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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

 

"Amour", the movie. An Act of Love



Amour,the new film by Michael Haneke, is an Oscar contender in two categories – best film, best director. 

Haneke succeeded in depicting the loving relationship that existed between a husband and wife.  A relationship that physical and mental degradation which often results from old age and lingering illness, failed to destroy.

Most of the reviewers gave “Amour” high rating.  Yet, many of them did so with warnings about the grimness and depressing effects. The film deals with a subject that many of us avoid thinking about.  All of us know that age takes its toll.  If we live long enough, we’ll lose the ability to enjoy most of the things that give us pleasure. Eventually, there will come a stage when not only there will be no joy in living but pain and discomfort will overcome all else. We’ll end up in bed, sustained by medication and fed tasteless food.  And, for some, that could mean a long time in the twilight zone.   But death will come to all of us.  It was famed San Francisco advertising executive Howard Gossage who said: “Dying is regarded as bad taste in this society inspite of the fact that 10 out of 10 people do it.”

 In “Amour”, Haneke brought us the final days of an elderly couple trying to cope with death....face it with dignity.

I happened to watch the film at a theater in Menlo Park, CA.  Reaction of the mostly elderly, and female,  audience was somber but appreciative. That could be due to the locale. A film like “Amour” is not likely to be found in theaters in small towns in the mid-west or south. Those who believe that life and death are in the hands of someone up in the sky would shun films like “Amour”.  It is a film for those who believe that being alive  means more than being  “clinically alive”.

*****

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