The Ersatz Assurance Of Closed Doors
I often go to the movies alone. Some people think this is weird. I’m usually not talking with anyone during the movie and the only part I truly miss out on with my solitude is the discussion with someone afterwards. Film is for me one of the most moving and engaging of the “arts”. I’ve been fortunate to have access to Cameo, a great and diverse art house theater just down the street from where I now live. Cameo, of course, shows plenty of French films, although the movies I typically see are (undubbed) movies in English with French subtitles. In addition to seeing a movie, this is a good way for me to practice with my translation skills.
Cameo has a great array of movies in house for December or on deck for the next couple of months. Some of the movies I would like to see include: Mike Leigh’s Another Year, Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, The Coen Brother’s remake of True Grit, Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine, Manoel de Oliveira’s The Strange Case of Angelica, and Jean Luc Godard’s (!) Socialism. If I went to see all of the films they have scheduled for this month, I would be seeing 57 films. Let me say that again: fifty seven different fucking films. Thinking about that makes me even more annoyed with the regular 12 movies-a-month showing at my local theater in the United States.
Last week I went to see the movie Lullaby (entitled Lullaby For Pi elsewhere?). I have to be honest, my interest in this movie initially stemmed from my (until now) secret crush on actress Clémence Poésy, but I became a little more interested when I read the movie tag-line - “A washed up musician falls for a reclusive artist” - so I curiously went to see this solemn romance. While not one of the best movies I have ever seen, it will probably fall among in my favorites of the year. This is actually an impressive feat for first-time Canadian writer and director Benoît Philippon. The movie also features best actor Oscar winner Forest Whitaker. It’s basically a story about a down-on-his-luck blues singer, played here by Rupert Friend, who spends most of his time in a hotel room drowning his sorrows in whiskey. His luck happens to turn around when he meets a young artist who, speckled with paint, seeks refuge in the bathroom of his hotel room. Each finds themselves sensitive and hurt. They communicate via words and Polaroid photographs passed under the door. The two begin a relationship only from their interactions behind the closed bathroom door. Without giving away anything else from the story, the relationship between the two develops. The story may sound absurd, but in a world of fiction, truth can sometimes be stranger.
One thing I love about film is how it can communicate life in its rawest form. Just like in this movie, there is comfort in having your doors closed off to the world. One can only learn, love, and live via an open door. It’s nice to have a visual story to remind me of this simple fact.