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If there is nothing wrong, does that mean it’s all right?

Last Wednesday afternoon, my friend, Danuta, invited me to watch a movie with her. We pulled the blinds and sat on her comfortable sofa mid-day, feeling very decadent. Sometimes, when my children were little, I’d hire a sitter and check out the latest film in the middle of the afternoon. Then later, when they were with their dad for a week, I’d spend every afternoon at the movies. I liked really intense dramas. Often European. In between movies, I did paint some, but not as much as I do now. That’s the beauty of age: developing passion that comes from discipline.

The movie Danuta had rented was Wolke Neun, the German title, or Cloud 9 for the English. Made in 2008, it is a candid look at love. A couple in their mid-sixties have been together for thirty years, have a good relationship, raised her children together, are comfortable with each other and then she falls in love with a seventy-six year old man. The new love is exciting; the old love is steady. The new lovers laugh together, make love, often, enjoy each other. The movie shows full frontal nudity with complete dignity. There isn’t much talking but the nonverbal conversation is quite clear. It is a very passionate, tender, brilliant, fierce film.

The story still haunts me, keeps playing in my mind. It reminded me a lot of the Antonioni films I used to sneak off to in the middle of the day back in the ‘60s, Where the important movement is in the silences. I was especially enamored of L’Avventura, went to see it many times. Once I took it out of the Art College library to see again thirty years or so later. The beginning, as I remembered it, was about ten minutes of a woman fiddling around with objects on her dressing table. From her movements, her body language, she expressed a deep despair. When I put the video on, expecting, and looking forward to seeing that sequence again, it was gone, cut. I was very disappointed.

I don’t see a lot of movies these days. But when I do, I really want to see a good one.


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