Posts Tagged ‘Michael Caine’

GC Myers- If...I wasn’t going to feature another new painting here this morning but I felt that this piece just fits perfectly into the momentary state of our politics.  At least how it appears to me.

In most of the recent paintings from this series featuring patterned skies (I don’t know what else to call them) the sky represents hidden forces and powers that are just beyond our sight and reach.  It’s pretty much the same with this piece except that there is, at least for me, a more chaotic and turbulent aspect in the sky.

The tree stands as a direct counterpoint to this chaos, straight and unwavering.  It  has strength and resolve along with a placid sense of being.  A sense of self awareness beyond the influence of the madness occurring beyond it.  While it is simple in design, it has been a painting that has given me a lot to think about while at the same time calming me.

As I was nearing the end of this 18″ by 24″ piece, I began to think of the famous poem If from Rudyard Kipling and how it related in many ways to how I was seeing this painting.  The poem is basically a father’s advice to his son, telling him all of the things he should learn to endure if he wants to become a man.  It would also be good advice for the ideal political candidate, male or female.  I think most of the people we have seen in this year’s presidential primaries fail to meet most of those requirements that Kipling has laid out.

The poem is below but if you would rather hear it read aloud, there is a recording of actor Michael Caine reading it at the bottom.

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: 


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ 


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! 
Rudyard Kipling, If

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Michael CaineI saw a short piece on the news-magazine show CBS Sunday Morning that profiled actor Michael Caine.  I have always liked Caine and many of his movies, although I sometimes question some of his choices.  The interesting part was when they pointed out how many of his 60’s era movies have had modern remakes.  Alfie, The Italian Job, Get Carter and several more have all been subjected to an updated retelling.  All fell short of the originals.

Caine said he didn’t understand why a moviemaker would want to remake a successful, well made film.  To his mind it made more sense to find a movie that had flopped but had a good storyline and remake that.  His Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was such a case, having been a flop, with another name,  starring Marlon Brando.

This kind of reinforced what I had mentioned in my Saturday post about The Ten Commandments where I talked about how modern moviemakers remake a classic film with new people and the newest technology and deliver films with more realism but less entertainment value.  They can never recreate the chemistry required to make a film  work. They forget that movies are about people first.  All the greatest cinematic technology and attention to detail mean nothing if the viewer can’t make some type of connection with the characters.  This human element is somehow overlooked by modern moviemakers.  

Like painting, all the technical prowess in the world means nothing if people can’t feel attachment to the work. 

I just thought it was an interesting point to think over while I’m waiting for them to remake Casablanca.  I hear they’re going to cast Matthew McConaughey to take over Bogart’s Rick character.

Just kidding- I hope…

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