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planet of the apes and other movies that are hard to watch

by farq4d


Some things have been more difficult than others, movies being one of them. 

My friends and I went to go see the newest Miyazaki film, The Boy and the Heron. Usually, the previews all have something to do with animation or anime. But that day we went, the last preview was for the newest Planet of the Apes. It's such a stupid movie. All of them are. I've never liked them, and yet, I've seen them all. 

And it struck me then, sitting in the burgundy chair in the movie theatre, that this would be the first one I'd be missing. 

My dad always used to like those movies. I think it had something to do with his fascination with Bigfoot, but there aren't any good Bigfoot movies with a cult following. The first Planet of the Apes I had ever seen was when I was ten years old, the one made in 2011. 

We were still living in the tiny green house. My dad and I were sat in the makeshift living room in the garage. He was in his recliner, and I was on the couch, both of which he built with his own two hands. And the movie was interesting enough that I indulged my dad as he reminisced the older movies. The original Planet of the Apes came out when my dad was seven. 

As I got older, I lost interest in those movies and found them boring. So, why would I watch the new one coming out if my dad isn't here anymore? Even if I still did like them, I don't know if I could do it. It doesn't seem right that I can buy a ticket and sit in a theatre and watch a movie when he can't. It doesn't seem right that they are making another movie and he won't be able to see it.

And it was hard that day when me and my friends went to the movie theatre. I take extra care not to share my gloom when it hits me, so I didn't say anything. It didn't get any better when the movie finally did start. Mahito's mother is in the hospital, and it's on fire. Despite being told to stay home, Mahito rushes to the fire anyway in a futile attempt to save his mother. But he can't. And she dies.

There wasn't anything he could do. 

I'm more bitter, I think, than Miyazaki's main character because I don't think I could call another person 'Father' the way he calls another person 'Mother.'

Other films have been hard too. I had my friends over and we watched Nacho Libre. The last time I watched it, my dad didn't have cancer and he was still alive. I didn't realize just how much of the dialogue my dad used to quote: "Take it easy," "I'm not listening to you, you're crazy," "This is the worst lunch I've ever had," "Are you leaving us?"

"Are you leaving us?"

"Are you leaving us?"

"Are you leaving us?"

And I would reply, "No Chancho, I would never leave you."

It's my turn to ask the question, but I know I won't get an answer. 

I wrote a long time ago that the way to dull the pain of memories was to create new ones in the same place with new people. But that doesn't work this time. Grief is different than a broken heart. I read somewhere that grief is just love with no place to go. That seems about right. A broken heart hurts late at night, to slow music. 

Grief can find you in any place, at any time. Even when it's bright out, even when the music is upbeat, because you're happy or you're having fun or maybe it's both, and you think that it can't get much better than this. But then you remember that it could be, and the absence of one person makes the room feel empty. 

People should really stop making new movies, new movies that my dad would have liked to watch. At least CCR stopped making music in the 70s, so every song I know is one my dad did too.

But anyway, there's that new Planet of the Apes movie coming out sometime in May. And I'm not going to watch it. 


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6 Reviews

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Mon Feb 05, 2024 11:14 am
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CadmiumAntimony wrote a review...



First, let me express my sincere condolences for the loss of your father. Losing a loved one is not easy, trust me, I know.

Now as for the review, I'm amazed by how much emotion you put into your writing, I actually feel your pain and sorrow; the longing for your father to still be around. I see that you did your research before writing knowing when the original Planet of Apes movies came out and when the new one will. I like how you wrote about experiencing the movie-watching with your father and how things were back then. I like how you described the living room with the heartfelt detail of any recollection of one's past. I really enjoyed reading this and look forward to reading more of your work.




farq4d says...


hey there, thanks for your condolences and the review. i'm glad that the piece spoke to you. i'm glad that the sense of longing was able to be felt.



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Sun Feb 04, 2024 11:47 pm
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AilahEvelynMae wrote a review...



Hello there! I am here to review this piece using the Rickroll Review Method!

