Film Friday: Mickey Blue Eyes

There is a scene in this gangster comedy that I’ve always loved. Michael goes with his mobster prospective father-in-law to meet another couple of goodfellas, and in doing so he needs to pretend he is one of the hoods – ‘Micky Blue’. Here he is on the way, practising his gangster voice…

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To maintain the pretence he even goes so far as practically assaulting his startled, bemused boss and hurling him out of the restaurant. At times I feel as if I’ve muddled through life adopting various personas to try and fit in. Bank clerk Dave. One of the lads Dave. Sunday morning Dave. Saturday night Dave. Pub Dave. Competent-at-living-this-thing-called-life Dave. Good-at-being-a-Christian-Dave. It’s one of the snags of being a performer I guess. I have found the work of Adrian Plass so refreshing over the years, as he manages to disarm me, to strip back the pretence to what really matters. Adrian and Bridget have been lately posting up podcast reflections if you’d like to hear one or two…

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These are also available on his website.

Years ago as a teenager, I watched a filmstrip (as they were back then) called In the Bin. I think I’ve written about it before. It made a deep impression. It’s about a man with a cupboard full of masks, one for when he talks to the boss, one for his secretary, a happy one, a grumpy one etc. Then one day a dustbin man turns up, empties his cupboard and takes them all away. The man is horrified! How will he cope without his masks? I have felt like that many times over the years. The bin man is Jesus. Unmasking us. Not to leave us vulnerable and ridiculed, but so that we might break through to the real us. The us made in the image of God. With the unique hues and shades that we each possess. It’s an ongoing battle, isn’t it. But I’m grateful for the help of a God who won’t settle for a contrived version of me with a mask on, even though I frequently go back to that cupboard of fronts and fakery. It’s instinctive to want to hide. But the Bin Man understands.

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  1. Mark EE says:

    Hello Dave. I really felt your riff…thank you! Thanks be…and about the masks…yes, oh yes…

    As being a persona in the moment and not oneself is a constant human challenge, its important and helpful to be reminded about it. Jesus does want us and does enable us to drop our masks.

    We actually watched Mickey Blue Eyes…this week! Can’t get more current.

    Don’t know anything about Adrian Plass so will look at the offering. Thanks for all. Best to you all. You, Lynn, and girls are in our prayers…even before we read this today, in fact. You are loved.

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