Monday, February 19, 2007


I was a senior in high school the first time I saw Reds. I wanted to be a writer after I saw the film. I wanted to be around intellectuals, write plays by the beach, travel the world and write about important topics that touched people’s lives and mattered. 25 years later, I can see how far-removed I am from John Reed and Louise Bryant’s life. And from Warren Beatty’s life. And from the life I had imagined for myself. I’ve written a few things, but nothing I would call passionate. 25 years later and I still haven’t arrived. How come? Well, I’m not a larger than life character. I’m an introvert. I take my time with things. I enjoy thinking about a thing rather than doing the thing. This is a particularly bad habit of mine that I have not yet been able to break (though I’m working on it). I am 43 now, about the age Warren Beatty was when he made Reds. I was wondering if I would enjoy Reds as much as I did 25 years ago. I did not. I enjoyed Reds even more. Reds is something of a masterpiece, one of the finest love stories and historic dramas ever created. Everything about the film is smart, touching, informative, and meticulous. It holds up extremely well. It’s timeless.

A few things I appreciated more than when I saw it 25 years ago: Diane Keaton’s performance. Superb. Fantastic. The connection between revolution and ending the war. I liked how that storyline played out. Little details throughout. Diane Keaton’s facial expressions. Everything is first rate. No wonder Warren Beatty has yet to make another Reds. Where would he find the energy?

What is my Reds? And do I have the energy? If the answer is no, why am I wasting my time pretending to be a writer?

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