Friday, November 01, 2013

coup de foudre ("Blue is the Warmest Color")

I can't explain adequately, but let me just say that I've had NO emotional support for the past 13 years, despite being in love with a couple of people. I've gone about my business, but it's been a relatively grim business: "Running on the rims."

In my current state of mind, I haven't seen a movie at a theater in over a year (the last, "The Artist" back in late 2011).

I used to love movies. As soon as I got my car at 16, I'd drive 45 minutes on Sundays into Fort Worth to see things I'd read about in the "Star-Telegram":  "The Year of Living Dangerously," "Videodrome," "Frances." Once I was a college kid at UT-Austin, I'd see films every week at the 4 theaters around campus: the Jester Center theater, the Dobie Theater, the Union Theater, the Varsity... My first film at college was re-watching "Frances" at the Dobie. My second was "The Graduate" at Jester. I also saw "Clockwork Orange" and "Brazil" and "Betty Blue" and "8-1/2" and also my first Joan Crawford film on the big screen, "Grand Hotel," with Rex Reed a visiting host. (In response to my question of who was REALLY better in the film, Reed gave the traditional: "They were both good in different ways." Nah. Garbo was awful.)

All of this a preface to my reading a review of "Blue is the Warmest Color" by Anthony Lane in the 10/28/13 edition of the New Yorker.

I'd been feeling personally shitty and unattractive. Unable to conjure up any magic whatsoever. Unattracted to any movie whatsoever. Until I read this part of the review:

How does the wish to be utterly alone with the loved one, and the dread of being alone when the loved one leaves, fit into that wider, more sociable vision? It takes two to tango, but many more to make a dance of life. Hence the unforgettable image of Adele in the sunshine, at a school gala, leading her pupils in a kind of shuffling conga. Dressed in bright ethnic costume, they are all smiles. but her smile is barely skin-deep; in the previous scene, we saw her in a blazing brawl with Emma -- a conflagration that left Adele stumbling along a nighttime street in feral moans of distress. Right now, a single closeup shows that, though encircled by young spirits, she wants to die.
I've had many a morning-after, utterly sick but trying to function appropriately... But I've never read anyone talking about it. Much less talking about it in relation to two women. Writer Anthony Lane ends his review with: "From the moment when Adele first catches sight of Emma, on a busy crosswalk, the movie restores your faith in the power of the 'coup de foudre' [love at first sight] and yet redoubles your fear of its effect; love, like lightning, can both illuminate and scorch."

OK, I thought with a big sigh: You talked me into seeing a movie again. (Gee, how big of me!) What really got me, though: "There's a fabulous, half-second shot of Adele glancing aside, at a party, where people are droning on about the distinction between Schiele and Klimt..." --- GODDAMMIT! I EXACTLY want to throw in my two cents at a party where people are discussing Schiele and Klimt!! I LOVE Klimt, and I KNOW Schiele... I never get to talk about such things!

Long story short: My present to myself after the end of my 4-month temp assignment is a ticket to "Blue is the Warmest Color" at 1:30 tomorrow. I want to feel something again.

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