At Long Last NINE
The film NINE is not the musical NINE.
That has been a major complaint among the chatteratti on various show business related websites and chat boards, not to mention Facebook status messages and any number of people talking to me, directly. Die- hard fans of the Broadway musical NINE were complaining about the movie for months before it opened; and their complaints grew more vociferous once the film had opened. Their opinions, though, matter nothing to me. On this occasion, I am interested in one opinion and one opinion, only: mine.
The film NINE is not the musical NINE.
The musical NINE is not the film 8 ½.
I am sure that, when the Broadway musical opened in 1982, die-hard fans of 8 ½ were appalled. History is, now, repeating itself (as it always has and it always will). The thing that people seem to (repeatedly!) forget is that almost all artwork is inspired by something (it is very rare that an idea just pops into the head of a creator) and, very often, that which inspires a work of art is ANOTHER work of art. That is why lawyers invented a wonderful declarative in the oft used words “Based on…”. NINE the musical was based on 8 ½ and NINE the film was based on NINE the musical…. And 8 ½… and a whole lot of other things.
As I begin writing this story, months in the making, I have just come in from playing hooky and sneaking off to see NINE the film for the eighth time. I know that, for the sake of symbolism, I should have seen the picture nine times – but I’ve been really busy and just haven’t made it for the ninth time….and today is (according to Moviefone) the last day that this film will be showing in Manhattan. The first two times I saw the film were advance screenings designed to see what the audiences would like.. and they were both different than the finished film. So I’ve seen three different versions of NINE; and I loved every showing.
You see, NINE is my favourite musical (the other is SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE – two musicals about an artist and his creative process). I am always moved by any exposure to NINE, be it a viewing of the stage play, a reading of that script, a listening to one of the cast albums (and, now, soundtrack) or a trip to the picture show…even a screening of 8 ½. I am tapped in to this intellectual property. It speaks to me, to a place in me that goes so deep that removal is not possible.
I found the record album of 9 in a record store in Amarillo, Texas, in 1983, one summer. Fascinated by the album cover, I bought it and took it home and, listening to it, read the (rather confusing) synopsis on the inner sleeve. There were no photos but a search in old book stores turned up the LIFE magazine that did the story on 9 when it opened. The photos, the story, captured my attention; most of all, though, what got me invested in 9 was the intelligence of the score. The lyrics, as well as the musical phrasing, were all so smart – I had no choice but to fall in love, in spite of some troubling vocal performances; I didn’t care. I would listen to those recorded performances, alongside the others on the original cast album, and lose myself (entirely) in the show. Imagine my delirium when I discovered that the audio cassette had additional materials that had been cut from the album for time restrictions! Heaven. Absolute heaven.
I spent the next decade listening to that cast album, the Australian cast album, the concert cast album...and looking at photos I found in books and a souvenir program from the original production that I had found in a yard sale. I dreamed of directing the Dallas premiere of the show and, indeed, have a copy of the script with many notes, including a set design. I lived and breathed 9. When I moved from Dallas to New York, the show was relegated to a simple listening pleasure, as I shelved any ideas of ever being involved with a production (or, frankly, seeing one). Another ten years later, though, the Rondabout Theater of New York City revived 9 and, finally, 20 years after I bought that first record album, I would see Nine.
Pat bought us tickets in the second row of the Eugene O’Neill Theater. I dressed to the nines for the evening, totally dolled out in head to toe black, except for a necklace of 30 African rubies and tin. Baby Guido came onstage at the top of the show and I began to cry. The only time I stopped crying was to laugh or gasp or grin or to talk to Miss Chita Rivera, for I was the first member of the audience with whom she spoke during her Follies Bergere improvisation. When the play was over, I was in a state of elation that comes very seldom in one’s lifetime. It was one of those perfect nights in the theater and one of those perfect nights in my life. When people ask Pat and I the performances we have seen on Broadway we will always remember we begin with “Antonio Banderas in Nine…”
The return of the movie musical has been a great advantage for the American musical theater. Thanks to Evita and, then, Moulin Rouge, we have had the great, good, pleasure of seeing movie versions of Chicago, Hairspray, Rent, Phantom of the Opera, The Producers (I’m not saying they were all good – only that it has been great to see stage musicals turned into movies) and, finally, Dreamgirls. With the popularity and success of such movies, film versions of Broadway shows are being considered every day. I never, though, thought that there would ever be a film version of Nine. I consider the show (and score) to be too intellectual for the general public. I didn’t think it would ever sell. When it did I was stunned and thrilled. There was, of course, all the usual gossip about who would do the movie and then gossip about who was in, who was out, who was in… when the first photos were seen on the internet (Penelope Cruz and Daniel Day-Lewis), when the first song was floating around the internet (Be Italian) and, then, came the screenings and all the nay-saying by a bitchy bunch of chatterati, thrilled by their own ability to complain and the ridiculousness of criticizing something that they hadn’t even seen yet. Natch, I was nervous. I was excited to see NINE. I was nervous that my favourite musical (and something that I BREATHE) might be contaminated by a bad director. Oh, wait. The director was Rob Marshall – one of my favourites. Nah, this was gonna be great. Not good. Great.
