Tuesday, November 29, 2005

James Earl Jones

I went to a presentation at school today given by James Earl Jones. The main theme of his speech was "Culture is everything that happens to a people." It was interesting and he talked rather scholarly about the ups and downs of interacting cultures.

After that there was a Q & A session where audience members asked questions. One of the things he mentioned was the first time he saw a motion picture. He was 3 years old in Mississippi and had never seen a movie or television. I assume that the incident he was talking about was outside, because he kept mentioning the sun going down, but I could very well be wrong. He said the movie was projected on a white bed-sheet. There was violence in the movie and it terrified him to the point that he hid under a bench. He talked about how he saw the changing manifestation of media and the arrival of movie culture to where he grew up in Mississippi.

He said a few funny things. In the course of speaking, he said the phrase, "the circle of life" and everyone laughed a little. He mentioned that he didn't know who did the breathing sounds for Darth Vader. Also, referring to growing up in rural Mississippi, he said they "didn't worry about keeping up with the Joneses next door because they were the Joneses."

He was a bit hard of hearing and occasionally got lost in his own thought, but no more than anyone else might. He mentioned that his favorite work was commercial work (he might have been joking) and he also enjoyed some of his less well known films (Netflix, here I come).


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