I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling - My Impression

Ellie here with a review, as always!! I decided to try out this rickroll review method by @FluorescentAnt just for fun, haha! Let's get right into this:

It's such a stupid movie. All of them are. I've never liked them, and yet, I've seen them all.


I love this. I think this sentence does an awesome job of capturing the mixed emotions I felt while reading this piece. The movie was stupid. You don't like them, but that doesn't mean that they don't have an impact on you are your future. I love the symbolism of something broken or bad being used to hold back a person who is grieving.

I enjoyed how you used both your age and your dads age in these two lines, It gave me as a reader a lot more perspective into the timeline, but also how you feel. I can sense that you are a deep thinker. There must be a lot of reflection taking place. Your writing always feels like I am inside your mind:

The first Planet of the Apes I had ever seen was when I was ten years old, the one made in 2011...

The original Planet of the Apes came out when my dad was seven.


I love how clearly you state your thoughts here.

Even if I still did like them, I don't know if I could do it. It doesn't seem right that I can buy a ticket and sit in a theatre and watch a movie when he can't. It doesn't seem right that they are making another movie and he won't be able to see it.


The repetition of "It doesn't" is a great addition. It really helped the flow and connected me more to what you were saying. It feels like a brain stuck in a cycle, repeating the same thoughts over and over, "this can't be true, this can't be true!"

I take extra care not to share my gloom when it hits me, so I didn't say anything.


Your thoughts deserve to be heard. I am so glad you can share them on YWS. <33

There is always that one part in your writing that makes me want to cry, or makes me cry. And this was it:

There wasn't anything he could do.

I'm more bitter, I think, than Miyazaki's main character because I don't think I could call another person 'Father' the way he calls another person 'Mother.'


The isolation of the first sentence hit me really really hard. It is alone and so vulnerable.

And this one:

It's my turn to ask the question, but I know I won't get an answer.


This entire thing was beautiful. Your last few paragraphs completely blew me away!

Grief can find you in any place, at any time. Even when it's bright out, even when the music is upbeat, because you're happy or you're having fun or maybe it's both, and you think that it can't get much better than this. But then you remember that it could be, and the absence of one person makes the room feel empty.


You speak grief so well. And I am sorry you have to be so good at it <3

Gotta make you understand - Something(s) I Think You Can Improve On

Random little suggestion. For this sentence:

And the movie was interesting enough that I indulged my dad as he reminisced the older movies.


Maybe saying "about the older" would help the sentence flow better? That is my only nitpick :D

Never Gonna Give You Up - Something(s) You Did Really Well

Everything you have published on YWS has been incredible and I genuinely look forward to you posting so much. It always makes me happy when I see you reviewing my poetry or others writing, because I know you are about to post something, haha :D

I want to say, this piece stood out to me because I can clearly see some things you have done in your writing that show tremendous growth.

I love your use of repetition throughout this piece.

"Are you leaving us?"

"Are you leaving us?"

"Are you leaving us?"


This was lovely and beautiful and heartbreaking and sad and lonely and everything!

Also, the cover photo = AMAZING!!!

(Never gonna say) Goodbye - Conclusion

Thanks again, you are amazing and I love everything you write <3 You got this. I believe in you!

Your friend,
Ellie

And one last thing!
Spoiler! :
Image




farq4d says...


hey there, thanks as always for the review. i really look forward to reading what you think of my pieces and i'm always glad to hear from you. i didn't even think about the repetition being a way of saying "this can't be true," but that's actually exactly what it is. i guess i wasn't able to quite name what i was feeling or thinking, but you did exactly that. i'm touched that my work has impacted you emotionally to the point of tears. i find it interesting everytime you point out the most emotional part for you, because it contrasts what was the most emotional part for me. i just think that's cool and it says a lot about ourselves, our lives, and the people in it (or not in it any longer). thanks for the suggestion, i definitely think that wording it the way you suggested would make more sense. thanks




I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
— Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom