Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday 13: Reasons why Spirit of the Marathon II is just as good as the 1st one

Last night I went to the "one night only" showing of Spirit of the Marathon II. I won't spoil the movie for you avid runners who plan to see it on DVD, or whenever they have another "one night only" showing, but if you had any doubts about it, shoo them away right now. I must say, as the Chicago proponent that I am, I was a little miffed that there was an attempt at hand to upstage my beloved Chicago Marathon and the original Spirit of the Marathon. Silly me! I absolutely loved it. On this "very special Thursday 13" edition, here are 13 reasons why I liked the documentary:

(by the way, it occurred to me only just at this very moment in my life, how NOT easy it must be to be a movie critic. talk intelligently about a movie without giving the major stuff away and being labeled a spoiler? that's really not easy. and I WANT to talk about it with someone, but none of the people closest to me happened to see it. for shame.)

13. Rome (wasn't built in a day). It's a no brainer how beautiful that city is. While it may be more common in older places, seeing the architectural ruins among modern buildings is so unique when compared to our very young country of America. A sense of being...of belonging...of one's life being connected to those of the past was conveyed by those featured in the film who were actually from Rome, especially the two cousins.

12. The mom. There's the mom with her two children featured, and while I'm not a huge fan of reading subtitles because of foreign language, I was struck by how much I had in common with her. Aren't we all really the same, anyway? Her haircut was hella cute, too.

11. Every runner (like every person) has a story to tell. I've always loved this, which is why I like stepping into the shoes of other people and really get into shows about people and the intricacies of their lives. The more different, the better. And just when you think one runner's story is so compelling in this documentary, the next one is just as compelling, but in a different manner. Reminds me of REM's song..."Everybody hurts...sometimes."

10. The struggle of being an elite runner, but not top dog. While there was a bit of this in Spirit I, there was no "top dog" in this show. So if you can't be the best why bother? Because it's the race against ourselves that matters.

9. And interesting that each runner struggled with the notion of whether or not they had reached their goals. In my head I was yelling at them "BUT YOU JUST FINISHED A MARATHON IN X:XX:XX!" But how many times do I do the exact same thing to myself? More often than not, I'm frowning and discounting my achievement within moments of crossing the finish line. Stop that dumb shit!

8. Ain't love grand? I've spent a lot of my adult life loving those who didn't love me back, or with those that didn't treat me the way I deserve. So when you see real, non-scripted love right there on the big screen, it makes you say "Yeah...that right there. That's gold."

7. Rwanda. What a stunningly beautiful country. I had no idea. Gorgeous. Add that to my short list of must-see countries in Africa, right after Zimbabwe. If I can get a screenshot of one scene in the movie, I'm framing it. What a wonderful world. Makes me sad that some people never even get out of their neighborhoods...there's so much to see in the world and I love that even at the ripe semi-old age of 41, I still don't know shit, ain't seen shit, and (hopefully) have plenty more time to see shit. What a world we live in. (I'm teetering over the deep abyss of dork-ness at this point...I'm about to jump in and go swimming.)

6. There's even beauty in New Jersey.

5. In Spirit I, the City of Chicago/Chicago Marathon was practically its own character, in a way much like NYC is a character in Sex and the City. I didn't get that feel from Spirit II. Maybe that was intentional, or maybe that has more to do with me, the viewer, too close to Chicago to watch Spirit I and not be completely drawn in by my hometown. Either way, I'm glad Spirit II was not an attempt to mimic the first one.

4.Who the film follows: overly peppy/talkative woman from Los Angeles; Ukrainian professional runner; two cousins in their 70's from Rome; a mom from a smaller Italian town; newly retired man from New Jersey; and the professional runner from Rwanda.

3. For the most part, to know that you have made a difference in at least one person's life...that you have somehow left your mark in this world...that is to have lived a successful life. I felt that throughout the movie.

2. Favorite non-quote of a quote (because I can't remember it exactly how it was put): Everyone writes his own history at the marathon. It's your story.

1. I'm inspired.

My next marathon will be: ___________________________________________________.

a) Seattle 2014

b) Illinois (U of I) 2014

c) Chicago 2014

d) All of the above

1 comment:

Lou said...

I didn't even realize that there was another movie out. I want to see this!