film that had made a splash at Sundance this past year, but was probably not on most people’s radar (except for the Daniel Radcliffe connection).
I heard about this film this summer when I was in Los Angeles for the Variety Faith and Family Film Summit. I heard about it from a Lyft driver who gave me a ride to the cinema where I was seeing Star Trek Beyond. He was an actor who said that it was the most original film that he’d seen in a long, long time.
And I was intrigued.
But I forgot about it.
Until my birthday rolled around last Friday. Friday morning I realized that I was not in the mood to watch Star Wars, or Raiders, or Goonies, or some other movie from my youth. I was in the mood to watch the most original movie I could find.
And so I chose Swiss Army Man. And it didn’t disappoint.
This movie is like nothing I’ve seen before, and I can imagine that many people would detest it like an introvert detests being at a party where people are constantly asking him to talk about himself. The film is strange, and unexpected, and talks about some pretty vile subjects…
But it’s also weird, and beautiful, and unexpected, and strange, and touching.
And so, for today’s examination of beauty, I wanted to show the scene of this film that drew me in the most. And I want to show it without explanation, because I don’t know that I could explain it, even if I tried.
It’s the bus scene from Swiss Army Man. An example of beauty in filmmaking.
Stay tuned for more examples of embracing beauty, and please share this post with your friends! Let’s help spread beauty all over the internet.
Also, if you have an example of beauty that you want to share, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to include it!