The Memory of Trees

Hey Dr. Jones, no time for love!

I hear you Short Round. Calm down! I’ll be like two minutes tops.

 

I just wanted to pop back under the slowly descending stone door to snatch my Fedora and leave you lucky people with another one of my famous(ly ignored) musical recommendations.

When future robo-aliens discover Earth and search among the nuclear ruins for traces of human culture, wouldn’t it be hilarious if all they could find were my musical recommendations … “Hmmm no likes? Tell the mothership to ready the planet vaporiser!”

Anyway, I wanted to quickly share a piece of music I adore.

I first heard it in the closing credits of a made-for-TV film called Shot Through the Heart which I saw in the 90s and have rewatched many times since. I love the film as much as I love the music.

 

Maybe you love too much Dr. Jones?

Shut the fuck up Short Round, I’ll do the jokes!

 

Spawned by a magazine article called Anti-Sniper, this fictionalised story follows two Yugoslav olympic shooters who’ve become best friends through a lifetime of competing together. However when the Bosnian War breaks out in their native Sarajevo, they are sequestered onto different sides, and coaxed into using their talents against each other. The difficult theme of friendship fractured by war is engaging. It’s obviously very painful but somehow beautiful at the same time. I think you’d have to watch it to understand what I mean by that. One moment in particular sums this up.

It’s worth noting that I have since read angry responses to the film from people actually involved in the conflict and of course I have to humbly bow to their experience on this. If I remember correctly, they were offended by the naive over-sentimentalised dissection of something brutal and complex. I think they felt bitterly let down by the West at the time, and find a mawkish Western spin of the conflict after the fact a little too much to swallow. I totally get that and I’m sure I would feel exactly the same way in their shoes.

 

But Dr. Jones, the stone door! You lie Dr. Jones, you lie!

OK Short Round, in a minute damn you boy! You know I always do this so don’t act surprised!

 

Accepting its failings vis-à-vis the Bosnian War, I really dig the story in its own right. I believe it’s a story that could’ve been set in any conflict because it’s not really about the conflict at all; it’s about what happens when best friends are brutally divided and set against each other and the difficult choices they subsequently have to make. It’s a love story in many ways and I would highly recommend it to anyone who ever had a friend.

This beautiful piece of music by Enya ties it up perfectly.

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