WARNING: I am gonna get cheesy up in this post. And maybe even a little flowery/philosophical...I warned you! When a movie is over I like it to be like that silence at the end of a piece of live music. (You were warned bros!) A perceptible pause between the resonating note and the joyous clapping following it. The feeling always reminds me of a Wallace Stevens line from his poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird "I do not know which to prefer,/The beauty of inflections/Or the beauty of innuendoes,/The blackbird whistling/ Or just after." With film, the endnote is something that can almost border on sculptural, combining image, sound, and word in a balance that holds all of the senses in the air for a brief moment before the credits roll. It is the kind of contemplative inhale that only entrancing, complex films can achieve. The final scene of Ne Me Quitte Pas manifests this exact feeling, one of goosebumps & wonder, pure joy & unfathomable sadness.
French New Wave: a stark cut able to tell even more than an image. The filmmakers, Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Koeverden, somehow built up the world of Ne Me Quitte Pas instead of simply recording it. It is a new form of artful documentary, a precise storytelling vision that, in my opinion, has challenged the idea of the documentary.
reading a piece in the NYTimes Magazine about a writer who has accidentally became the leader of a cultural environmental movement. The movement isn't exactly nihilistic but it does think that saving the planet from environmental collapse isn't possible and that we need to move our thinking towards a post-catastrophe way of life (a similar concept to this other thing I was just reading about the Netherlands approach to climate change, they have accepted rising waters and are adapting instead of fortifying, dams be damned perhaps? Pun. womp womp). The movement's "leader," Paul Kingsnorth, is quoted as saying in a previous article, " 'Whenever I hear the word ‘hope’ these days, I reach for my whiskey
bottle. It seems to me to be such a
futile thing. What does it mean? What are we hoping for? And why are we
reduced to something so desperate? Surely we only hope when we are
powerless?' " He is right. "Hope" is almost always invoked in the name of bleakness, an attempted comfort in the face of something that needs to be overcome, changed, an uncertainty, a desire. When trying to write about the way Ne Me Quitte Pas acts as a film, as a documentary, I kept dancing around the word "hope." When you watch Marcel and Bob they almost seem ambivalent towards life and death. They are living, thinking, emotional beings but the decisions they continue to make contradict this fact. One hopes that they will either improve their conditions or, frankly, not, giving into an end that they are both well aware of. When this film was over, the last shot a simple breath taking image that one must experience to understand, I felt that moment of extreme, weighted silence in which I had to remind myself to inhale. It is not just a hope for Marcel and Bob. It is a hope for everything.