Friday, May 22, 2009

To see, really see

La Strada
by George Bilgere

A dollar got you a folding chair
in the drafty lecture hall
with a handful of other wretched grad students.

Then the big reels and low-tech chatter
of a sixteen-millimeter projector.

La Strada. Rashomon. HMS Potemkin.
La Belle e Ie Béte, before
Disney got his hands on it.

And The Bicycle Thief, and for God's sake,
La Strada.

You can't find them
at the video store anymore. Only the latest
G-rated animated pixilated computer-generated prequels.

That's just the way it goes.

Even if you could,
you'd see them on DVD,
restored, colorized, scratch-free,
on a plasma-screen TV. With your wife,
your dog, your degree. You'd get up
to answer the phone, check on the baby.

You're just not young enough,
or poor enough, or miserable
enough anymore to see—really see

Les Enfants du Paradis, or Ikiru,
or The 400 Blows. Or, for God's sake,
La Strada.

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