Friday, June 10, 2005

Taken from The Guardian - a review on Thirteen Conversations About One Thing:

Joy Division
Films may help us escape from the daily grind - but can they ever help us find happiness?
By Alain de Botton

Remember the scene in Notting Hill where Julia Roberts, pregnant, leans on Hugh Grant, reading Captain Corelli's Mandolin? ... These scenes tend to be both intensely enjoyable and hugely irritating: enjoyable because they reflect our deep-seated wish for intense, conflict-free love, and irritating because we know these relationships to be untrue to genuine experience. In their lack of realism, the love scenes seem almost to deny us the chance of happiness in our own lives. They humiliate us with the gap they reveal between what we are likely to have tasted and the events on screen. They also leave us feeling sad. Our sadness won't be of the searing kind, more like a blend of joy and melancholy: joy at the happiness before us, melancholy at an awareness of how seldom we are sufficiently blessed to encounter anything of its kind.

Films have often deceived us about what happiness might be like, but in their finest examples, they also provide us with models by which to guide our own confused quests. They have shown us what happiness might look like, so that we'd be more readily able to recognise it when it came our way.

No comments: