My Inbox of Life Lessons is always full. I have to go back to reread some of its messages frequently so that I don’t have to repeat the same mistakes–at least not so many times. The most important lesson I keep relearning is to be true to yourself.
Art as reminder
I seek out art of all kinds–music, painting, sculpture, movies, books–to help remind me. Unfortunately, some media slams home these reminders so hard it brings tears to my eyes. Oscar winning movies can be the toughest for me; so many “Best Picture” recipients deliver their messages through tragic stories of pain, death, and loss. They can be so successful at exposing the dark side of human nature that I cannot watch them.
So I search for other art. Art that plucks at the heartstrings and gently unwraps Life’s messages through beauty, movement, and rhythm.
A hidden gem
“Momentum” is one such work of art. This short, student film won many awards, not for tragedy, but for uplifting and celebrating the human spirit. It now ranks as one of my favorite films.
First time through
I smiled at first viewing, but the full impact did not hit me until later. The plot, defined in narrative form, is about dance and the awkward teenage years. The production quality is raw with a documentary flavor at the start. It does not feature flawless performance or elegant choreography. The sets are minimalistic. The dialogue is fragmented in places.
An unexpected magnet
I watched “Momentum” on Vimeo and left a complimentary but terse comment. However, I couldn’t stay away. On second viewing, I discovered the exquisite craft of this seemingly simplistic video about a young man learning to dance. The fragmentation was intentional. The message ran deep. I kept drifting back to watch it again and again and knew I was hooked by its unpretentious charm.
The film was not about teen angst after all. It was all about being true to yourself and the power of self-expression in making connections to others.
The power of self-expression
“Momentum” isn’t an Oscar-winning tragedy. It is entertaining and uplifting and funny. The music is elevating. The editing interweaves the score with the facial expressions and body movements of the actors to create a delightful gestalt that defines the act of self-expression as the essence of being human.
Watching this video made me feel what art must have been like for our ancient ancestors when they first painted on cave walls. Unspoiled by artifice. Genuine.
Its messages about connections and freedom made me yearn and smile and wish to hold onto the feelings it evoked everywhere in my life. So I sent the hyperlink to people I thought would appreciate it. It felt important to send it to my grown children, in case I did not tell them clearly enough when they were young that being your true self and connecting to those who are important to you are two of the most important precepts of a deeply fulfilled life.
And now I’m sharing it with you. Click on the link and open it in full screen.