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Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Abandon Hope, All Who Enter Here – Dante

L'Amour Verite

L’Amour Verite

After months of anticipation we bundled ourselves up on a blustery December day to rush to see what has been hailed by the critics as masterpiece about life, death and everything in between (Manohla Dargis, NYT-12/19/12), Michael Heneke’s Amour.

Unfortunately, what we saw was a sterile, confused meditation on the gates of hell known to the director as illness and old age. For over two hours we entered Heneke’s Inferno. With Cartesian precision he shows us a picture of what old age and illness looks like to two very empty characters. Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), both former musicians, are initially introduced to us as productive mentors and teachers of music. Their daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert), also a musician, is presented as the outsider who is continuously intruding upon their insularity.

Anne is afflicted by a sudden stroke at the breakfast table. This leads to a paralysis of her right side and the beginning of the end for her. Her husband, Georges becomes her main caretaker. Once he takes over the film is dominated by Georges’ subjectivity which we believe mirrors the directors’.

Our disappointment and frustration with this critically acclaimed film is as follows: This is a case of the emperor’s new clothes.  The critics have blinded themselves in their rush to embrace this clichéd stereotyped hallucination of illness collapsed into old age. 

Both of us are well over sixty and have loved and lost many loved ones in our lives through hideous illnesses and disabilities including AIDS, Leukemia, Lung Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Heart Attacks. In our collective experience we have never come across anything as bleak, hopeless and claustrophobic as this so called masterpiece.

The film conflates illness and old age as necessary partners on the inevitable journey to the abyss. Where is the amour in this film? Does it rest in Geroges killing of Anne? Or in his exclusion of their daughter from communicating with her mother at any point in the film? Or is it in the lack of friends? Or in knowing Anne’s subjectivity?

We question if there ever was love in their lives? When Anne goes through her photograph album she says, I had a life. She states this with no emotion. The only time she displays emotion is when she says about halfway through the film, I want to die. This only happens when Georges decides it’s the time to do so.

We hope that this film is not the last word on ageing or death! When one of our mother’s was on the edge of death, she was in and out of consciousness. She was taken to a local hospital and put on a gurney while waiting for a room. She suddenly opened her eyes and looked around and said, this is one hell of a lousy hotel! Would there had been such humor and love of life in the final moments of this movie.!

An American Tragedy

AMERICA IS AT WAR WITH ITSELF!

Twenty children and seven female teachers were murdered on a sunny Friday morning in December. The killer, a twenty year old white male decided to  slaughter  innocence. Much like the infamous King Herod who feared the birth of a child who would save the world and that child was Jesus!

This tragedy is of biblical proportions! How many children must be sacrificed to the God know as NRA, our contemporary Moloch  who devours our children?

While still in shock from Newtown Massacre, there is a barrage of yet more violence; 50 shots heard in the parking lot of a mall in California, another psychopath discovered with a cache of 49 guns leveling a threat at another school, and in Alabama three people shot including a 2 year-old toddler.

What is happening here? Do we need gun control? Is our mental health system a failure? Is there a crisis of masculinity? Is it violent video games? Is it the violence in movies and television? Is it economic stress? Is it the failure of parenting? Is it the food supply? Is it the psychotropic medication given to children as early age three? Is it the breakdown of social control?

IS IT THE RESULT OF A WAR CULTURE wherein sanctioned violence is allowed on the battle field?

The Killers who walk among us in everyday life view the world as a battle field. Case in point, one of us while riding the subway was threatened by a very disturbed man when she made a move to get up from her seat, he threatened, if you leave me I will kill you. Fortunately, she fled the train just as the doors shut. This is only one of many such incidents that are experienced daily by countless numbers of people.

We are describing a society in RAGE. If you get in my way I will kill you. No one talks about this. No one addresses this nor is anything effective being done. Anger management programs don’t work because in our machismo culture if you dis me I have the right to kill you.

We are stressed out, atomized and alienated from each other by fear and hatred. What has happened to empathy?

In this season of good will to all, we must begin to look into ourselves and ask how can we bring more light into the world?

Illuminate the Darkness

Illuminate the Darkness

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