Films with gathered disillusioned friends?

Films with gathered disillusioned friends?
(The Big Chill & Peter’s Friends to begin)

They were friends, they gather, they talk. Things burst. Disillusions. Memories. Mistakes. It’s a good subject, and I’d like to study the way writers treat this matter. Thus :

I had the idea to ask this question on a Facebook group page (“Cinema, mon amour”) then in another one (“The Empire Magazine Group”) and got a few answers. I present here the greatest ones (more than 7/10 on IMDB) :

 

The Big Chill (1983) : A group of seven former college friends gather for a weekend reunion at a South Carolina winter house after the funeral of one of their friends.

We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974) : Gianni, Nicola and Antonio become close friends in 1944 while fighting the Nazis. After the end of the war, full of illusions, they settle down. The movie is a the story of the life of these three idealists and how they deal with the inevitable disillusionments of life.

Peter’s Friends (1992) : Six former college friends, with two new friends, gather for a New Year’s Eve weekend reunion at a large English countryside manor after ten years to reminisce about the good times now long gone.

Career Girls (1997) : 2 young women reunite and rekindle their friendship after having said goodbye at their college graduation, six years earlier.

Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) : Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.

84 Charing Cross Road (1987) : True story of a transatlantic business correspondence about used books that developed into a close friendship.

We have many in France :

Le péril jeune (1994) : Ten years after their Upper Sixth, Bruno, Momo, Leon and Alain meet together in the waiting room of a maternity hospital. The father of the awaited baby is Tomasi, their best friend at that time, who died one month before due to an overdose. They remember their teenage, their laughs, their dreams, their stupid pranks… Through the pasts of the five main characters, a description of the French youth in the middle of the seventies.

Les petits mouchoirs (2010) : A near-fatal accident leaves one friend in the hospital while the rest go on their annual vacation. But their secrets and personal grief threaten to drive them apart.

Mes meilleurs copains (1989) : They are the best friends of the world. Five friends who shared everything: may 68, hippies years, the rock and their love for Bernadette. This Bernadette has left them to become a rock-star, and is back 15 years later for a weekend. Jean-Marie Poire describes with this movie the portrait of a generation with lots of humor served by excelent actors.

La quarantaine (1982)

 

Thanks for reading!

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Dark Propensities

In an old article I played with this Chinese idea : Instead of pushing towards our “goals” like stupid bulldozers, it’s maybe smarter to use the propensity of things. The “natural tendency to behave in a particular way, to move in a particular direction.”

Stay positive, keep your chin proud and high, move forward soldier, go go go!

But in Afghanistan, guys from the desert kidnap soldiers, cut their arms, legs and penis, put a solid tourniquet on each stumpextremity to keep them alive before giving back the poor body with a head next to a US base with medics. Purpose is not honorable : “Suffer, now, and until you die”. Medicine now is able to keep these men alive…

The ideal propensity of a warrior is to vanquish. The ideal propensity of a couple is to live in rich harmony (sex, hobbies, communication). The ideal propensity of fast cars is to make the knight-driver feel powerful and to go home faster, you go boy!

Tendencies and propensities have a dark side, Darth, though. The dark propensity of a soldier is trauma, to die or to be wounded. The dark propensity of a couple is drama or worse : manipulation, misunderstandings and boredom. The dark propensity of fast cars is accidents and consequences : death, hospital, disability.

What’s the dial? To watch all paths? Not being angelic? Cut the wrong ways up? Be attentive? Consider other assumptions?

OK : pay attention. That’s good.

Merry Christmas!

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The gap between the real and the hoped

“L’écart entre le réel et l’espéré” : The gap between the real and the hoped…

When the gap is too wide, what happens? We drift.

Drifting is boat vocabulary. You can say you’re out of gas. Or you’re stuck. Parked. You’re powerless. Whatever.

Drifting means you have no steam and you let go. Maybe you watch. Maybe you wait. Maybe you think. Drifting is interesting. Be angry. Or zen. You could get lost… That’s maybe cool!

If you know the 4 laws of action when you have a problem, when you have a gap between the real and the hoped :

  1. You can go away. No gap any more, because the hope has gone.
  2. You can change the way things are. New boat. New rivers…
  3. You can change your hopes. Invent new ones.
  4. You can just shut up – and accept the gap.

