Thursday, February 05, 2009

I'll Take You There.

A few days ago I read a January 14th blog post by Roger Ebert, "I feel good! I knew that I would" that described a phenomenon that many of us experience but find difficult to describe. He calls it "elevation" or "uplift." Here's how the article starts:

"I've been saying for years that I never cry during sad moments in the movies, only during moments about goodness. At the end of "Terms of Endearment," I didn't cry because of Debra Winger's death, but because of how she said goodbye to her sons. Now I've have discovered a scientific explanation for why I feel the way that I do, and there is even a name for my specific emotion.

I wasn't seeking an explanation, and I'm not sure I really wanted one. And, for that matter, I don't really cry, at least not in the wiping-my-eyes and blowing-my-nose fashion. What I experience is the welling up of a few tears in my eyes, a certain tightness in my throat, and a feeling of uplift: Yes, there is a good person, doing a good thing. And when the movie is over, I don't want to talk with anyone. After such movies I notice that many audience members remain in a kind of reverie. Those who break the spell by feeling compelled to say something don't have an emotional clue.

It doesn't require a tearjerker to create this aura. "Fargo" is far from a tearjerker, but at the end, when Marge Gunderson snuggles up to her husband Norm and tells him how proud she is about his design for the wildlife stamp, it made me feel so warm. And it was at the very end of "Do the Right Thing," when the quotations from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X appeared on the screen, that I felt: Yes, that is the choice. And I hope we make the right one."

Please read the rest of the article here.

The comments following the article are wonderful, too, and full of profundity. I felt "uplift" as I READ this article and saw how much it means to so many people. On that note, I thought I'd share my moment of "elevation" today.

I'd already watched this once before, but I stumbled up on it again today and this time saw a "making of the commercial" clip too. I'm posting a T Mobile Commercial shot in Liverpool with 400 dancers mixed in with an unsuspecting rush hour crowd. When the music cues, everyone starts to dance and before long even the bystanders were joining in. For some reason this is heartbreakingly wonderful.

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