The first screening I went to made me sign a waiver that I wouldn’t blog what I saw. I signed it and kept my big mouth shut; but I loved it. I was able to divorce myself from the play and see the film for itself and I loved it – even though they had cut my favourite song (of all time), Simple. They even cut the song that I have always felt was the most important song in the play, Getting Tall. Still, I did not care. I loved it. I loved it even though the Overture Della Donna was not in the print I saw… WHAT?! It’s ok. I loved it.
Months later, I saw another screeing. The overture was back in. The edit was cleaner. The movie was better. YAY. I was asked to sign a waiver that I wouldn’t blog what I had seen, so I signed it (again) and I kept my big mouth shut (again); but in private company I told friends I loved it. Then I went home and bought all the one-sheet movie posters from the film on Ebay. Loved it, loved it, loved it. The first opportunity I got to get the cd, I did.
The film opened to a lot of criticism – coming from all directions.
There are still plenty of us who love the movie NINE. To the naysayers I just say “be gone – you have no power here.”
Each of the 8 times I have seen NINE, I have seen something new. My friends, who know about my passion for this piece, have asked when I would weigh in, publically, about the film version – especially those friends who are also fans of the play. Most of them know how I have reacted to this movie, especially if they have sat beside me in the cinema as I gasped and cried and sighed and held my fingertips to my teeth in awe. One would think that, being a devotee of the stage musical, I would be harsh on the film; but I am lucky in that I am able to divorce the two, in my heart and my head. I am, in fact, able to divide each decade in which I have loved a NINE, just as my personality has divided with each passing decade. You see, I believe that no artist should be forced to recreated another artists’ vision, that they should all be allowed to tell their own story. When Tommy Tune directed the original production of NINE, he did not allow the ghost of Maestro Fellini to cast a shadow over his vision, though he did pay homage to the great film director with a (nearly) completely black and white colour scheme. Neither did David Leveaux, director of the Broadway revival, allow Fellini’s or Tune’s artistic visions to dictate his work as an artist. Rob Marshall (one of my very favourite film directors and my one-time favourite Broadway choreographer – golly I miss him on the Great White Way) seems to have been able to create his own vision while, simultaneously, paying tribute to Fellini, Tune, Leveaux, Bob Fosse, Kander and Ebb, Maury Yeston, Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren, the entire decade of the 60’s, Italy and, even, Rob Marshall. It is no small feat he has accomplished with NINE, his most sophisticated work, yet.
For the sake of clarity, too, let me say that the Oscar winning CHICAGO is his most seamless work, the lush MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA is his most intellectual and NINE.. well, you know how I feel about NINE, by this point in this story.
When watching the finished version of NINE, one must recognize that it is rarely possible to take a stage musical and simply film it; one must meld the two worlds, the artforms, into one. With the musicals of bygone years, that may have been possible (I am thinking, of course, of musicals like THE MUSIC MAN and MY FAIR LADY that seem to have translated to the screen with almost no changes). Even musicals like WEST SIDE STORY and THE SOUND OF MUSIC required change. With something that is as nebulous as NINE, one must go back to the beginning, consider the surrealist circus that is 8 ½, consider the fantasy that is 9 (in its’ original incarnation), consider the conceit that is 9 (in its’ revised incarnation) and then begin to rebuild. On film, one could never have gotten away with Mr Tune’s original concept, a dream in a nebulous time period that is, probably, just a creation in the mind of Guido Contini. In order to be true to Fellini AND Contini, Mr Marshall set the film in the 60s and there would never have been a female movie producer at that time – it was a boys’ club. It HAD to be another man, a contemporary of Contini’s, pressuring him to make this film. So the first order of business is to take out the Lilliane LeFleur character – to do that, though, would remove the Follies Bergere number, not to mention one of the key women in his life. There also remains the fact that nobody in Guido’s life speaks to him like an equal. His wife is, for so long, downtrodden by him that she is too tired, his mistress is so afraid of losing him that she is afraid to and, while Claudia does stand up to him, it is more from a position of aloofness – he is no part of her life, nor he, hers. Only Lili, the costumer, speaks to Guido with honesty and a lack of ulterior motive. It is a change for the better.
