Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Alone Alive: "I've Loved You So Long" - A Smart Movie with Heart

I went with my sister to see a French movie in an old beat up movie house called the Mt Pleasant on Saturday. The film, "I've Loved You So Long" is not light (of course not, Jon, it's French). There are no dogs. Jennifer Aniston makes no appearance. But I liked the movie a lot. I liked the acting. I liked the lack of showy direction. They say the best directors are the ones you are least aware of. I thought this was pretty true of the movie. Kirstin Scott Thomas was the star and she is, a star. A great performance.

Quoting Cornell West, a modern day philosopher (turns out they still exist), my wife told me last night of this idea that a great book or movie, that these, though they are solitary and not social, are actually what can make us more alive. That we are More Alive reading (or watching) good art. I loved this. Not only, of course, because it suits me, but because in a time when we usually only acknowledge aliveness in the gym bunny, the guy or gal puffing away on the tread mill, I like to think there is a whole other dimension to being alive. And that exercise is only part. As Ai said, all the people you are meeting and getting to know, and so intimately, in a good book or a movie, the full-on experience of this.

I find that movies like "I've Loved You So Long" ("Il Y A Longtemps Que Je T'aime"), though dealing with difficult themes, make me feel more alive. The intensity of life. I dig that, you know? Also, movies where men can discuss literature at dinner parties, and women in smoky cafes smoke Pall Mall cigarettes, drink strong coffee and are smart as hell. And beautiful, but in a quiet way.

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