I watched an art movie with Juliette Binoche in it. How can I sum up my feelings? I’m going to let my characters speak for me. Here is the cast of Lunatics in the short – Movie Night!
(A lunatics short)
Hiromi: So this is your favorite film? Certified Copy by Abbas Kiarostami
Sarah: I’ve never heard of it.
Allen: Well, it don’t suppose that it would have played in the corner cinema in… where did you say that you grew up again?
Sarah: New Mexico, born and raised.
Allen: New Mexico is hardly New York.
Sarah: I’ll have you know that we have a long tradition of great artists who worked in….
Robert: It’s on.
OPENING CREDITS BEGIN TO ROLL. SETTING: AN ITALIAN TOWN, PEOPLE IN CHAIRS WAIT TO HEAR A LECTURE BY A BRITISH AUTHOR.
Georgiana: Mama, do we have any cookies left?
Hiromi: Shhh! Georgy, the credits just started.
Georgiana: But Mama, is it alright if I go and look and see if any of them are left in the cookie jar.
THEY TALK IN ITALIAN. THE AUTHOR TALKS ABOUT ART IN ENGLISH. GEORGY FIDGETS.
Hiromi: In a minute.
ALLEN GLARES AT THEM AND THEN TURNS POINTEDLY BACK TO THE SCREEN.
JULIETTE BINOCHE APPEARS AND SITS DOWN. HER SON ENTERS A FEW MOMENTS LATER WITH A BACKPACK. THEY ARGUE IN SIGN AND THEN HER SON LEAVES, AND SHE FOLLOWS. THEY GO TO A RESTAURANT.
SCENE FROM MOVIE:
Boy: Did you get me a hamburger
Boy: With French fries
Georgiana: Mama, I want some French Fries.
MUFFLED MOVIE DIALOG IN THE BACKGROUND.
Georgiana: Can I have some French fries?
Georgiana: Well can I?
Hiromi: Why don’t you go to the kitchen and make yourself a snack?
SOME TIME LATER, THE END CREDITS ROLL.
SARAH SITS BACK WITH A STUNNED EXPRESSION ON HER FACE. ALLEN LOOKS SATISFIED. HIROMI SMILES.
Hiromi: Well that was good, very interesting.
Anya: I liked her shoes.
Hiromi: Oh really, which ones?
Allen: I show you this movie and all that you noticed were her shoes?
Anya: They were very nice shoes.
Sarah: What was that thing that we just watched?
Allen: What do you mean?
Sarah: I mean, how could it just end that way? Was I the only one to suspects that she is going to come after him a few days later with a knife claiming that her husband of fifteen years ran out on her? The woman was obviously psychotic.
Allen: No she wasn’t. The story was about perception, how the value of art is partially in how it is perceived. I thought that that much would be obvious … even to you.
Sarah: But that woman pretended to be married to him. She took pictures with the man. It was sick!
Allen: It was a romance!
Sarah: How could anyone call that a romance?
Allen; They took a picture with a newly married couple. They had dinner and went to a hotel, isn’t that the very measure of romantic?
Sarah: The measure of psychotic more like. She convinced a married couple to talk this virtual stranger into taking a picture with them under the false assumption that they had been married for 15 years. What I don’t understand is why he went along with her!
Allen: Why not go along with her? They didn’t know that it wasn’t true, and if the couple perceives that they have been married that long, it has meaning to the couple.
Sarah: But it’s a lie. They just met yesterday!
Allen: No, no, what you don’t understand is … If the new couple believes that they’ve been married for years, isn’t that the same as if they were really married for fifteen years?
SARAH LOOKS FROM HIS FACE TO THE SCREEN AND BACK
Sarah: NO! Absolutely not. They are pretending to be married. They are getting into arguments, and crying and conning hotel staff to letting them get into rooms on the false pretense that they are married, but they are not! They have never been married!
Allen: We don’t know that.
Sarah: I think we do.
Allen: The frame story could have been a set up. He might honestly be her husband. She was sitting in a chair marked reserved. Perhaps they pretend to be strangers every time they meet in a new city.
Sarah: Then her son would have acknowledged the man!
Allen: We don’t know that he is her son.
Sarah: Oh Goodness! This is ridiculous! That woman took that man to an isolated town where he didn’t have a way to get back and then convinced him to play along with her scheme. That is certainly NOT a romance. At the end of a romance I should be thinking, “Oh how wonderful that they are together,” but all that I could think at the end of that was, “God no, man. Run for your life!” If he had been me, I would have hot-wired that motorcycle and been out of there before the church bells finished ringing. Keep that crazy woman away from me. Did none of you ever watch Fatal Attraction?
Anya: Fatal what?
Hiromi: What did you think of it Rob?
Robert: I think that it was a beautiful indictment of the narcissistic, materialist culture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. That was the time when people ignored the necessity of Space Colonization believing that life on Earth was the true destiny of humanity. They built this world of delusion, surrounding themselves with lies about how Space Travel was unnecessary while they reveled in backward thinking that even then did not see the TRUE past. It was a FALSE past that they were selling, like the woman telling the couple that they had been married for fifteen years.
The political establishment used the alleged ‘failings’ of Space programs as well as their false estimates of human population growth to lead others toward beliefs that were obviously false, and the sad thing about it all was that by denying the truth they were preventing themselves from forming the true foundations that would have helped them make real Space Colonization possible.
EVERYONE STARES AT ROBERT. ANYA SHRUGS.
Anya: I still liked the shoes. That dress, however… Not so much.
Sarah: Next time, we’re watching Star Trek.
Allen: No we are not.
Sarah: Yes we are.