01 September 2010

Wake me up inside

I don't really watch much in the way of TV, but I love films and I willingly watch anything that piques my interest. I have a fondness for art house films, and in the years before marriage and children, I could often be found on a Saturday afternoon engrossed in something foreign or off-the-wall or experimental. Amusingly, I found out that my friend J. was often visiting those same theaters in her off hours. It always makes me wonder how close we come throughout our daily lives to meeting people that we eventually end up friends with anyway.

I don't always get to the theater when films are released...scheduling, scheduling, scheduling...and often I rely on the cable TV's On Demand feature (it's also a lot cheaper than the movie theater these days. Aiyiyi). This was how I finally saw 500 Days of Summer over the summer, and made the kids watch it, too, not just because it's delightful, but because it says so much about the misguided expectations that can emerge in relationships. I suspect that we've all been on one end of that or the other at some point.

Today, I watched Cairo Time, which is an emotionally complex film about loneliness, love, companionship and desire that masquerades as a simple little movie--almost a travelogue--about a woman awaiting the arrival of her husband in Cairo. While 500 Days of Summer is about young love, Cairo Time is much more about something unexpected awakening in two adults who are experienced in the ways of relationships. It is a lovely story, told in companionable silences and a game of chess, in vast cultural differences and the troubles in the Middle East. While there is humor in the film, the situations aren't played broadly for laughs. And I could so clearly identify with Juliette, the main character, who announces without preamble or explanation that she wants to explore, who wanders streets alone when she's told not to and ends up in an uncomfortable situation, who blunders (obliviously) into a cafe that is for men only, who lives her life as though she is invulnerable when she is clearly anything but.

To say much more about the film would be to ruin the pleasure in watching it unfold in its own time, at its own pace, poignantly. Unsurprisingly, after watching it, I was ready to leave home again, immediately.

Go listen to some good music: "Bring Me to Life" from the album Fallen by Evanescence.

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