Groundhog Day, 1993

All day today I’ve been hearing Bono and U2 belt out “All is quiet on Groundhog’s Day, the world is white, it’s underway…”  and imagined looking for groundhogs in the video of them performing and riding horses in a snowy forest.  (I’d forgotten about the (anti)war images)

Bill Murray’s 1993 movie, directed and co-written by Second City Television’s Harold Ramis is quietly, workmanlike brilliant in it’s clear narrative depiction of an alien, complicated concept.  Maybe you could call it part of the “fractal fantasy” genre, along with Memento and Being John Malkovich.

Walking out of the theater – I had seen it alone at the old discount movie place on Elmwood – two elderly Eastern European couples, both the husbands and wives only around five feet tall, stopped me.  They said they were just confused and asked me if I understood what had happened, and why.  I tried explaining, as simply as I could – and if you’ve ever talked to me, or gotten a voicemail from me (or maybe ever read this blog), you know I am not the one to ask for a simple explanation.  One had to translate for her husband.

After a couple minutes of fumbling, of me keeping looping my hands back as I talked to show how Groundhog Day always looped back to Groundhog Day morning for Bill Murray, they laughed and thanked me and we parted.

I wonder what kind of life they had led… I assume their lives were shattered by the Holocaust one way or another, and they ended up leaving behind everything they knew to come across the ocean to this strange land.  To end up that day in 1993 in a room with me spending two hours being befuddled by cheery baby boomer comedians presuming to teach them lessons in life and love.


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