Now that Guido has a confidant and does not spend the entire movie alone, conducting the women (as Raul Julia did in the original play), we can focus on his intent for the two hours that we watch his story. Interestingly, when I consider the three different versions of NINE that I know, I see a different intent for each Guido. Raul Julia’s Guido seems to have been taking a journey to break away from his young self, Baby Guido, and the baggages carried by the child who haunts his mind, to become, at long last, a man. The song Getting Tall tells the audience what they need to know about the man’s ultimate struggle, though he does seem to plagued by many… Antonio Banderas’ Guido seems to be juggling battles, though the biggest one would appear to be the fact that he is in love with three women at the same time. The three times I saw the play, there just seemed to be SUCH emphasis given to the Guido-Luisa-Carla-Claudia love geometry. It was palpable; maybe it had to do with Mr Banderas’ inescapable sexual energy. In the film NINE, I see a man struggling; and while his struggle involves these three women, while his struggle involves his inability create (a BIG struggle to have, I speak from experience), what I feel his biggest struggle is that he has, completely, lost his way, indeed, lost himself. He knows not who he is anymore and is avoiding the search by wreaking as much havoc in his life as possible. The cacophony of the women, the film crew, the press, the fans just drives him further and further in his sprint to go faster, to climb higher, to get away from it all so that, finally, he might have some peace – a quiet place where he can look back, look ahead, stand still and see where, who and what he is. He goes inside his head, looking at the potentials for film making and remembering the past that made him who he is. The one nugget of truth he seems to have is that his mother has the answer but took it with her to her grave. Where will he find the answer?
NINE has given the audience a chance to see some of our greatest actresses give up performances of such nuanced layer that we become mesmerized by them. There is very little that can (or need) be said about Judi Dench or Sophia Loren, should one be familiar with their respective legacies or, even, should one just watch this film, as someone seeing them for the first time. Judi Dench is the most real, the most natural actress on film ( on stage, for that matter )and, yet, with a sense of showmanship (showwomanship) that translates perfectly in the Follies Bergere number and a sense of dry comic timing that takes straight lines and makes them funny. And she is sexy. Dudes, that bustier, the fringed up skirt... sexy. The entire performance is rooted in reality. She absolutely rocks. Then, in a completely lush and subtle performance, there is the simple and direct way in which Miss Sophia Loren pointedly lays at the feet of her despairing son, the nugget of truth that is the answer to his prayer, no matter how brutal the honesty is.
“No one can help you find your way. It’s up to you, Guido. Up to you. Nobody else.”
Only a mother could say something like that. A mother knows when to use a concise economy of words and leave their child to learn to walk alone.
The element of surprise in NINE is great for the audience because nobody expected Penelope Cruz to come out and sing and dance the way that she does; but I also think that people don’t expect the kind of range from her that she delivers in this film; from the comedic scenes as the seemingly bimbo of a mistress to the heartbreaking confession “Everything I do, I just want you to love me.” It is a performance like a winding road in Positano, with a new vision, a twist, a surprise, at every turn.
