Vivre sa Vie (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962)
Nana: Suddenly I don’t know what to say. It happens to me a lot. I think first about whether they’re the right words. But when the moment comes to speak, I can’t say it. Why must one always talks? I think one should often just keep quiet, live in silence. The more one talks, the less the words mean.
A music that comes with the sunrise brings joy into the heart. This new world arrives quietly with every sunrise, even after a long sleepless night… It is the music of so many poets, the music of some thinkers, the music of all the free-spirited Mothers.
Only the heart is able to appreciate that beautiful symphony that awakes within the new day. It only takes one self-given life to restore hope in the heart of the city, between brothers and sisters, and overcome anxiety and depression.
Thirteen conversations about one thing (Jill Sprecher, 2001)
Walker: it’s perverse, isn’t it? people spend years developing their minds and educating themselves, but in the end, they just want to shut them off.
Beatrice: My eyes have been opened, I can never go back.
Entre el vivir y el soñar
hay una tercera cosa.
We must love, we all should love –isn´t that so?- without love there would be no life; anyone who fears and avoids love is not free.
Anton Chekhov, The complete short novels, My Life
Ostrov (Pavel Lungin, 2006) – The Island
[first lines] Father Anatoli: Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God…
“Instruct me: what am I do to do with you?”
With perfect sincerity, to show all the purity of the motives by which I wanted to be guided in my life, I said:
“The question of inheritance seems unimportant to me. I renounce it all beforehand.”
For some reason, quite unexpectedly for me, these words really offended my father. He turned all purple.
“Don’t you dare speak to me like that, stupid boy!” he cried in a hight, shrill voice. “Scoundrel!” And quickly and deftly, with an accustomed movement, he struck me on the cheek once and then again. “You begin to forget yourself!”
I loved my native town. It seemed to me so beautiful and warm! I loved this greenery, the quiet, sunny mornings, the ringing of our bells; but the people I lived with in this town bored me, were alien and sometimes even repulsive to me. I din’t love them and didn’t understand them.
I didn’t understand why and from what all these sixty-five thousand people lived. I knew that Kimry subsisted on boots, that Tula made samovars and guns, that Odessa was a seaport, but what our town was and what it did, I didn’t know… And the way those people lived was shameful to tell about! (…) I didn’t know a single honest man in the whole town. My father took bribes and imagined they were given him out of respect for his inner qualities; high school students, in order to pass from grade to grade, boarded with their teachers and paid them big money for it; the wife of the army administrator took bribes from the recruits at call-up time and even let them offer her treats, and once in church was unable to get up from her knees because she was so drunk; the doctors also took bribes during recruitment, and the town physician and the veterinarian levied a tax on the butcher shops and taverns; the district school traded in certificates that provided the benefits of the third category; the dean of the cathedral took bribes from the clergy and church wardens; on the municipal, the tradesmen’s, the medical, and all other boards, they shouted at each petitioner’s back: “You should say thank you!” and the petitioner would come back and give thirty or forty kopecks. And those who didn’t take bribes -for instance the court administration- were haughty, offered you two fingers to shake, were distinguished by the coldness and narrowness of their judgments, played cards a lot, drank a lot, married rich women, and undoubtedly had a harmful, corrupting influence on their milieu. Only from the young girls came a whiff of moral purity; most of them had lofty yearnings, honest and pure souls; but they didn’t understand life and believed that bribes were given out of respect for inner qualities, and, after marrying, aged quickly, went to seed, and drowned hopelessly in the mire of banal, philistine existence.
Anton Chekhov, The complete short novels, My Life
Readers seeking to identify the fictional people and places here described would do better to inspect their own communities and search their own hearts, for this book is about a large part of America today.
The Winter of our Discontent (John Steinbeck, 1961)
Margie Young-Hunt was an attractive woman, informed, clever; so clever that she knew when and how to mask her cleverness. Her marriages had failed, the men had failed; one by being weak, and the second weaker -he died. Dates did not come to her. She created them, mended her fences by frequent telephone calls, by letters, get-well cards, and arranged accidental meetings. She carried homemade soup to the sick and remembered birthdays. By these means she kept people aware of her existence.
More than any woman in town she kept her stomach flat, her skin clean and glowing, her teeth bright, and her chinline taut. A goodly part of her income went to hair, nails, massage, creams, and unguents. Other women said, “She must be older than she looks”.
We can shoot rockets into space but we can’t cure anger or discontent. No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.
John Steinbeck (1961), The Winter of our Discontent, Ed. Penguin Classics
The road to the moon is easier to find than the road to man himself (J. Ratzinger)… Going to Mars -or the Moon, while we fail to love each other, is meaningless and the absurdity of existence.
More people have chosen to end their lives at the Golden Gate Bridge than anywhere else in the world
The Bridge (Eric Steel, 2006)
Witness: [after witnessing a suicide] When I talked to the highway patrolman, I asked him “Is this a rare occurrence or does this happen a lot?” And he looked and me and he sort of smiled and he said, “It happens all the time.”
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
Madeleine: Only one is a wanderer; two together are always going somewhere.
People took their lives so as not to have to die -a piece of absurdity that nonetheless clearly expressed the real make up of man.
Without a future, even the present becomes unbearable and for this reason we do not dare, as a rule, to tell the incurably sick of their condition. nothing is so unbearable for man as to have no future.
Suicide as a flight from death, however, is but the lurid illumination of the paradox of human existence in general. It is oriented wholly toward the future, and yet all future is in the end snatched away from it, for its end is death. In this contradiction between being oriented toward the future and having the future snatched away from it lies the real melancholy of human existence; and this is all the more palpable the more alertly a man lives his life and the more radically he perceives death truly as death and as his ultimate end. In this respect, the memoirs of Simone de Beauvoir are a shattering witness to the situation of the man who as become aware of himself in all his contradiction: “I believe that in a privileged case like mine life embraces two truths, between which there is no choice, and one has to face both of them: the zest for life and dread of the end.”
Anyone who has bravely faced up to the knowledge of himself knows, too, that for men posterity alone cannot provide the land of the future. (…) The cry that rises up from mankind for a future is not answered by an anonymous collectivity. Man longs for a future in which he himself will be included.
With nothing to eat, after three days on my feet…well… my heart wasn’t going any too well. I was crawling along the side of a sheer wall, hanging over space, digging and kicking out pockets in the ice so that I could hold on, when all of a sudden my heart conked. It hesitated. Started up again. Beat crazily. I said to myself, “If it hesitates a moment too long, I drop.” I stayed still and listened to myself. Never, never in my life have I listened as carefully to a motor as I listened to my heart, me hanging there. I said to it: “Come on, old boy. Go to work. Try to beating a little.” That’s good stuff my heart is made of. It hesitated, but it went on. You don’t know how proud I was of that heart.
Wind, Sand and Stars
Key Largo (John Houston, 1948)
Frank McCloud: When your head says one thing and your whole life says another, your head always loses.
Today I enjoy life in another corner of God’s Garden in Florida: from Key Largo to Delray Beach. More Days of Heaven on this Earth. Because, if eternal life is what comes after this life then it’s not eternal, right?
If heart avoids the fullness of living, it might get completely Frozen unless it speaks again its own language, within the intimacy, with com-passion and tenderness: The World of the Heart. After all,
we were conceived in the heart of God, a seducer of hearts.
Anna: It’s not nice to throw people!