welcome to open cities

Welcome to the last thing the world ever needed. These are my important thoughts. Aren't they important? Aren't they interesting? Don't I sound smart? Welcome to my brain. Mind the gap and pack your trash please.

The first film class I took back in college was the ubiquitous 'History of Film.' This 10-week night class, with its heaving syllabus of twenty films that have gone on to be the most popular films shown in college at night, began a relatively polite love affair with Italian film, and my first exposure to Rosellini and company's Rome: Open City.

It's as bleak as you'd expect--a black and white world of post-war mayhem and confusion. Shot in 1945, it really was post-war. The Germans had left Rome a mere handful of months before the script was completed and photography began. Anderson Cooper would have been proud.

Like the film, the term 'open city' is a couplet of words i've never forgotten. Dictionary.com describes it this way; "a city that, during a war, is offically declared demilitarized and open to occupation, and that will consequently not be defended, in order to spare it, under international law, from bombardment or other military attack."

There were, lots, of commas, in that particular, definition, but the basic idea is that an open city is a city of chaos. Not simply in the sense of war, but in all senses. It represents a throwing up of the hands of the system that had sought to define the city. Normal city functions like streets, lampposts, trade, and currency cease to matter or even exist in the classic sense. It's an inbetween time, a gap between past and future. A time beyond anarchy where fear is rampant and contageous, but possibilty is endless...or not.

We live in open cities. Here at the beginning of the 21st century, the norm is up for grabs, ready to be siezed by the conquering army of ideals, or by the hollywood chat show with the most insider goo. We are inbetween what we knew to be life and living, and hoping our worst fears won't come true. Will the planet sizzle? Will the internet make it so i don't have to pee so much at night? Will Will Smith make another movie? Will anyone ever read what I write here?

Welcome to Open Cities.