The next surprise in NINE comes from Kate Hudson, in a role created especially for her. With the Lilliane LeFleur character gone, there need be no Stephanie Necrophorous, who criticizes, wildly, Contini’s films. The removal of these two characters from the play doesn’t leave a hole in the play because, ultimately, what they are to Contini are obstacles and he certainly has plenty of those. So with Lili in the role of confidant, the Stephanie character can add a new dimension to the story and show the audience the adulation that the world has for Contini – at least one brand of the world, for Stephanie is, now, a vapid writer from VOGUE who only sees Guido Contini’s surface, who only sees his films for the style that she imposes upon them, rather than the depth with which he creates them. Her presence in the film shows the audience how our (rather dislikable) protagonist is perceived by those who do not, truly, know him; but it also shows us how a famous artist can be woo’d into believing their own press, how they can be drawn into other peoples’ perceptions of them. When Stephanie begins nattering on to Guido about his films, mispronouncing words and talking about the death of religion (which he debates) and the sexual revolution (which he enquires after deeper meaning), when the musical number that takes place in the artist’s mind evolves, it shows the glitz and glamour of which she speaks, not the humanity and artistry that he craves. At the end of the musical number, however, a new fantasy frosts the cake as Guido Contini enters her vision and strolls the fashion catwalk with the superficial airhead, caught up in the noise, the action, the mess. It is clear that he has bought into her fantasy, her opinion, her point of view. It is the only time in the movie that we see Guido changed in a fantasy. He watches the Follies Bergere fantasy. He watches the Take it All fantasy. He doesn’t even appear in the Be Italian or Call From the Vatican fantasies. And while he appears in the Unusual Way and My Husband Makes Movies fantasies, he is aloof, simply a body for the women to relate to while singing (mostly because Guido is so self involved that he is unable to connect to anyone). In the Guarda La Luna fantasy, he imposes himself into the place occupied by Baby Guido, in order that he might have one last dance with his Mama. In the Cinema Italiano fantasy, though, he becomes an active participant and gives in to Stephanie’s thought processes. And why not? How could anyone resist being a part of that world, as told and sold so supremely by Kate Hudson. Why not?
Then there is the ultimate surprise of NINE: Fergie. In the role of Sarghina the whore, she speaks almost no lines at all, managing to embody her character, solely through her physical and vocal command of the audience; and most of the audiences who have been vocal about NINE have been vocal about the fact that Sarah Ferguson was an exciting and thrilling revelation in a number that pays homage (as I mentioned before) to Tommy Tune, Bob Fosse and Rob Marshall, as well as Maestro Fellini. The grainy black and white cuts in the film pay tribute to all the wonderful films from the 60s like Un Homme et Une Femme, Darling, Georgy Girl, as well as Fellini’s cannon).
The black and white cuts are, especially, effective when the camera is focused on the incomparable Marion Cotillard, playing Guido’s put upon wife, Luisa. There really aren’t enough adjectives to describe what a treasure this actress is. She makes it all look so effortless as she splits her sternum open and lets you into her breaking heart. Every move she makes, every word she speaks, every sigh, every breath, seems to emulate from a place of purest honesty – it’s like you aren’t watching an actress at all but, rather, some person they brought in off the street who is just being filmed saying what they think. Then they put her into black and white and, in that moment, you are watching all of Fellini’s films, all of Bergman’s films, all of Truffaut’s films and a little Roger Vadim. The woman IS the epitome of this era in filmmaking. especially European movies, and it becomes clear in no greater moments than the flashback to her screen test and the Take It All Fantasy. It is one of the greatest performances I have ever seen.
And speaking of the Take It All fantasy…. Much has been said about all the material cut from the film NINE; all the songs from the musical that didn’t make it into the show. Too bad. I think those complaints are coming from people with minds so closed that they don’t realize that, in this medium, in this case, many of that musical material is out of place, as are many of the characters from the play. This is a different entity and must be allowed to live and breathe on its’ own. The song Be On Your Own is one of the most powerful moments in the musical. In the movie, though, the scene where Luisa asserts her independence from Guido lands in a spot that is preceded by two ballads. To keep the song in would have made the film ballad heavy. Furthermore, each woman expresses herself in Guido’s mind, as a bit of film making he is creating, inspired by the muses of his life. The way she tears into him, were Guido to make a film version of this moment, it would HAVE to be something raw, something stripped down and vulnerable and, definitely, something distinctly European. Taking Marion Cotillard and having her Luisa Contini do a black and white film of a striptease in a gritty, dirty, seedy French strip joint matches, perfectly, the mood and the character. Be On Your Own is a song that would be incredibly difficult to turn into a fantasy, a movie scene: it's a song in which the stage Luisa Contini rants and ravages at her husband. Take It All is a fantasy, and a dirty, humiliating one at that. It is an intense and personal moment caused by an intense and personal moment (which, by the way, is a perfect replacement for the entire Grand Canal sequence of the play. Can you imagine anything more intimate than seeing, on a big screen, your husband do with a stranger the same thing he did with you the day you met, something you always believed belonged, exclusively to you? A perfect choice and change.).
