Edward Woodward, th English acktr, died today at th age o 79. Reggalr readrs o The Joey Polanski Show will probly remembr that he starrd in one o my favorite movies o all time -- Breaker Morant. But back when I mentiond that filmski as one o my all-time favorits, I mentiond it fer th prposes o puttin forth some o th poemskis recitd in that filmski -- poemskis by such establishd poemrs as Lord Byron, as well as poemskis by th historickle figgr centrally portrayd in th filmski, Lt. Harry Morant (not to mention th rathr low-brow limerick that may or may not a-been recitd by anothr o th figgrs portrayd therein); and you fokes, knowin as you do my love fer th poemski, mighta spposd that its cuz o all th poemin innit that Breaker Morant is one o my all-time favorite filmskis. But that aint right. I think th thing that makes Breaker Morant a great and unfergettable filmski is th performance, in th title role, o none othr than Edward Woodward. Truly, fokes, this is one of only two instances in which I woud say that th prformance of an acktr in a role is reasn enough to call a film GREAT. Th othr instance, in case youre wondrin, is F. Murray Abrahams prformance in Amadeus. These are th greatest o filmskis -- #2 and #1, rspecktively, among my all time faves -- and you shoud make a point o watchin em bofe; but tnight you shoud rent Breaker Morant. F. Murray Abraham will croak eventualy; and then you can make a point o rentin Amadeus. (Dont rent th Direcktrs Cut, tho. It sucks.) But rent Breaker Morant tnight -- in honor o th dead guy.
Atchualy -- and I have NO idea why Im bothrin to tell ya this, cept maybe that Im dangd drunkski right now -- but fer a while I was DANGD SURE that F. Murray Abraham WAS deadski. See, well bfore I evr seen Amadeus -- and, admittdly, I didnt see it until long aftr it was rleasd in th theatrs -- I seen some shitty-ass flick that starrd F. Murray Abraham. Innit, he playd some kinda Turkish king who marryd a hot chickski and then went off to battle and got imself killt. It was a shitty flick, and I didnt care for it a whole heckuva lotski. But heres th thing ... Aftr I seen this shitty-ass filmski, th U.S. went t war wif Saddam Hussein in th Iraqski, and I remembr DISTINCKLY that, durin that military acktion, some acktr croakd and th news rportd that this acktr was of Ayrabb descent. And I was pretty sure that th TV obits I seen mentiond that shitty-ass filmski in which F.Murray Abraham playd that Turk kingski. And it was only aftr THAT that I finaly seen Amadeus. Sos, fer a long time aftr that, whenevr Id watch Amadeus, Id say, "Oh, what a shame that hes dead," and whenevr Id see a filmski comin out that had F. Murray Abraham innit -- like th parody-film, Loaded Weapon -- Id say, "Oh, that mus be th filmski he was makin when he bit it." It only took a coupla new rleases from ol F. Murray bfore I came to say, "WTF??! How many dangd filmskis was this guy workin on when he croakd?" Well, ocourse, it turns out he aint dead at allski; and I cant figgr out fer th life o me whethr a acktr o Ayrabb descent realy DID die durin th Gulf War o 1991 and, if one DID, then I gots no idea whoonaFUCK it mighta been. I jus hadta learn to live wit th fackt that a great acktr who turnd in th greatest prformance I evr seen in a film was, nfackt, still alive. I coped.
But -- shit -- it wudnt nevr my intention to make this a obitchuary postski. Nfackt, th plans fer this post were in place ovr a year ago -- long bfore I evr couda knowd that Edward Woodward was gonna croak on Novembr 16, and so long bfore I couda evr had reasn to esplain how I thougt F. Murray Abraham was dead when he wudnt.
See, this Novembr 16, its sixteen years since Mama Polanski passd away. I been a orfan a long time, fokes.
Now I imagine just about alla yous out there have lost somone. Few fokes make it inta adulthood wifout seein sombody they know get took out by th Grim Reapr. But I also suspeckt that maybe a few o yous aint nevr lost no one as close as a parent. So Im guessin that some o yous will undrstand bettr than othrs a lot o what Im goin on aboutski.
