Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Am I A de Winter?

Do you remember the scene at the beginning of Rebecca where the heroine is just getting to know the seductively brooding Maxim de Winter? She tells him she's an orphan (they always make the best protagonists, after all), and that her father, when he was still living, was a not so successful painter, largely due to the fact that his sole subject was a single tree that he found particularly striking. She explains, maybe a little bashfully, that her father's philosophy was that if you found something perfect, you should stick with it. The way the anecdote was treated seemed to want viewers to find the father eccentric and charming, but maybe also acknowledge the impracticality and absurdity of this mindset. Being sixteen and a dutiful viewer, I did just that. What a totally stupid idea! I thought to myself. Who cares about trees, anyway!

I'm still not so sure why I remember this particular part of the film, but now that I'm amassing a collection of old postcards of similar style, I find myself sometimes thinking about this father and his tree, and am starting to realize we maybe have more in common than I initially thought. I guess I just mean that the idea of trying to reimagine the same subject or scene in a variety of different ways doesn't seem redundant or boring to me anymore. Now it just seems like a pretty nice challenge.