Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And If you want sing out sing out

As you all know, I absolutely love this movie. Everything about it makes me smile. For once its nice to watch a movie that tells you to live life and enjoy every moment of it. It teaches you that the good come with the bad and that its important to remember the good and what you learned from the bad. I can't help but look back at this movie and laugh. It just has a way of staying in your head and scenes will pop up here and there that will put the biggest grin on your face...

I can't feel sad about the fact that Maude committed suicide. Through out the entire movie she alluded to it and she never once stopped and said she felt as though she hasn't lived her life to its entirety. Suicide is a topic that many people feel uncomfortable talking about and assisted suicide has come under a publicity storm in the last decade or so considering assisted suicide groups have popped across the country and the world. If a person feels its their time to go then who are we to stop them? In cases of depression and young age I agree that an intervention is important but when someone is Maude's age I think they have a right to decide when they want to leave this world. It gave Maude the comfort of knowing she got to die her way healthy and happy. I could never wish for anything more when I die or when loved ones around me die. Happiness is such a crucial and important thing...

I honestly don't believe this movie needs to be redone for our generation. As I mentioned in class the nation was on the cusp of a huge transition at the time this movie was made. The nation was just beginning to see the return of soldiers from Vietnam and see the loss of those boys youth and their happiness for a time. Our country was transitioning into a phase of great mourning for the loss of the youth in a generation. Maude already witnessed this once with her own experience I don't blame her for not wanting to see it all over again. Presently our country is again at the cusp of mourning again because we have and will be seeing the return of broken youth from Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Korea. We will see how much war can take away a lot of what we found made us happy. This movie is a gentle reminder of how important it is to make sure to live and live happily. This movie captures the carefree laughter that will be necesary to survival for the soldiers returning and their families as they see the loss that was experienced.

I always find myself being so thankful that this movie didn't center around Maude being a Holocaust survivor. I feel that it would have made audiences get too caught up in that aspect rather than the aspect of living life. Maude made no effort to be recognized as a survivor rather she wanted to be recognized for living. I know keep reiterating this living fact, but in truth thats what this movie is.

This movie discusses suicide in so many different facets its not surprising that when this movie was first released that it wasn't well received. Even in the present suicide is not often discussed. It's generally avoided. This movie brings it to the forefront and it makes the audience deal with the idea that suicide isn't always a vice for those in pain or in a state of depression. It pokes fun at the fact that society is so uncomfortable about it. Why are we so afraid to discuss it and try to understand all the motives that a causes a person to commit suicide? Are we so saturated by religious dogma that we can't move beyond that suicide is a sin? Suicide isn't anything new so why is it still listed under taboo?

Even in the movie the fact that Maude committed suicide wasn't addressed as a horrible circumstance. The paramedics, nurses, and doctors all behaved as it was nothing unusual or out of the ordinary. They didn't show shock or disdain or even worry. I think what may make most people uncomfortable about this movie is how it looks at suicide because it addresses it like no one had before. It identified suicide as something human.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The self is always and inevitably deficient

Dr. Ealy's lecture about Celestina left me really thinking about life and what makes it worth living. The story of the young couple who falls in love at first makes one want to be so happy and excited. What can be better than a love story centered around a young couple when you know its going to be filled with lust and longing? Dr. Ealy brought up rather interesting point of how love can never completely fulfill one's longings. This brings to light a darker side to this love story that leads to both parts of the young couple's death. It is true when a person falls in love they fall in love with an ideal image of the other person. They see them much as Calisto saw Melibea. Their image of their love made their partner seem etheral and almost too perfect to be true. Yet, this image does not exist, and when the person comes to terms with this it brings in a sense of melancholy and a sense of unfulfillment.

Through out his entire lecture I wanted to scream this isn't true this isn't true, but it is. I wonder though is it such a bad thing to know that you love the other person more than the other person loves you? While it is some what unfulfilling it should leave a person knowing that they have the capability to go above and beyond material reciprocation with their feelings. I guess how I see it is that it isn't really love unless you can care for some one more than they care for you. It shows a sort of selfless abandon that I feel has to go hand in hand with love. With love comes vulnerability and uncertainty, and yes pain goes right there with it. How can you appreciate the good if you have no other moments in life to let you know that this is in fact a good moment? Cliche, I know, but it is so true.

It also causes you to appreciate the moment you are in because you only ever have that moment and you don't get it back. So, why waste your time thinking about some unhappy memory of the past or planning every step of your future. The present is already history when you decide to recognize it.

I have to disagree with Dr. Ealy on his point about how Celestina helped to free women from the constraints of social expectations. Yes, she was able to help young girls experience sex on their own terms first, but she would patch them back up to be violently possessed by a man they don't want to be with. In a way it seems as though she is just assisting in an inevitable contracted rape. It sickened me when I read how she had sold the same girl to a man as a virgin. It had to have been so painful each time she was sewn back together and then ripped back open. This violence makes me cringe. Why give them just a small taste of freedom and sex that is willing when she will only put them right back where they belong? She is just as much a part of keeping women under control as the men are. The difference is she knows the violence that each girl is going to be subjected to. I just don't see how this is freeing them of patriarchal society.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Requiem For a Dream

I apologize for the tardiness of this entry, but every time I sat down to write I was at a complete loss of words when it came to my reaction about this movie. I just didn't know where to begin or even how to phrase my thoughts coherently. I will admit the strongest emotion that this movie produced in me was fear. I am so afraid for my friends I have watched tumble through severe addictions. I am afraid that one day the wanting of the drug and how it makes them feel will just consume them and I will lose them forever. I am afraid for my friends who have gone through addiction and recovery and how they get up every morning and keep living clean. It terrifies me in every way shape or form.

I also found myself feeling somewhat embarassed too. I have always thought that I was pretty well informed and aware of addiction and its severity. This movie left me realizing how ignorant I truly am. Addiction is not singular to drugs addiction can be present with anything, and somehow that fact just does not stick into my mind. It just was never made relevant or real to me. For me addiction was what rap stars rapped about and what my friends went through the circle never passed beyond that. I just felt completely ashamed for believing that this didn't go beyond just my small scope.

I still can't get the ending sex scene out of my head. It horrifies me and disgusts me. Yet, I know going to such extents for drugs is not uncommon. It makes my stomach turn because I know for a fact that my friends put themselves through similar things to get what they needed to get high. I have a hard time looking them in the eye right now. I just have that scene playing in the back of my head and I just don't ever want to imagine them being so desperate that they would be willing to do whatever it would take just to get high.

Harry left me feeling sick to my stomach. He wanted so much, yet he could never define exactly what he wanted. Love was part of it but everything else was so vague and it left me feeling overwhelmed and I was just watching. What he must have felt being so uncertain of what he wanted must have just driven to so many points of desperation.

I honestly think that this movie should be a required to be seen by every student. We try so hard to protect people from the bad and the ugly and it just leads to more bad and more hurt. We let the romanticization of addiction continue because we don't want to hear about anything else. We don't want to feel the pain that comes with it. Getting high is just a novelty act on occasion with friends to relieve tension. So many people actually believe this. Yes, this movie is rough to watch, but we don't always deserve a happy ending. Sometimes I feel as though a happy ending is nothing more than false security. It gives hope when in some cases there really isn't any. The truth is important and it shouldn't be sugar coated by a Disney saturated version of it. Things like addiction shouldn't be left to song and dance and the romanticized happy ending because most of the time it just isn't there