January 19, 2009

Paper Hearts

A recent review of the Sundance film, Paper Heart starring experimental comedienne, Charlyne Yi (Knocked Up) and her boyfriend, Michael Cera (Juno, Arrested Development) brings up an interesting supposition on the nature of love. The film itself, a mere starting point on the topic, is a constructed in a mockumentary style that weaves in real interview footage with scripted or improvised scenes.

The review articulates on the "structure" of love represented by the ending of the film, that is, one must truly sacrifice something very meaningful, important and precious to oneself as the ultimate demonstration of one's true love. The actual sacrifice or gesture may vary but essentially must be defined by giving up something meaningful in order to be happy, happy in love with your partner. This act is the basis that precipitates or lays the groundwork for love. Without this penultimate experience, love is not love, apparently or at least not the accepted notion explored here. Often what you must give up ends up having to do with your falling in love in the first place. You must give up something that led or aided that love.

Love works best when it is relatively equal parts coming and equal parts going. Disparity, flux or great movement puts pressure, stress, and strain. If one party falls, the other must catch. If both fall or there is no one to catch the other, the love is strained, forgotten.

Alone with no one home for awhile, no one, no partner to lean on, and a lack of those that truly understand your unique nature in such time of stress, tragedy, and pain is rather difficult. Everyone is gone. All alone. It is in start contrast to the zoo and tiring, dizzy array of family and so on comes after being surrounded by such tragedy. The result for trying to help others and not being able to is being alone, alone to help yourself. Relying on oneself and being self-sufficient can be empty, hollow and painful.

The day-to-day and practical chores and simple struggles are easy enough, but there is no immediate meaning or reward, that something to go home to or rather go home for, is obviously not there. You are surrounded by emptiness. Reflecting on horrible circumstances of recent events and their ever-present feelings while the good ones feel fleeting. Time, so much time to reflect on the past, unable to feel the good of the future. When will I feel good again? Everything that could go wrong, has. Broke down, pained, numb, dying, beyond weak. Can't take it anymore. Where is the love? Floating, fleetingness, constant ambiguity, uncertainty and just nothing really out there. But let's not be too over dramatic. Move on. Get better hopefully. Fade to black. Gone.

Source | Slashfilm / Trailer

1 reactions:

B. Lee said...

That's an interesting concept, I'd like to see a concrete example of what that means, sacrificing something vital to solidify a relationship.
However, I would like to challenge the fundamental assumption here, which is that love is some kind of internal state or feeling that is hidden and must be shown or proven. In that case, love is an object that is concealed and the process is to reveal it, whether once or repeatedly over an amount of time.
Yet, my conception of love is that it is a verb, an action, that love itself is not hidden but IS the revelation. Love is not just hidden, but simply non-existent without love-ing. That love-ing is something you continually do. And sacrifice and giving of yourself is not something that happens for pushing your relationship depth over some kind of love threshold point, but rather is love.
You can't demand the act of sacrificial love because it's always a gift. You can't do anything but love-ing, that is, the active gifting of love. We live/love giving from infancy to deathbed, from complete dependence to complete dependence, with spurts of stubborn assertion.
Anyway, intellectualization has always been my defense mechanism of choice. Here's my concrete advice: to draw yourself out of your existential funk, try giving your love to others. I know it's in there.

Post a Comment