May 29, 2009

letter to jlg

Dear Jean-Luc,

Thank you for making movies. They have taught me a lot and will teach me a lot more.

When I first watched your films, I did not understand them. I was petty enough to insult them, and occasionally insult you. I would like to apologize for that. Since then I have grown, and no longer try to reduce films to my narrow ideas of artistic worth. Instead I take films as a potential experience for personal growth; and by experiencing your films, I have grown in valuable ways, even when I find myself frustrated by your methods. I am sorry for ever insulting your films. I hope you can forgive me.

Your early career is very popular; those films are fun and at the time presented a lot of new and energetic ideas. I am particularly fond of your portrayals of Paris and modernity in those pictures.

I also like their characters and their physical spontaneity and earnest digressions into social issues.

But it is your more recent films that have been most rewarding, and I find in them the seeds of dense ideas which root and sprout in many ways in my mind. You have a way of leaving ideas open and allowing others to interpret those ideas in their own way. I like that. I also like the way you compose your shots; the way you frame them, stage them, light them -- very distinctive. I think they are beautiful.

Although I have to admit, there are times when I still do not quite understand what you are doing.

Altogether, your career has been remarkable. You have challenged me in ways no other modern filmmaker has. I appreciate this, and want to thank you. Thank you for making pictures that have challenged me and countless others around the world. Thank you for choosing cinema, believing in the image, and standing by it after all. Thank you for being the marvelous exception to the ever-powerful and stifling rule. Thank you for working your soul into an increasingly spiritless art. Thank you.

I hear that this upcoming film will be your last. If true, this is depressing news. To retire from work is to retire from life; eternity is all that remains -- the possible of the impossible. I will be sad to see you go. You have spent your career fighting for the exception of art against the oppressive rule; now that you have reached the end, I beg you to fight against that most final of rules for the most impossible of exceptions. Must you go quietly? Rage, rage...


No comments: