Archive for the Lent in Deutschland Category

Love, Spannend und Neue: Lent in Deutschland, Night One

Posted in Lent in Deutschland on February 15, 2013 by tom


It seems fitting, for Valentine’s night, to write about love. I’m not talking about love of country, love of ones job, or loving beer. I write of good, old-fashioned, hormone-escalating, giblet-tingling, sweaty, romantic love.

In “Judgment at Nuremberg,” we have examples of three stages of love.

In the beginning, love is all giddy and fun, where we get silly spending time with our newly beloved. In “Nuremberg,” we find Chief Judge Dan Haywood  painting Nuremberg Rote countless evenings with the German widow, Mrs Bertholt. They go out drinking, see concerts, go out drinking some more, have coffee in Mrs Bertholt’s cozy little flat. As so often happens during the early “falling in love” stage, something happens, a breach the romance is too nascent to endure; something happens, and suddenly, there’s an endlessly ringing, unanswered phone, with a frustrated lover on the other end.

We have Captain Harrison Byers (William Shatner (no, really!)), who’s been living in Nuremberg for two years. He’s young, and he has a beautiful German girlfriend, Elsa Schleffer. You can tell their love is deeper, more familiar.

More familiar still is the love between Judge Haywood’s housekeepers, Mr & Mrs Halbestadt. They’ve been married for many years. They had two grown children who died in the war, but the couple endures. They answer for each other and complete one another’s sentences.

What do all of these types of love have in common?

Simple: I’m not in any of them.

It’s weird, that. It seems like I’m always moving into or out of some kind of relationship. If I’m not with somebody, there is at least somebody on the love radar, some prospective suitress I’m chatting-up. After my Summer of Discontent, I haven’t thought of love. This didn’t dawn on me until tonight. It’s been an adjustment just getting to a point where I can stand being Tom, much less trying to add another to my world. I’ve begun working from home for awhile,  so I’m not really meeting anyone new.

I’m not saying my life is devoid of love. I have a loving family and lots of good friends. Most of my friends are women, so I’m also not devoid of female company. I guess I’m just not in a position for any type of romance. Happily, this doesn’t bother me. I’m used to living on my own, and I like it. Plus, down on 34th Street and 22nd Ave South, there are plenty of inexpensive hookers.

I kid.

(There really ARE hookers down there; I just don’t hire them)

Judge Haywood has had to adapt to the other extreme. He was married for a number of years, and his wife died in his late middle-age years. He has a daughter and four grandchildren, all of whom love him, and whom he loves in return. Despite this, he has had to learn to live alone after so many years with his wife. It must be hell to lose ones soulmate and life-partner; I can’t even imagine. A few years have passed, and now Judge Haywood finds himself in a flirtation with the widowed Mrs Bertholt. His awkwardness is palpable, as he tries to learn how to play the game again, but he obviously feels something for the executed general’s widow.

There will come a time when I’m ready, when my brain is fixed and my head screwed on straight, when I’m ready to take that big-ass chance again.

Then, and only then, I’ll be ready to act…

…and go rent me one of those crackwhores.

Sorry. I mean, “start dating again.”

Happy Half-Priced Candy Day.


Lent in Deutschland

Posted in Lent in Deutschland on February 13, 2013 by tom
The poster, German-style

Nuremberg poster, Deutsch-style

I’m cheating a bit, fudging the date on this post, so don’t feel like you’ve missed anything.

As you may have guessed from this post’s title, I have chosen Germany for this year’s Lenten slog. This will include cinematic Germans and representations of Germany, plus German films, all cooked up with sauerkraut as a combo platter.

This won’t be quite the same as “Lent in Casablanca” a couple years ago. Most of those posts were tied directly to “Casablanca,” be it critical analysis, assessing different viewpoints, creating different scenarios within the world of Rick’s Cafe Americain, even–perhaps most notoriously–inventing new characters (Testarossa Ferrari was invented; believe me, Annie the Soapmaker is 100% real), and mashing characters from other works into “Casablanca.” If nothing else, my Casablanca is probably the only place where Hermione Granger and Lisbeth Salander are lovers, and hang out with a real 21st century soapmaker and a bunch of people from a 1940’s film.

“Judgment at Nuremberg,” as an example, is a less-fun film than “Casablanca,” and in many ways, it’s more real–real-life isn’t always fun. Germans would never make “Tommy Boy.”

Many of these posts will tie to films you have seen–“Nuremberg,” “Inglourious Basterds,” even “Casablanca,” perhaps. Other films will be ones you haven’t seen, like “Wings of Desire.” (Everyone should watch “Wings of Desire”. Call off of work if you need to). Originally, I was going to limit this only to “Judgment at Nuremberg.” I decided to change it, to open it up to other films and other perspectives. Also, “Judgment at Nuremberg” is over three hours-long, so I’d be spending roughly a whole day watching it each week.

Anyway, as always, this an experiment, and I thank you for stopping by whenever you can. (Also, I’m glad I’m not Catholic, so I won’t go to purgatory for missing a night here and there 😉 (or for cheating, and saying this was written Ash Wednesday))

And thus, onward! Guten Nacht.

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