Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Thursday, 15 September 2005


I am definitely getting older. My tastes are getting increasingly selective. If in the past I would have enjoyed an action film as well as a romance, these days I nearly avoid any Holliwoodian epic movie and opt instead nearly exclusively for quirky, undertone, low cost films--in a phrase for the so-called *independent movies* [Almodovar's sophisticated creations are of course an exception in my limited umbrella of tastes].

Life as a dog and You me and everyone we know are the films I recently enjoyed the most. Both have in common a simple story, and both share the attention to the characters's feelings and their microcosm in a very *realistic* setting, but both chronicle the protagonists' everyday life in a unique and seductive way.

You Me and Everyone we know is the story of an eccentric average woman and of a sensitive average man.
She is a graceful cab driver and a would-be contemporary artist, lonely, atypical, like any artist, and a bit gutted. Her melanchonic crystal eyes and timid smile make her a pleasant and attractive character. He is a graceful white man, father of two shy and a bit sad-looking black sons. His fragile figure and penetrating eyes inspire benevolence and sympathy in the spectator. Separated from a smart (black) woman, he works as a shoe shop assistant for a big shopping centre somewhere in the States.

One day, the eccentric woman and the sensitive man meet at the shoe shop. They like one another, but, for a series of adverse events, they don't get to date each others, if not for few minutes, for few moments. The film goes on with the parallel story of their lives focusing on their meaningless (and yet meaningful) details of their trivial daily existence in a tragi-comic way. Some scenes are in fact truly uproarious. Their hilarity is conveyed by the verisimilar absurdness of some situations: a gold fish is forgotten on the roof of a car, and its fate is followed by the eccentric woman, and her passenger, who sympathetically witness the scene from the car behind. However, the online chat between the two sad-looking sons and an *unknown* interlocutor--supposedly a *hot girl*--remains the highlight of this film. I had not laughed so much for a film in ages. I mean, Charlie and the Cchocolate Factory is amusing and Johnny Deep so witty; Life as a Dog made me smile in several points; and Amelie's fruitful imagination is really comic--just to mention a few. But this scene, combining the naivety of the boy in front of a clearly sexual circumstance, is purely hilarious. In all his innocence, the little child--who can barely write at the age of six--suggests to his brother a reply to the hot girl’s spicy provocations, perceived as a fetish proposal by the receiver, and as an extremely funny fantasy by the audience, for the ambivalent nonsense and yet childish nature of it. I bet that everybody at some point in their youthful lives has had a similar thought (with all its variations). I can summarise it in this iconic way:


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