Monday, 20 July 2009

Blowing Marcel Marceau out of the Windmills Of My Mind.

Mime, with very few exceptions, fails to ring my bell for some reason.

Actually, I think I know the reason.

This is the reason:

Marcel Marceau .

I grew up in the Marcel Marceau era.
His body was, as they say, his tool.
His gurning and 'trapped in an invisible box' antics inspired drama teachers the length and breadth of the country.
I still wince when I think of the performances I gave, clad in minimalist black leggings and tee shirt.
I was painting invisible pictures, grasping at invisible shackles, stroking invisible animals, climbing invisible ladders, not to mention feeling the walls of the ubiquitous invisible box inside which I, the artiste, found myself trapped.
I seem to remember that the soundtrack of choice was 'Windmills of Your Mind'.

Round, like a circle in a spiral Like a wheel within a wheel. Never ending or beginning, On an ever spinning wheel Like a snowball down a mountain Or a carnival balloon Like a carousel that's turning Running rings around the moon Like a clock whose hands are sweeping Past the minutes on it's face And the world is like an apple Whirling silently in space Like the circles that you find In the windmills of your mind

It was the song that made hippy drama teachers everywhere swoon with pleasure in their alpaca cardigans.
Whenever I hear it, I'm right back there in my black leggings and socks, stepping purposefully, but strangely around, like someone from Monty Pythons Ministry Of Silly Walks.

All this is to say, that when a friend sent me a link to a youtube video of a mime/dance today I gave a little inward groan.
My heart sank even further when she said it was about Jesus, which meant that it was safe to assume the cringe came with a double portion of cheese on the side.

I watched it out of curiosity nonetheless.
I didn't think it was bad at first, at least it wasn't over acted, and I liked the simplicity of the arrangement. The absence of narration did have a dramatic value, because it made me pay attention to the meaning of the actors movements and it piqued my interest.

I wasn't expecting to cry though.

About half way in, I felt a big fat tear roll down my cheek.
I just found myself very moved by the most incredibly simple enactment of something which is profoundly true about our human condition.
I watched it again and started blubbing even more.

I dunno, maybe I'm just a hormonally challenged silly billy at the moment.

Watch it and see what you think:


  1. Oh my. That was beautiful. And no, your no silly billy, I jusy cried my eyes out. Washed off all my make-up :) So simple and so powerful. And just the message I needed this morning. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Quite cheesy, but also moving.

    Dh says, 'Ah yes, imputing righteousness'!

  3. Oh, I watched a video very similar:

    We are Catholic and homeschool--I had my teen son watch this video...

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