ITHACAUSA | 2016 | 90 minutes | Rated PG | Drama
Directed by Meg Ryan
Friday September 09, 2016
Saturday September 10, 2016
Monday September 12, 2016
Tuesday September 13, 2016 Wednesday September 14, 2016
Capawock Theatre VH, Strand Theatre OB
$12 General Admission, $9 Member,
$7 child age 14 or younger
Doors Open for admissions 30 min. prior to screening
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Directed by Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks, Hamish Linklater, Alex Neustaedter, Sam Shephard, Jack Quaid
When his older brother leaves to fight in the Second World War, fourteen-year-old Homer Macauley takes on a job as a bicycle telegraph messenger to provide for his widowed mother, his older sister and his younger brother. Homer delivers messages of love, hope, pain and death to the good people of Ithaca, but soon must grapple with a message that will change him forever. Based on Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Saroyan’s 1943 novel The Human Comedy, ITHACA is a coming-of-age story about the exuberance of youth, the abruptness of change, the sweetness of life, the sting of death, and the sheer goodness that lives in each and every one of us.
ITHACA GAVE YOU THE SPLENDID JOURNEY,
WITHOUT HER YOU WOULD NOT HAVE SET OUT.
IF YOU FIND HER POOR,
SHE HAS NOT DECEIVED YOU.
SO WISE HAVE YOU BECOME,
OF SUCH EXPERIENCE,
THAT ALREADY YOU’LL HAVE UNDERSTOOD
WHAT THESE ITHACAS MEAN.
EVENTUALLY, I SUPPOSE, IT DAWNS ON ANY PARENT THAT DESPITE OUR BEST EFFORTS TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN, THEY WILL SUFFER. CHILDHOOD WILL END, DEATH IS CERTAIN AND SOME LESSONS WILL BE TOO HARSH…THIS DAWNED ON ME RIGHT ABOUT THE TIME I READ WILLIAM SAROYAN’S, ‘THE HUMAN COMEDY.’ I WAS THE MOTHER OF A YOUNG SON GRAPPLING WITH THESE FEARS AND SAROYAN’S NOVEL SOOTHED ME. LIFE IS A COMEDY, HE SEEMS TO SAY, DESPITE THE CERTAINTY OF DEATH, LIFE RENEWS ITSELF FEROCIOUSLY AND EVERLASTINGLY.
THE STORY IS SET AT THE BEGINNING OF A WAR, WHEN HIGH SPIRITS AND CONVICTION OF CAUSE RULE THE DAY, BEFORE THE FULL MEASURE OF LOSS IS FELT. OUR HERO IS A BOY WHO BECOMES A MAN TOO QUICKLY. OUR HOMER, LIKE THE COUNTRY HE LIVES IN, IS FACED WITH DEATH. HIS LIFE IS UPENDED AND EVERYTHING’S CHANGED ON A DIME.
HE IS UP AGAINST THE IMPOSSIBLE. HOMER’S DRIVING DESIRE IS TO KEEP THE ANGEL OF DEATH AWAY FROM THE PLACE AND THE PEOPLE HE LOVES. HE COMES TO AN UNEASY AWARENESS THAT EVEN ADULTS ARE SOMETIMES CONFOUNDED AND OFTEN THERE IS NO ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF WHY. STILL, HE’S GUIDED BY THE WISDOM OF AN OLD MAN, THE GRACE OF A MOTHER WHO MUST LET GO AND HE EVEN LEARNS FROM HIS NEW BOSS, MR. SPANGLER, A MAN STUCK IN A PERPETUAL ADOLESCENCE. ITS SPANGLER WHO FINALLY SPEAKS WITH THE MOST WISDOM, “JUST TRY TO HAVE FAITH IN SOMETHING,” HE TELLS A GRIEF STRICKEN HOMER, THE ACT OF FAITH ITSELF, SIMPLY TRUSTING IN A BENEVOLENT DESIGN, WILL SAVE YOU…
THIS IS A WARTIME MOVIE, SADLY RELEVANT AS WE’RE LIVING IN A NEW KIND OF WARTIME. THERE’S A NEW FRONT LINE; ANY TIME, ANY STREET, ANY SCHOOL, ANY CLUB, ANY CAFÉ… I AM A MOTHER. EVERY SOLDIER, EVERY PERSON IS A MOTHER’S SON OR DAUGHTER. THE MOVIE CANT HELP BUT EXPRESS A MOTHER’S CONVICTION THAT, AS SAROYAN PUTS IT, “THE WORLD’S GONE MAD, HOMER… WAR IS FOOLISH EVEN WHEN NECESSARY.”
HOPEFULLY, THE MOVIE, LIKE THE BOOK IS QUIETLY FIERCE, A DANCE BETWEEN HOPE AND DOOM. HOPEFULLY, IT RESISTS BOTH SENTIMENTALITY AND CYNICISM. AND HOPEFULLY, BY SOME LITTLE MIRACLE, DESPITE IT’S BEING ABOUT DEATH, IT FEELS LIKE LIFE.