Sunday, 14 January 2018



Always | Steven Spielberg, 1989

“To us.” 
“Always.”

A lantern sits precariously on the edge of a table in a bustling dancehall. Two lovers, Dorinda and Pete, celebrate her birthday with friends. They’re both aerial firefighters, but she works ground control as he flies, dropping slurry on forest fires. Helium balloons float uneasily around the room, threatening to burst. They dance to Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. One false move knocks a lantern to the floor and the place erupts into flames — but it never happens. She wants him to stop flying and teach. He won’t give it up. Danger is everywhere but elsewhere. The forest remains on fire. All who love are blind.

And they continue to be. Time passes. Minutes, days, months, all at once. Dorinda dances alone to The Platters in the dress Pete bought her for her birthday as his ghost watches on. She looks right through him now, but he can’t resist dancing with her again: without sight, without touch. There’s nothing to see anymore, nothing to feel. Only memories. He’s the fire, she’s the forest. When a lovely flame dies, smoke gets in your eyes. Put it out and see the stars through the smoke. Treasure the past and live in the present. Find a new song with someone else.

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