Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sartre, Schiele, and Sexuality

La Vie d'Adèle (movie poster).jpg

Blue is the Warmest Color

As if enjoying a long, leisurely repast; as if reading a novel that I could put down, think about, take in, and return to its unique interior; I perused and lingered over Blue is the Warmest Color. There is the advantage of Netflix, the ability to pause and return to a film, to absorb it thoughtfully. Blue is three hours of intense expression, of considerable thought-provoking dialog, of raw emotion, and an exploration of love that hurts in its realism. I shall place a link to a fine, traditional review at the end of my account of how this film affected me. Here, however, I want to convey how much the film delved into the very relationship events, the arch of feeling and intermingling of personality that occurs in love of such intensity that it alters a person's being. Early in the film, Emma, the artist and philosopher of the love story, talks of Sartre, of freedom to choose who we become, of the meaning of  "existence precedes essence," (or as Adele later quips, "Orgasm precedes essence"). For all her intelligence and passion, however, it is Emma who wants monogamy. Perhaps that is an irony true to life, for it is the less philosophical Adele who lives as Simone de Beauvoir did, open to relationships with both sexes, yielding to the impulse to make love to others, as would a woman of 17 or 18. I love the way the film never hurries. It lets the women show the full range of their emotions, from joy and laughter to heart-breaking tears. There is defiance and vulnerability in both women. What is sad, yet most real for me is the inevitability of their parting.

The film is a wonderful study, too, of the interplay of art and philosophy within a genuine relationship. There is indeed the rawness of Schiele, the artist one woman defends against Emma's preference for Klimpt. It all worked for me; the film gave me a touching insight deep into my own odd relationships and love life.


Here then is the more conventional, well written review from the Guardian:

Cannes 2013: Blue Is the Warmest Colour (La Vie D'Adèle Chapitre 1 et 2) – first look review
Peter Bradshaw: Epic and erotic yet intimate – Abdellatif Kechiche's uncompromising story of an affair makes other films look tame

Cannes 2013: Blue Is the Warmest Colour 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Poetry of Place

Ueno Park, April 2013
Photo by Jack

Another stimulating thread from Alfred Corn:

The poetry of place, of geography, of landscapes and cities. Which inevitably involves description. Thoughts? Good models?