I indulged once again this year in what I have come to think of as a night of shallow revelry...commenting, with three women friends, all of us sprawled in my TV room, on various gowns (what's with the to-the-navel cleavage? Do we need this?)..and then, because I had thought MOONLIGHT a brillliant film and rooted for it, I turned the TV off in disappointment when they announced LaLaLand the winner. And so I missed the drama. Darn.

And I also missed the thank-you speech (for LaLaLand) by producer Marc PLatt who not that long ago had lunch in my kitchen (long story. Another time.)

I do love movies. Thinking about them, talking about them, watching them. Occasionally, when I have been asked If you hadn't become a writer, what would... I reply that I would have become a filmmaker. Screenwriter, editor, cinematographer, director? All.

Last night, on the recommendation of a friend (thank you, Phyllis) I found an Iranian film called ABOUT ELLY on Netflix. Using a complicated procedure that we seem to have mastered pretty well, Howard watched it with me. (We get on Speaker Phone, coordinate our Netflixes, find the film, and click PLAY at the same time (watching the minute/second counter) and somehow manage to get them showing simultaneously.) It was ironic, having just seen the same Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, win an Oscar for THE SALESMAN, which I have not yet seen ... (and he was not there to accept it, protesting  the immigration ban....)

This is a scene from ABOUT ELLY, in which the sea---its seduction, its relentlessness-- plays a powerful role. It made me think of the wonderful scene in MOONLIGHT when the man (Mahershala Ali, best suporting actor...YAY) cradles the boy in the ocean, teaching him to swim...teaching him so much more.

When I am writing fiction, I tend to see it play out in my head, like a movie. Camera angles, lighting, the whole thing.

And I must go back to doing that right now.