C’MON C’MON – You Have To Keep Going

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I used to watch plenty of movies, tv-series, and interviews with actors and directors, but since I started busy uni life – a combination of studying, meeting people, going to great places and working part-time as well, the time in front the cinema screen slowly disappeared from my life before I had the chance to notice it.

I’ve always been a fan of independent cinematography and in general movies that weren’t obvious choices for a cinema night. Back in my home country, to stay close to this part of the cultural life of my city, I volunteered in a local movie theater which was situated in a breath-taking old cinema building with a cute cafeteria, sublime audience, and a wonderful atmosphere appreciating the art of a cinema. So, recently when I had a short moment to take a breath and slow down in my busy schedule I decided to go back to my habit of enjoying a good movie and hence the article, cause I was absolutely amazed by C’mon C’mon, the new production featuring Joaquin Phoenix. But this piece is not only going to be about the movie plot, the acting or directing, I will also say a few things about the marvelous soundtrack, which as you might already know is always a major part of me enjoying a movie.

“C’mon C’mon” dir. Mike Mills., for me, is not just a movie. It’s a beautiful collection of moments captured on camera which reminded me of all the little things of ordinary life that I do tend to forget in the fast-track lifestyle I’m leading. The movie also shows a generational change, in what we worry about, what will the future bring and moreover what do we want for our future. I have always related to simple movies which featured none of the god-knows-how-amazing special effects or characterization, but instead focused on the  little details of ordinary life that are a good place for reflection, a reminder of what is valuable. Cinema lens have always served as a picture of reality that we want to see or envision ourselves in. In spite, of not having special effects, this movie feels just as extraordinary with noir scenery and amazing Joaquin Phoenix acting.

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Joaquin Phoenix’s role in this movie actually, at least for me, was even better than his Joker part, which he’s currently the most recognized from. His role is that of a journalist named Johnny, and the character’s role is focused on listening to sounds around the world, to conversations, melodies, answers, and silence as well. He interviews people, kids mostly, around the country to ask them questions about the world and the meaning of life. The character at first seems simple, but with every minute of the movie, each scene reveals more, which makes it extremely relatable for it shows family issues, sickness, siblings fights and responsibilities. There is something about his character that makes the audience sentimental, and each sentence recorded by the main character feels like a memory from your own life. By his side, the second lead role – Jesse,  is played by a child actor, the incredible Woody Norman. Jesse is Johnny’s nephew, who dramatically changed his life and helps the journalist see what is worth listening to and shows him the incredible possibilities of a child’s imagination and creativity.

The movie stands out for many reasons, one of them is the picture of the generational gap, which I believe is becoming more and more visible in today’s world. I wouldn’t call it an issue, because I do believe that people at least try to break these walls between generations, everyone in their own way, but still making an effort. This exact effort is shown in the movie, the path of understanding, and listening to other’s perspectives, even kids’, as they are the ones having so many limitless ideas. The movie shows complex family struggles with the sickness of close ones and facing difficult decisions and how this experience of going through disease can differ for each person.

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One of the main themes of the movie is memory and how will we remember. Making memories can be both precious and scary: after all there are memories we don’t want to keep in mind, right? Some are painful and some we might consider just not worth having a space in our mind. But what the movie shows is the fact that some things we don’t and will never remember and it’s totally not up to us. As a child, we do not memorize every moment, every person we meet, we might have some flashbacks from childhood when we are already adults, but still none of us knows what happened when we were just beginning our life. What the movie made me realize is the fact that both at the beginning and end of our life we stop memorizing what happens: our memory does not work yet when we start our existence in this world, and it slowly gets worse when the world is drifting away from us.

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After watching this movie, as I always do, I immediately downloaded the soundtrack, which now has been my constant companion. The music at the same time captures the silent vibrance of the city’s empty spaces and the pace of traveling and switching places from one location to another. It calms down, and directs the audience to sentimental moments of reflection and appreciation of what has already happened, which sometimes might cause something else than peace of mind. There is one more feature of the soundtrack which makes it even more unique, but I do not want to spoil anything, so this is my encouragement to see it by yourself.

For sure, this movie will have a different meaning for each member of the audience. For me, the entire screening was a refreshing and beautiful 2-hour experience of touching scenes and captures of simple beauty, which is within a reach of each and every one of us. This black and white production grasps the essence of listening to each other, of appreciating one another, and of going forward in building anything we might have dreamed of, even as kids.

Written by Julia Kaczmarek


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