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on birth

October 7th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

My belly is swollen, protruding. I hold it below my belly button. That spot. I would then run my palm up over my belly button and say, “Yes, here it is, here is our love.”

“Would you want me to carry y/our baby?”


If this was a book, then yes, it could happen right here, right now. I am always acting like I am in a book. You want reality, but I only know fantasy. I could one day stop taking my birth control and wait, prepare, massage my skin with oils, let it gain elasticity for its expansion, stop getting fucked up, start eating meat even!

I could learn to love meat. You could feed me real beef burgers and chicken wings. I would want more all the time, for all the years I despised meat. But nine months is a long time to be reading a book, maybe it is one of those serials that isn’t really a serial because serials aren’t serious literature. But it would still be a series of novels about the same character doing life in a way to relate to me, but having the ability to jump away with words and end just like that. Just like Catherine asked Jim to sit inside her car while she drove the car off the split in the bridge in Avignon. I was there looking at the bridge this summer. You have to pay to go on the bridge now. I didn’t want to pay to stand on a bridge, so it only exists from afar but close enough I could recognize it in films like Truffaut’s Jules et Jim. My Avignon bridge meant nothing but a way to make money, for Catherine it meant a way out of her neurosis, for Truffaut it meant a way to end the film dramatically but easily. Crazy women always get killed off in the end. Erica Jong talks about this, refusing to kill of Isadora Wing. Down with death! The world needs consequence without pitiful tragedy of funerals! A man can’t imagine follow-through on a life of a labyrinthine woman.

French Film love / my own love

April 13th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Just watched L’Amour l’après-midi by Eric Rohmer, only to find out it is the sixth and final film in the ‘Six Moral Tales’ series he did. I obviously wish I watched the previous ones first as this seems to be the culmination of them all.

The film is about “Frédéric, a middle-class lawyer, proud of his home life and in love with the idea of loving his pregnant wife and their first child, both safely ensconced in the suburbs. Frédéric also loves traveling to the city to work; it connects him to the bustle of modernity. He is invigorated by the freedom of city life, the proximity of chance, and, especially, the nearness of young, attractive, available women.” – Armond White

The ending made me wonder, was it Frédéric’s cowardice that led him to return to his wife and make passionate love to her, or was it truly that he was in love with her. Chloe, a woman that appears from his past taunts him that everyone cheats and that sooner or later he will as well, possibly with her. He grapples with this and is tempted on many occasions, but in the end doesn’t, despite her manipulations. She even goes as far as twisting around a story of his wife and a possible other man.

Was this Rohmer’s commentary on the French ethos? Maybe not everyone needs to be married and have women on the side? Maybe some are actually happy with their marriages? Frédéric was obviously influenced by Chloe’s rhetoric on the subject for a time, but in that confusion, maybe he was able to reinforce the love and desire for his wife and his life? Sometimes relationships need external influences for a broader perspective, and this was Frédéric’s? I am glad Rohmer didn’t let him sleep with Chloe. It would have been way too easy, even if they did fool around.

“These passing beauties are simply an extension of my wife’s beauty,” Frédéric says. Thus, Rohmer is not giving us a protagonist outside desire, but rather someone who takes in flirtatious pleasures, manifesting them for the benefit of his love life, rather than opposing them in the typical love and lust duality.

I really enjoyed the films discussion of relations, fidelity and love but without the overstated sexuality and eroticism that most movies of that genre give into. Not that I don’t love those films (because do I ever), but I’m not used to erotic French subtlety. In this I also realized the great effect, for better or worse, than French films have had on me especially my views on marriage. Being influenced by divorce rates of my friends’ parents is one thing, but while watching this, I think my equivocal, substantially anti-long term relationship viewpoint has definitely been massaged by French films. Without fail, most of them, or at least the ones I have watched pronounce a three-way relationship, something I have always been a fan of, compromised by intense desire and longing for the ‘other’ person, followed by a deep painful avalanche trumping all parties involved. Sometimes, like in Jules et Jim, even resulting in death. One reading would be that eventually it is the affairs that triumph and marriages get defeated. These consequences must have frightened me more than I realize, and even though I always find myself in long-term relationships, I am always afraid of them, afraid of myself in them, afraid of the other person in them. Maybe afraid is the wrong word. Hesitant? Distressed? At this point, the correct word isn’t in me. Yet, simultaneously, these emotions towards the ‘relationship’ are never created out of doubt about the love for my partner, about the passion and lust I carry. This is the crux French films have created in me. It’s so strange to intellectualize my emotions like this. I should stop. But I must get back to this.

I also just signed up for The Auteurs. Join me.

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