 

Meantime, drift. Wait. Quarrel. Drown. Insist. Watch. Endure. Actualize.

You have the right to say no to “Don’t forget to smile”. Drifting people who fakesmile on their boat look like lunatics!

Stand up, though. The horizons could signal.

 

OK. There’s always hope : Remember to smile back, one day!

Have a nice day!

 

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“Oh Fabiola!” – Tremendous Love & Speechless Shock are two Stendhal’s Syndromes

Stendhal was a French writer (1783-1842 – let’s say it was the time of Napoleon). He wrote great novels, but I want to talk today about two stendhalian concepts : Cristallization and what we call the Stendhal Syndrome.

The Stendhal Syndrome happens when a human being becomes speechless in front of too much beauty : overcome, overwhelmed by emotion in front, for example, of Art.

Wikipedia : The staff at Florence’s Santa Maria Nuova hospital are accustomed to dealing with tourists suffering from dizzy spells and disorientation after admiring the statue of David, the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery and other treasures of the Tuscan city.

There is a Paris Syndrome too, of course, mostly happening to Japanese visitors, crushed by the City and its beauties (but also by the differences they find between their “idealized” vision of France and the reality). Yes, it’s like a “mega culture shock”. There’s a book (“Les Fous de l’Inde”) about a similar shock for India, felt by people from the whole Occident. A oceanic feeling leading to craziness. Embassies know this very well : they take care of people, and put them in planes to go back to normal life.

It’s interesting to study this and its source : Expectations? Tension between reason and feelings? Between brain and reality? What do you think? Have you been crushed by beauty one day? In front of a painting? A place? A light?

Cristallization has also been described by Stendhal. It is about love, of course! It’s when, in the beginning of a love story, the “marvellous” feeling cristallizes around every characteristic of the loved person, who is seen as perfect in every way, or as they say in wiki : a mental metamorphosis, in which unattractive characteristics of a new love are transformed into perceptual diamonds of shimmering beauty.

We have all probably been there : when we’re ready to love someone, when our “love” chooses a person, we open some gates and a big lake of sweet sugary love is poured, unleashed on the poor chosen “other”. Admiration, Acknowledgement, Hope and Delight are steps of the journey.

Of course, this is far from a balanced process of inventing a couple! You can watch out for disillusion. Cristallization often grows when the loved person is far (great for perfection, right?). This “love” generally explodes like a multicolor comet in front of reality.

Then remains possibilities : nothing, a friendship, a real love, an impetus to build something stronger, etc.

Thanks for reading!

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The Disillusion of Level 2

In my life I met many times the Disillusion of Level 2. You just have to listen to people’s stories.

We all know this process, especially when we are young :

  1. You desire something strongly (a job, a love, a change, a project)
  2. You act to achieve this goal
  3. You fail, you are disillusioned, disenchanted, disappointed
  4. You rethink, invent new goals, with more confidence, you do the contrary, you take another path which, at least, will be the good one!
  5. You act to achieve this goal
  6. You fail, you are disillusioned, disenchanted, disappointed

Yes, it’s like a loop!

This triggers a few questions :

  • Do we always expect too much all the time?
  • Isn’t “expecting disillusion” a way to be lazy?
  • Is there a way of drawing a “good map”?
  • What do you do when you see a friend about to be on this path?
  • Where is the Level 3?
  • What’s the knowledge we gain after these?
  • Is it about daring more? Being more casual? Expect nothing?
  • Or is it about stopping?
  • What is the “need of change”?
  • Who is wise, and why?

Now apply that to any concept of life you know : love, job, hobby, politics, arts, goals, etc. What do you find? What are the stories you know? What do you think?

Merci ! Bonne journée !

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The “So What” Disillusion

Well that’s a fact that we all partly grow up with disillusion. What you chose is NOT that easy, nor simple, etc.

When you see younger people taking the path of “This will be perfect for me, easy and simple”, you sometime want to poke them, but you don’t, because, obviously, they have to experiment it.

The “So What” disillusion, as you can guess, is when you succeed to live your dream (to publish your book, to make your first movie, to work for “this” company, to find a lover, to get this job), and you realize that you absolutely f*cking don’t care.

Dial : How is it possible to be so lured by ourselves? 

So what?
Probably let go. Your brain will also find another rabbit to chase, right?

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