It's not just a name, it's an institution. Actually, it's just a newsletter.


I'm more inclined to write a story about a sad eyed girl gazing out a window on a rainy day than I am to explain why that can be beautiful.

But not on long, hard Sundays, when I'm too tired to wind my spring, to quote my favourite living writer (three guesses). This night I won't write fiction; I'll refill the well by renting just the the right movie.

It's odd to most people where I go to heal my soul. With each passing year I learn to what extent that's true. I love human drama in movies. If it's portrayed honestly, if it's portrayed beautifully.

Were this a university essay I would now be expected to define those words for you. Thankfully, it isn't and I don't have to. Not out of laziness, but because I don't want to try and define beauty or honesty in art (or life, for that matter), not in a discursive way. If that can even be done in an academic, rational way, it's certainly beyond my abilities. I can only speak to that gut feeling you get when you've seen something that touched your soul, that made you feel less sad, less alone. The way you can live with the Corleones of "The Godfather" or the women in "Fried Green Tomatoes" and feel part of a family, a life.

To get at the depth of human drama, the highs and lows, if portrayed beautifully, it matters not if they are tragic films (like Kimberly Peirce's "Boys Don't Cry," Kieslowski's "Bleu" or Hirokazu Koreeda's stunningly difficult "Nobody Knows") or seemingly rather light ones ("About a Boy" or "Wonder Boys") the result is the same. Imagining myself into the heightened lives of the onscreen I don't feel worse. If I'm blue a sad movie doesn't make me more sad. It makes me feel better; it gives me solace, reminds me that I'm not alone in this big universe, the one computers are supposedly connecting and yet somehow just as quickly dividing.

I need the humanity of a story not afraid to take on the darker sides of life so I can brave another grey day.