I also agree, adamantly, with the decision to change Mama’s song, Nine, out for a new song, Guarda La Luna, especially for Sophia Loren. Miss Loren has a lovely voice, though not a musical theater voice; and singing those high soprano notes in Nine would have been impossible, not to mention the need for all those other female vocals that are used in the song Nine. It is interesting to note that this song, Guarda La Luna, is a lullaby that his mama is singing to him (is it a fantasy or a memory?) at a time in the story when he is having to care for someone --something he doesn't really do at any other time in the film, since he is so busy being coddled by everyone else. Here he is, caring for Carla and dreaming of being safe in his mama's arms. This melody from the stage play has haunted me for years and, now, there are these beautiful lyrics to sing to it, and a lovely recording of Miss Loren’s lilting lullaby. most of which is in Italian. It is divinely inspired and I approve.
I approve, also, of the casting of Nicole Kidman for the part of Claudia. This character is an iconic image of celebrity and requires the same of the actress playing her. Nicole Kidman IS an iconic image, an iconic celebrity, an iconic actress. She also makes a perfect homage to an iconic Fellini image: Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita. Perhaps that is why they changed Claudia Nardi to Claudia Jensen and gave her a light Swedish accent. It has to be a tribute to the famous Sylvia, who strolls the empty streets of Rome and plays in the Trevi Fountain. Note all the nods to this famous scene: the very look of Kidman, the look of the empty streets, the look of the fountain, the kitten roaming the streets (Nicole even acknowledges the feline with a kiss). It is unmistakable.
I am, particularly, moved by Nicole Kidman’s performance in this film because Claudia is so conflicted; she loves him for what he has done for her in her life and career but she acknowledges, repeatedly, that he doesn’t see HER.
“You’re not seeing me. You’re seeing Lili’s wigs and makeup; I’m hidden somewhere underneath.”
“These women who come off their pedestals for a kiss.. they’re just fantasies…”
“I can’t keep playing that part”
Until finally, she takes off the wig and the jewelry and shows her true self (looking more Scandinavian than ever) and says “This is me… and you have a wife who loves you. I’ll miss you. Wrong girl.”
It is important for people to look at you and see you and know you for who you are and Miss Kidman captures, perfectly, the conflict between wanting to be seen for who she is and wanting to show her gratitude and love for the man. Finally, in the end, she must walk away. It is a highly effective performance made even more emotional by the director’s choice to lower the famed song Unusual Way (usually sung in the soprano stratosphere), into a key that is more emotional and closer to the heart and diaphragm, where emotions dwell. I think it’s fair to say that, of all the recordings of Unusual Way that I know, Nicole Kidman’s is my favourite.
While I am, so, moved by this performance by Nicole Kidman, while I relate to the facets of it I have mentioned, I am (naturally), attached to Guido Contini. Whether in the hands of Raul Julia, Antonio Banderas or Daniel Day-Lewis, I get the character. It’s not like I am a famous movie director or an Italian womanizer; but I have spent most of my life as an artist and I understand the struggle for inspiration and how stressful that can be. I have actually looked at my loved ones, my models, my muses and been able to envision the photograph or the paragraph, the way he looks at a situation and the movie scene appears in his mind. That shit does happen, friends; it isn’t a device that Rob Marshall imposed on the film. It exists. I am also in a same sex marriage that permits me the luxury of being involved with more than one man at a time; and I am possessing of a heart and mind that can lavish love on more than one person at a time. A few Christmases ago, I spent December 25th with my husband, my boyfriend and my lover. They called me Guido; and they were the Guidettes. Then there is my ongoing struggle to reconcile my inner child with my outer adult… That seems to cover each of the Guido Contini’s as I see them.
