Monday, June 13, 2005

François Truffaut

The thing I like about art is that it makes it seem possible to love someone and commune with them even if you've never met them. Even if they are long dead.

Now I know, this isn't how we are supposed to view these things. I, too, learned in college that the proper approach is to take the work of art as an independent thing, apart from it's creator - Not to speculate about what the artist "was trying to say" etc. Not to think that it gives you the ability, or even the right, to pretend to talk to a ghost.

But screw that, I'm out of college and I enjoy my conversations with imaginary friends.

I saw François Truffaut's "400 Blows" on Saturday night. I'm new to Truffaut's work, and I love it. I saw "Jules and Jim" a few weeks ago. I'm so glad I get to love him, even though I've never met him, and he's dead.

I once asked a friend of mine if she believed in reincarnation. She said she didn't. She preferred to think that each person is unique and that the world only got one of each. However, she said, she liked to think that there would be other people like her that came later. She said it was like a lighthouse, with the light going around in a circle, seemingly disappearing but reappearing again. I like that idea.

Now I'm not trying to claim to be like François Truffaut. I'm not a genius film maker. And I don't even know very much about him. But I feel him. I'm glad he left something of himself behind that we can know.

And really, when you come right down to it, what can we really know about anyone? Even the people we know the best? Even ourselves?

"The 400 Blows" has been haunting me, in the background of my mind, since I saw it. Like a dream, it colors my thoughts with it's melancholy, sad-happy, freedom and independence and loneliness and alienation and fleeting moments of camaraderie.

I like that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, hon. I so love 400 Blows & Jules et Jim both.

Also, what they told you in college was dead wrong as far as I'm concerned. I would say you can never look at a work of art as separate from its creator and his/her intentions, otherwise you're completely ahistoricizing it, which in my book is always a mistake. That said, I do think you need to be careful about assuming you fully understand what those intentions must have been.
blahblahblahblah. sorry, i got all excited. you raised one of my pet issues.


7:43 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Thank you Ellie. I kind of agree with you. Well, I mean you can look at it as separate, I just prefer not to.

I think the point of art is to communicate. And communication has something to do with the person who is communicating, (and of course, a lot to do with the listener too.)

And as for assuming you fully understand what the intentions must have been, that's the danger in all communications, isn't it? :-)

Glad you read my blog Ellie. :-) I like communicating with you too, even though we've never met. :-)

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But maybe we *have* met, sometime in the distant past... ;-)


7:54 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Well either way, my main concern is that we meet soon! Like in July. Don't forget!!! :-)

8:02 AM  

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