Theme of the Month: Forever (And Ever)
Star of the Month: Winona Ryder
Now that it’s November 1st that must also mean
that Christmas season has officially begun, at least in my mind and in the minds of people who wouldn’t be much opposed to skipping over Thanksgiving altogether and celebrating the hedonistic holiday for the rest of time. Give me my corny seasonal tunes immediately; give me an excuse to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas immediately — that’s all I can ask for.
As I’ve grown older have I begun to realize that I enjoy the Christmas season more for the seemingly perpetual optimism that seems to hang in the air than the actual event of Christmas itself. With the year wrapping up, most people are taking the time to reflect on their individual experiences and oftentimes look in the direction of future improvement. Families are coming together to bask in the company of their closest relatives and holiday-centric vacations are being taken — a collective sigh of relief seems to overwhelm the last two months of the year, the leaves coloring and eventually falling as a way to signify that (hopefully positive) change is coming.
Perhaps it’s too soon to be talking about the holiday season — Thanksgiving is still decently far away, after all — but with so many midterms coming up and with so many deadlines to meet, essential is the looking forward to a time when simple
pleasure replaces the stresses of everyday life. And because I recently got into my major — Communications with a focus in Journalism — there’s a growing sense that maybe the world as I’ve come to know it is suddenly becoming more urgent in its tone. I’m getting older and responsibilities are moving away from materialistic to momentous. One false move and reparations could be overwhelming.
The concept of “forever” is always sitting in the back of mind, the question of what I want to do with the rest of my life always berating me despite the fact that I’m confident in what inclinations I’d like to lean toward both professionally and personally. It’s the envisioning of myself aging decades that decidedly freaks me out — will middle-aged Blake be happy with the paths his younger self took many moons ago? Because I’m inching closer to the ideal of doing what I love, I doubt that I’ll end up like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, but there’s always that inexplicable, lingering skepticism that burdens me.
So with the word “forever” haunting my every move, I’ve also been thinking a lot about Winona Ryder, an actress so intoxicating that Johnny Depp, an ex-boyfriend, iconically got a “Winona Forever” tattoo (that eventually had to be altered to “Wino Forever” after the expected breakup). Not that I necessarily link my own plights of existential doubt with the waif of an actress — I’ll excuse myself due to her being in the news a lot with her Stranger Things comeback — but because she’s a “forever” symbol of disaffected youth (and a forever symbol for Depp), a permanent fixture of Generation X and a universal figurehead for those dealing with the confusions of their teenage years and the scary strolling toward forced adulthood. Unlike your Tab Hunters and your Annette Funicellos, Ryder possesses a timelessness that arguably feels realer than anything the Rat Pack ever had to offer. She’s endlessly fascinating.
Ryder performatively encapsulates the notion of forever (and naturally, the Theme of the Month on the site’s going to be Forever (And Ever)), and I’m looking forward to exploring her best films as well as others that find characters in situations colored by such immediacy that they might seem eternal to the characters living the drama but are, in actuality, temporary (though potentially life-changing in some cases).
Maybe Peterson Reviews’s focus for November makes for a direct contrast from my wanting to romanticize everything around me, but maybe the theme and star will also remind me that there’s always an end to a moment that frightens, that confuses. I had a blast last month just watching horror and sci-fi movies, and I loved having Vincent Price as my main source of interest. But nice it’ll be to go back to the drawing board and put my attention back on to more serious filmmaking. Happy watching and happy reading!