The thing about Daniel Day-Lewis’ Guido Contini is that I have never been witness to one who was so angst ridden, so emotional, so desperate to find his way again. Oh my GOSH that is me (and my loved ones will back me up on this). I was a little amazed at how rumpled and unsexy he was, as I was being introduced to him in the film. I could not, though, deny that he has such charisma, such magnetism, that I was drawn to him. No, he is not possessing of Antonio Banderas’ sex appeal; yet he is sexy and you can see why everyone in the film is drawn to him. Add to that the backstory of the character’s genius and the way that people get around talented people (who among us hasn’t had a talent crush on someone?) and you can understand, fully, who EVERYONE wants him. WANTS. HIM. This is a most complex and layered character and I found myself wondering, after some viewings of the film, where Mr Day-Lewis found it? How did he do this role without having some form of breakdown? But then, I suppose, that can be asked of so many of the roles he has played. He may, very well, be the greatest actor of his generation. I loved his angst ridden, lie telling, confused, whiny, cheating, reprehensible, weak, noble, simpy, lost, foundering, self pitying, undisciplined artist yearning for more; his flawed human being of a genius who just doesn’t know how, How, HOW to give love completely. He is as fucked up as I have been at times in my life and that is hard to turn away from. He also bounces back, returns to his roots and grows, like I have, and that is hard to not admire. There is nobody else I can think of who could have given the part the layers that he did… The nervous look he gets on his face when the reporter says “you look nervous”; the way he clutches his chest and he smiles when, in his fantasy, he sees his (late) mama again; how he diffuses a disastrous screen test where Claudia walks out by simply giving in with a “That’s fair.. that’s fair”; the exasperation he shows when the Cardinal criticizes his work, causing him to immerse himself in the water; the weeping, to the marrow, after I Can’t Make This Movie and he says “And you are so far from where you wanted to be…and you’re lost. And then you’re lost.” I feel him. I feel every moment.
As Guido finds his way back… no, as he fights his way back, he returns to the beginning. The film ends as he begins his first film in two years. He is clean shaven, his hair is combed and his clothes are pressed. He speaks with a knowledge about his craft, to the actors, to the photographers, to the crew. He goes to work on a simple little project, one where he can focus on his art. All of this takes place in full view of his life…the people in his life, not the characters in the story, become his audience in a cinematic moment that pays a kind of homage to the surreal circus parade at the end of 8 ½. Even Baby Guido uses a line that is used by one of the characters in 8 ½, at this moment: “We’re ready to begin!”; and the music that underscores this moment in NINE has a circus-like feel to it; it is extremely reminiscent of Nino Rota's work for Maestro Fellini's films. Mr Marshall has, again, found his own voice while paying tribute to the man who gave us this entire story. This moment is, for me, the most emotional in the film. You see, I believe that we carry our loved ones with us every moment of the day. Some are people that we no longer see, some are dead, some are people we saw only once but who changed us in some way, some are the younger versions of ourselves. They are with us, inside of us, inspiring us to create, firing us to move forward, watching over us in a protective way, approving our actions … and in the case of the artists, our artistry. That is the circus parade in 8 ½. That is the bow of gratitude from the people in the painting at the end of Sunday in the Park with George. That is the Greek chorus at the end of Nine The Musical (original production and revival). I feel that Greek chorus, inside of me, watching, inspiring, every moment of every day. They are my family.
It has been nine months since I saw my first screening of NINE. I have just watched it, in my Ipod, for the ninth time. It is only right that I return to my computer to finish this story that I started so long ago…even longer than the date at the top of this story.
A few years ago, I was walking home from the gym. It was a sunny summer day. I had been on a voyage of self discovery, a voyage I still walk, and part of that journey has been to bring peace to Baby Stephen, the sad and impressionable boy, so easily hurt, who controls much of my thought processes. On that day, I turned off 19th street onto Fifth Avenue; there was no traffic, so I began to walk up the middle of the street. As I walked into the sun, I felt the little hand that is always inside of my right hand as it let go of me. I stopped and turned to watch my five year old self walk in the opposite direction, leaving me to live in peace, for the rest of my life. After a moment or two, Baby Stephen turned around and looked into my eyes; and I smiled at him. He turned around, walked back, and put his hand in mine. Connected once more, we walked into the afternoon sun together. One.
I told my mother this story and she said “You called him back. You were almost fee but you called him back.”
Near the end of NINE, Lili says to Guido “Don’t stop being a child. You’ll never make another movie.”
At the end of NINE, Baby Guido runs from his place up on the scaffold, scampers across the soundstage and slips, quietly, into Guido’s lap as the crane rises into the air. No more frantic climbing for either Guido. They have found their way, as one, which is what we all must do; we must reconcile all the parts of ourselves and live, not in the black or the white, but in the grey area. That is when our journey becomes a little easier; that is when we have a crane to lift us up.
From that height we, like Guido, can see clearly.
And when you see clearly, you know which path to choose.