Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Emilio Estevez y mi Mochilla!

I may have made a comment about hardly watching TV these days, but movies, well that's another story.  Or maybe it's just the same old story.  The Camino, or The Way of St. James.  On Youtube, I'm forever perusing other peoples videos. Or as I've often said to other pilgrims on their blogs, peaking over their shoulders.  It's a little like slipping yourself into their backpacks, for a mile or so and getting to view the road perhaps from a slightly different vantage point than you might otherwise have done.

In a few weeks, at long last, the granddaddy of Camino videos will be available on DVD!  By this I mean the movie, The Way, by Emilio Estevez, starring Martin Sheen.  Of course I have a preorder in place!  There are other Camino movies in the works, most especially The Camino Documentary by Lydia B. Smith.  More about that one in another post.

The Way.  Long awaited by many of us Caminoholics.  For a number of years, we knew this one was in the works.  We waited.  We chatted on the Camino Forum.  We blogged.  We waited.  The longest wait seemed to be for the release of the film here in the States.  I remember fellow pilgrims from England and Ireland, who'd gotten to see it before they came over and walked last summer.  So lucky.  Or so I thought at the time.  It wouldn't be available in any way shape or form for quite some time after I got home.

Home, yeah, coming home and trying to get settled.  Trying to feel at home again.  Missing the daily walk to, well, where ever fate and feet would take me.  Missing the openness of the days, never really knowing who you might meet.  It's quite an adjustment after nearly a month and a half of living that way.  Living simply.  Living out of my pack.  Living so small and yet larger than my life has probably ever been before.  Heartfelt sigh here!

So, back to the movie, The Way.  What a gift to have it released and previewed close to where I live.  Not one of the lucky ones who got a ticket for the preview, I went to the theater anyhow. A few friends stopped by too, a former co-worker and his wife.  We waited outside for while, knowing that Estevez and Sheen were supposed to be there for a Q & A afterwards.  While they choose to go home early, since it really didn't look like we could get in, I simply couldn't tear myself away.  Well, I'm too often saying to others that there is always more than one way to skin a cat.  And so there is!

Walking myself back to the theater my plan was to wait in the lobby.  I thought perhaps I'd simply get someone to take a picture of me, pack on my back, Camino shoes on my feet, next to a poster of the movie.  Then I'd buy tickets for when it actually opened at this theater at the end of the week.  That's all.  If I spotted either of the movie makers, great, but lets be realistic, the odds weren't good.  Sigh.  Such is life.

Inside I asked a woman next to me, looking at the flyers and promotional materials on the table, would she use my camera to take a picture, since I wasn't going to be able to get to see the movie on this particular evening.  She looked at me and said "Lets see if we can't get you in with my husband and me."  She promptly grabbed the young man in charge of the list of attendees, and asked him if there were any no shows.  He said yes, he still had quite a few tickets left and simply handed me one.  Wow.  Ask and ye shall receive!

Me, mi mochilla (backpack) and my incredibly dingy Camino shoes walked into the theatre almost in a daze.  There were seats in the front rows.  The first two rows, you know the ones we adults avoid, 'cause they give you a crick in the neck!  I happily sat myself down, propped my feet on the arm of the seat in front of me and got comfortable for the next hour and  a half.

Sitting so close actually turned out to be wonderfully overwhelming.  It made it feel as though I was in the film, back on the Camino.  The Pyrenees, the Meseta, the bars and oh yeah, the bunk beds!  I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and roared with laughter, as did other former pilgrims in the audience, when the main characters were twirling their bourdons or hiking sticks.  Ahh the memories.  So seeing it post Camino was more of a blessing than it would have been seeing it pre-pilgrimage.

Immediately after, from the back of the theater came, Estevez, Sheen and a host of others who were responsible for this lovely film.  My only quibble, such as it is, was the film school that was present. They rather took over some of the question and answer period.  I never got to ask my burning question!  I still, to this day, don't know if any of the filming crew or cast got blisters on the Camino.

As the Q & A drew to a close, assistants began to herd the movie folk out a side exit.  Down in the front.  Right by those two front rows, that no adult wants to sit in.  Where I was.  So, happy that I'd listened to a friend who'd quipped, I should get one of them to sign my backpack, I whipped out a permanent marker and asked Emilio, "?Escribe en mi Mochilla, por favor?"  Ok, so that 'taint perfect Espanol, but he knew what I wanted!   So below, my now two Camino backpack has become a priceless heirloom!   Nah, still a tatty old back filled with the most wonderful memories and still with miles to go before I put it to sleep for good!

"Buen Camino, Emilio Estevez"