Friday, April 1, 2011

A [Modest] Proposal


Let's have a conversation. I mean, what's the Internet for, right? if not for bringing people into conversation that wouldn't otherwise be able to talk?

So, this is what I propose:
Watch the movie Amélie, or Refresh your memory with one of the synopses below,
and then let's talk
and see if we might discover,
What life's all about, and What it means.


I like telling stories. And I like to laugh.
But today it's rainy.
I've decided I'll let others tell the story.

The writers over at International Movie Database (IMDb) summed up this comedically flirtatious film for shy people by saying:
Amelie, an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, decides to help those around her and along the way, discovers love.
I wonder, if you've seen it, what y'all think of her sense of justice.
I mean, she steals her father's garden gnome and sends it around the world. she deliberately spills coffee on (and so ruins) the dress of Georgette the hypochondriac waitress, which leads to a somewhat violent make-out session in the café bathroom. and then Amélie very unkindly pranks Monsieur Collignon's home with a stolen key, prompting the grocer's mental breakdown!

Okay, maybe I'm overreacting. But seriously, What do you think of her approach? Her drive to "help people" is more like an eccentric impulse than a systematic plan for social reform or something. Is it truly helpful? Or is it harmful?

The Rotten Tomatoes website (so appropriately named!) gives Amélie the following synopsis:
Impish gamine Amélie (Audrey Tautou) lives alone and works in a café. When she finds a trove of toys hidden for 40 years behind a baseboard in her apartment, she's inspired to repatriate the items, an impulse of generosity that sparks more benevolent acts. A celebration of life, Amélie reminds us of the small wonders that abound around us ... if only we paused to look.
Alright, first off: What is a "gamine"?
(did you look it up?)    It's a great word.

Secondly, to be innocent and naïve, one has to be raised in a safe, protected environment. But, in Amélie, her parents' obsessive concern for their daughter's health is portrayed satirically. How do you reconcile that?

And Thirdly, inquiring minds want to know:  A month or so ago, I noticed how delicate are mice in the snow, and in December I went out at 3am to watch a dark red moon silently moan. And recently I observed how eloquently plain are the Amish and their fields. What "small wonders" have you paused to observe recently?

So... let the conversation begin!

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