Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More Than Memories: Love On Film

Recently a friend asked me to do a series of short articles for the Febuary issue of the magazine she edited. The topic was: love, the context was up to me. I just chose 5 films I could ramble about the most easily which were consequently the films about love that meant the most to me.

HOWEVER. They cut my favorite article, which is fine, but I am reproducing it below as it was the movie I wanted to write about the whole time.

The original article can be found here.

The Fly

If you don’t believe that The Fly is one of the most romantic films ever made Ihave one word to say to you: Cheeseburger! Romeo and Juliet is about twoteenagers who fall in love and poison themselves, The Fly is about a grown manand woman who first experience a transcendent physical connection and thenwatch their love literally rot away for about half the movie in gore effectsthat truly reach the level of art.

The fly is about a guy who seems like kind of a loser (JeffGoldbloom) and the 80’s professional woman he succeeds in charming (GeenaDavis). They go out for cheeseburgers, they hang out in his warehouse, andthey’re happy. She believes in what he’s doing and there’s real romance intheir romance without means. The sweatiest romance always happens in thedingiest of apartments. The Fly is very sweaty. And if you don’t have a thingfor semi-naked Jeff Goldbloom and/or Geena Davis you did not grow up in the80’s.

But even after things are good they get better. His experiments are working,he’s done something super human and as a result starts to feel super human.He’s becomes a better lover, he becomes stronger, he starts walking on theceiling, he becomes smarter, spouting off that classicthat’s-really-interesting-but-obviously-dangerously-insane philosophyCronenberg puts in the mouths of all his characters doomed for a fall (“Drinkdeep or taste not the plasma spring!”). And the fall comes, and then just keepscoming.

She stays loyal but it doesn’t matter, he is going to rot away untilthere is nothing left of him to love. “I’m insect that dreamt he was a man, butnow the dream is over and the insect is awake,” he warns her as he tells her toleave because if she stays he is going to hurt her, not being human enough towant to stop himself.

In The Fly love happens despite major human failings, especially dangerousones. After Geena Davis leaves Brundlefly she goes back with her frighteninglyobsessed ex-boyfriend/editor and we as an audience go with her, accepting himas the new male lead (partially because the former candidate is no longerhuman). The Fly is about outsider love. Love that is a moment’s grace forcharacters that were never meant to be so beautiful as they were when theylearned what the flesh was for. Love is cruel and Cronenberg tells you howcruel it is as Brundlefly peels the nails off his fingers and throws them inthe sink.

If you think love and gore belong together, this is the film for you.

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