When ya lose somone as close t ya as a parent -- assumin, ocourse, that you always had a good rlationship wif yer parents -- it does sompm weird to ya. I wudnt livin at home when eithr Papa or Mama Polanski passd. I was livin roughly 780 miles (or 3 states) away (a 3-hour plane ride, countin a 1-hour layovr in St Louie) when they went. They wernt part o my daily life. We talkd on th weekends. But still they were still a defnite kind o constant. They were always a phone call away, and I always knew that.
Whats more is that my muscles always knew it too -- evn bettr than my brain did, aparently. When Mama Polanski went, almost 15 munts aftr Papa Polanski, there was, ocourse, th unavoidable trip home to settle affairs; and bein wif famly, dspite th conspicuosly empty house, in a odd way kept th reality o our loss from fully sinkin in.
And maybe theres sompm in us that keeps it from evr sinkin in cmpletely. Th muscle-memory takes a long time to fadeski. I cant tell ya how many times I, aftr returnin from that trip back home, and in spite o "knowin bettr," caugt myself movin tward th phone to call eithr Mama or Papa Polanski. Yep. Felt th apropriate muscles tense up, felt th intention affecktin th will. Hadta remind myself they aint a phone call away no more.
These eppisodes, ocourse, were very frequent in th year followin Mama Polanskis passin, rathr INfrequent in th latr years. Infrequent, but not unheard of. Still, I ockasionaly see or hear sompm that inclines me, physickly, to pick up that phone. Sixteen years latr. I wondr ... if I didnt "catch myself," woud I atchualy dial th old numbr?
And th brain has its own tricks to play. Theres th dreamskis. As I awready toldjas a coupla years ago, th initial dreams involvin P & M Polanski were eithr vaguely or overtly disturbing. There they were, my P & M, alive; but sompm in th dream always suggestd that they were NOT awright. They were somhow in peril.
More recently, th dreams invovin P & M (yep ... I still have em ...) have had quite a diffrent characktr. They aint at all disturbing. Theyre atchualy very uplifting. Eithr they involve sompm thats altogethr joyous -- like Papa Polanski reboundin from what was presumd to be a terminal illness -- or they seem pregnant wif a kind o mysterios significkance -- like when Papa P wannad me & my brothr Piet and Mama P to guess th great event in Papa Ps life that took place exackly 60 years ago. Me & Piet guessd that he was talkin about bein dischargd from th Army, but we were wrongski. I still dont know what th event was, but I wrote down th date o th dream, in case I wanna try researchin it somday.
But heres th thingski -- and, as usual, its takn me this long to get around to my real reasn fer writin a post like this on th anniversry o Mama Ps passin. There are some evnings when I find myself gettin a little hungry. Now, when its gettin lateski -- yknow, close to bedtime -- I dont like to eat anything real heavy, cuz when I do that it dont make fer a very restful night. Metabollism slows down a bit, I guess. Not good tryin to digest stuff when yer bodys a-spposta be gettin ready fer anothr day. So when I find myself wantin a late-night snackski, I usualy make myself a salad. And Ive noticd that my salad nights are oftn ackompanyd by them P & M dreams. Lately they been featurin Mama Polanski. I aint had any more o them dreams like that one I toldja about two years ago, where my waking self trys to communickate wif th dream Mama P; but th dreams I been havin have also been very happy dreamskis. Im happy while Im dreamin em, and Im happy when I wake up from em -- tho I wish my P & M were around when Im awake too.
Somtimes I think maybe th departd spirits o Mama & Papa Polanski have been sendin me little ockasional hypno-postcards, tellin me that they, aftr a bit of a journey, have finaly found emselfs some heavenly digs. But maybe I dont blieve so much in Heavn no more. I kinda sorta blieve in it a lot when Im drunkski on th Old Rasputin like I was way back when I startd writin this friggin long-ass postski, cuz then I tend to think that being in Heavn gots t be a lot like bein good & drunkski and so when Im atchualy drunkski, I guess I sorta get to feelin like Im awready livin in th heavnly suburbs or sompm.
But I aint gonna insist on interpretin th pattern o my dreams that way. Alls Im gonna say is that one shoud nevr undrestimate th lengts to which a mothr will go to get her son to eat more vegtables.
Monday, November 16, 2009