The evenings sometimes stretch out before me, an intimidating expanse of silence to fill. Being only recently single, I find myself with a need to lose (or maybe find) myself in other peoples stories. Both to fill the time and to recognise that being lonely and unsure in the world is a universal experience. For some reason I find myself too restless to read, despite my book shelves groaning under the weight of my ‘to be read’ collection. I have partly-read and quickly-abandoned books littered around the house… So many it makes picking up another seem pointless.
Most nights now find me falling asleep on the couch having watched films until my eyelids fall shut (which also has the added bonus of sleeping on the couch and not in my bed alone) It’s love stories that appeal to me at the moment. So if anyone stumbles upon this looking for good break up movies here’s two of my favourites at the moment.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) Dir – Michel Gondry –
I’ve seen this film a few times over the years but it resonated deeply with me this time round. Although beautifully shot and intriguingly dreamlike to watch (more so on subsequent viewings) The story can feel achingly depressing if you hold a conventional view of love and relationships. The beauty I find in this film is that concept that love is an uncontrollable force of it own. It can’t be removed by canceling out memories, or artificially created by constructing experiences. Clementine (Winslet) and Joel (Carey), when meeting for the second time, cannot stop the relationship from developing even though they’ve had a clear and depressing foreshadowing of whats to come. Mary (Kirsten Dunst) doesn’t stop being in love with her married boss after wiping all memories of the relationship, and in contrast Patrick (Eilijh Wood) can’t make Clem fall in love with him by recreating experiences from her relationship with Joel. In short; love hurts and theres nothing that we can do about it, thats either depressing or liberating depending on your frame of mind.
In The Mood for Love (2000) Kar Wai Wong –
I love this film. Its so beautiful to watch and I’ve watched it numerous times. The cinematography, the set and costume design are so bewitching. In fact, the narrative is propelled more by this than the characters or their dialogue. The tale and characters are stick-figure simple but as a whole the film is intensely moody and frustratingly erotic. I followed this the other night by watching Blueberry nights by the same director and it totally missed the mark. Some of the same techniques are used, mainly the repetition of certain refrains or melodies during hypnotic slow motion camera shots. In Blueberry nights these scenes jump out at you and seem superimposed onto a poorly acted hollywood rom com. Whereas in In the mood for love it does this: *sigh*