Sunday, December 12, 2010
Seeing is believing, but touching is the truth.
This will be my last post of 2010, how strange that the year is nearly over. I've got a big deadline right before Christmas, and I'm also planning a small "holiday", so I won't be posting for two or three weeks after this post. I feel the need for a small break.
I can't think of a better last post for the year than this one. I've been watching Luc Jacquet's incredible film, The Fox & the Child. It feels like a gift of a film. It's one of those films that makes all your senses alert. The magic of The Fox & the Child doesn't lie in the narrative, as it's essentially plot-less. As we follow the friendship that develops between a young girl and a fox, we're reminded of the value of quiet contemplation. The seasons change before our eyes, the landscape breathes new colour, the air condenses and expands.
This is a film that you appreciate through sensory envy: when the young girl dipped her fingers into soft fur, my fingers tingled; when the wind snapped against her red cheek, I could almost feel the elastic severity of the cold; when snow meticulously melted into spring on fragile flowers, I imagined the smell of dissolving dampness, like after it rains. I was also repeatedly reminded of Gail Jones's apt description of Jane Campion's The Piano: "only gradually do we learn that this film is indeed about touch, about what fingers can do" (Gail Jones, The Piano, Currency Press, 2007, p. 14). The Fox & the Child is a film of details and little moments, rather than action. It is about what fingers can do and touch, what eyes can uncover, what time feels like on the flesh, and the texture of a friendship that is unspoken, beyond language. And I suppose that's why I love it, as it suggests something I've been contemplating lately: the idea of a cinema of the senses.
This is what this time of year should be all about: appreciating things through the senses. I think this is a lovely note on which to end and wish you all happy holidays. If you celebrate Hanukkah, I hope it was as delicious and fun as mine. If you celebrate Christmas, have a fantastic one. And to everyone: happy new year celebrations! Keep safe and happy. Thanks to everyone who has read my blog and left comments in the past year, I'm always amazed that anyone actually reads this blog. I'll see you all in the first week of January, 2011!