Song of the Day #4,224: ‘When I Was Older’ – Billie Eilish

Best Movies of the 2010s
#5 – Roma (2018)

Before diving into my top five movies of the last decade, I have to say that ordering these titles was truly a bitch. I have had each of the five in the top spot at one time or another, and every time it felt exactly right. These are five very different films, all perfect in their own unique ways.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma is the most ambitious achievement of the bunch — the capital-F Film. It earned Cuaron Oscars for Direction, Cinematography and Foreign Language Film, and had a fighting chance of becoming the first non-English movie to win Best Picture.

But don’t hold any of that against it!

Roma is a gorgeous, lyrical and personal epic about a character you never see at the center of a movie. Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) is a live-in house maid for a Mexican family in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. The movie follows her life during a year of personal and political turmoil.

Based very closely on Cuaron’s own childhood (the family’s home is an exact replica of the one he grew up in), Roma is a filmed memory, a love letter to the woman who helped raise him and a time and place he will never forget.

I have written extensively about this movie, including my initial review and a post on the film’s themes and symbolism that is now the blog’s most-read entry. I encourage you to check out those posts for my in-depth thoughts on Roma.

This is a monumental achievement, breathtaking in its scope, full of so much heart, and truly one of the greatest directorial efforts I’ve ever seen.

[Chorus]
When I was older
I was a sailor on an open sea
But now I’m underwater
And my skin is paler than it should ever be
Hmm

[Verse]
I’m on my back again
Dreaming of a time and place
Where you and I remain the best of friends
Even after all this ends
Can we pretend?
I’m on my, I’m on my back again
It’s seeming more and more
Like all we ever do is see how far it bends
Before it breaks in half and then
We bend it back again

[Pre-Chorus]
Guess I got caught in the middle of it
Yes I’ve been taught, got a little of it
In my blood, in my blood
Memories burn like a forest fire
Heavy rain turns any funeral pyre to mud
In the flood

[Chorus]
When I was older
I was a sailor on an open sea
But now I’m underwater
And my skin is paler than it should ever be

[Bridge]
I’m watching movies back to back in black and white, I never
Seen anybody do it like I do it any better
Been goin’ over you, I’m overdue for new endeavors
Nobody lonely like I’m lonely and I don’t know whether
You’d really like it in the limelight
You’d sympathize with all the bad guys
I’m still a victim in my own right
But I’m the villain in my own eyes, yeah

[Outro]
When I was older
I was a sailor on an open sea

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,224: ‘When I Was Older’ – Billie Eilish

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    And a well-timed song given Eilish’s impressive Grammy wins last night!

    I’ve only seen about half of this m…film, which I confess I found beautiful, but a bit slow. I will try to finish watching some day, though I suspect this is one I will appreciate more than love.

  2. Peg says:

    I agree with Dana about it being a film more appreciated (largely due to your thoughts and analysis) then loved.

  3. Amy says:

    This is a beautiful film, and I loved delving deeper into it through your blog. Not sure why it didn’t make the same impression on me as Parasite, another international film… in terms of its appearance on a list such as this one, other than the fact that it was supposed to. When you’re told going in that a film “should” be on all the lists and win all the awards, it always makes it a bit more difficult to embrace all the hoopla if you don’t immediately feel the same way. That happened to me with Roma last year and with The Irishman this year, though I expect both films were also hurt by the fact that I didn’t see them in a theater. In each case, I saw the film after all the buzz was out there and found the film just didn’t live up to those heightened expectations that others had set for me. I may have to analyze the films on my decade’s top 20 list to see just how often those expectations (or lack thereof) ultimately played in my love of each film.

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