gooollysandra

Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: emotions

Theory vs. Emotion in Film

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When we say we like a movie, what are we really saying? Sure we can appreciate and admire  films for their form or content and we can like them for the ideas they convey or for their beautiful cinematography, but what is it that leads us to say we like a certain film? It’s the feeling they evoke in us. There are film theorists who will go great lengths to describe what signs are present in films that cause us to like them, or the ways in which certain films connote or denote things that make them ‘good’ films. But I don’t think that all that theorizing gets to the heart of what makes us like films. I think the power of film really lies in how they make us feel, rather than certain qualities that might be inherent in the film. How often do we like films solely because of their form or content and cast aside the emotions they evoke in us? Perhaps there are truly genuine film connoisseurs who can look at a film only for the ways in which it excels in terms of its medium (and I’m sure there are), but I find it virtually impossible to separate my emotions from my appreciation for a film while I am watching it. If this makes me an average film spectator, then so be it. I would rather remain an emotional film spectator than take the emotion out of the film-vieweing experience and look at films purely from an intellectual standpoint.

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You and Me

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I heard this song during the Parenthood series finale the other night and I just thought it was a lovely song. It was played during an emotional scene while the family was having their pictures taken at Sarah’s wedding, which was a nice overview of all the characters and their relationships with one another during the final episode. Of course, emotions always play in role in how we perceive something, so I really enjoyed this song as it was played during this scene. Also, this is a beautiful video.

Airports, train stations, bus stations

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Airports, train stations, and bus stations are interesting places to people-watch. People arriving and reuniting with their loved ones, people leaving loved ones, smiles and tears, so many emotions…I can’t help but get emotional myself when I see other people expressing their emotions. It’s an interesting way of playing off of others’ emotions. Do people mind that others are watching them in these emotional states? Places like these aren’t exactly private, so they must know that others are watching, either by choice or by accident. For arrivals, I don’t think people necessarily mind if others see their joyous reunions; but for departures and goodbyes, I imagine the spectacle is unwelcome. I don’t go to airports, train stations, and bus stations specifically to people-watch, but when I happen to be there picking someone up, or arriving or departing myself, these are the observations I’ve made. So the next time you’re feeling bored or emotionally stifled, try going to a place of arrival or departure and take pleasure in the reunions, or solace in the goodbyes.

Blue is the Warmest Color

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Upon seeing my first preview for Blue is the Warmest Color I didn’t really know what to think about it except that I loved the music selection by Beach House. By the second or third time I saw a preview for it, my interest was hooked. The night I went to see the film was memorable and I distinctly remember that it was raining and there weren’t many people in the theater. I got popcorn, as I usually do, but it didn’t seem to last me very long because the movie was lengthy, rounding out at 3 hours. By the time the movie was over and I left the theater it was 11 o’clock, later than I usually leave a movie theater and it was raining again. I was excited to see the film, but I had not idea what kind of treat I was in for; it’s the kind of movie that you remember the whole experience of going to see it, and not just the movie itself, which are always fond memories for me.

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I can honestly say that Blue is the Warmest Color is one the most beautiful, genuine movies I have ever seen, which I was not at all expecting going into it. Its NC-17 rating is definitely justified, as there is a fair amount of sexual content in it, which I can imagine turns off certain audiences that would otherwise really like the film. However, for me, this is not what I remember about the film. What I remember is the incredible sincerity of emotions expressed mostly by Adele, the main character, but also by her lover Emma, and the authentic love story that it is. Their relationship exemplifies an exploration that most of us have probably thought about, but not necessarily carried out. I for one know that I have questioned my sexuality, but have never had a sexual experience with a woman and don’t plan to. It is, however, something I have thought about and I am not ashamed or embarrassed about it.

The French language is beautiful and it particularly stood out to me during the literature classes that Adele attends. The ideas expressed in the classes made me envious and wish I was there. The plot flows so well and it does feel like a long movie, as it is, but it certainly keep you intrigued the whole time. The soundtrack is appropriately placed alongside each scene to evoke certain moods, which, for me, was particularly strong during Adele’s birthday party, as the video above demonstrates. Then there’s the party in celebration of Emma’s artwork and the conversations at the party feel so real, as do most all of the conversations in the film, and made me wish I was part of it. Adele and Emma open up to each other about philosophy and art and you can really feel the intimacy between them, not only physically but also intellectually since they’re always learning from each other.

The film is not without heartbreak, but it wouldn’t feel as authentic if it wasn’t, since heartbreak is such a natural and inevitable facet of love. Their breakup is incredibly sad and although Emma may seem overly harsh, her reaction is fairly accurate; even so, I found myself sympathizing with Adele. I felt the heartbreak the most towards the end when Adele and Emma meet again after having been broken up for a while and I could literally feel that there was still love between them, and although they have a reunion of sorts, it ends with them going their separate ways again. I really felt for Adele in a way that I’ve never felt for any other character in a film before. It’s an incredibly powerful scene. I could also identify with Adele in the way that she desperately tries to move on with her life without Emma, but unsuccessfully so. I think anyone who has been broken up with can identify with her in this way to a certain extent. It’s striking how the actresses are able to show so much real emotion on screen, which makes it feel as authentic as it does and evokes the powerful response from its viewers that it does.

The French title of the film, La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2, suggests that we might perhaps see a sequel with more chapters. I certainly hope so, as I am dying to know more about Adele’s life and her intimate relationships. Although with the controversy over the filming of the movie, it may be unlikely that we will see more on this project from these two actresses.

Her

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Her transported me to a different place, as movies often do, but I literally felt different when I walked out of the theater. The quaint street that the local, independent movie theater is on and the people strolling about seemed different to me, and as I got into the car and drove home I felt a tiny sense of transformation – not in a significant personal way, but like the world around me had transformed. It hadn’t, of course, but the film’s futuristic setting stayed with me after the film as I left the theater. Instances like these when your perception is changed and things just don’t feel right, even if not in a bad way, are bizarre. I felt refreshed and intrigued by this new world that I had just experienced.

Theodore’s relationship with a character who doesn’t have a physical presence reiterates the fact that even when we are in a relationship with someone or have people in our lives, we are still fundamentally alone. He is obviously physically alone, but also emotionally unfulfilled even though he is in a relationship of sorts. So for me, this doesn’t so much speak to loneliness as it does to aloneness, which is such an intrinsic part of our nature. But it also captures intimacy in a unique and genuine way that is compelling and leads you to think about whether or not one actually needs physical intimacy in a relationship. Jaoquin Phoenix who plays the role of Theodore carries the film very well and keeps you intrigued the whole way through even though so much of the film is centered on him and him alone.

I loved the movie. Although the premise sounds superficial, it exhibits real human emotions and challenges in a genuine way and transports you to a different kind of world.