Saturday, May 03, 2008

GOOSEBUMP SCENES : THE ONE WHERE... Jean-Do remembers the time he and Josephine drove to Lourdes in "THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY"

My favorite line from The Diving Bell And The Butterfly is when the fully paralyzed - except for a left eye - Jean-Dominique Bauby says, "I decided to stop pitying myself. Other than my eye, two things aren't paralyzed, my imagination and my memory." It's a turning point for the audience as well. Up to that moment, aided by the unrelenting P.O.V. shot from Jean-Do's eye, you feel stuffed, pitiful, terrible, closed ... imagining the terror of this man's still life.

But that one line lifts us out. We now view Jean-Do from above, from the left, from the right, straight-on. Most importantly, we see his rich memories colored by a free imagination.

This is best experienced in the scene where Jean-Do's nurse takes him to a Catholic church to meet the father. The nurse and father suggest that Jean-Do take a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Blinking out a message with the left eye, he says to them, "I've been to Lourdes...", and we get blindsided with a jump cut to hair blowing in the camera lens with the opening riffs to U2's "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" playing heavy underneath.

It's one of the richest explosions of love & lust on the run that I've seen on film in quite awhile. In this scene, the flawless beauty of Marina Hands behind the wheel of a convertible is sexy personified. Her tan thighs dotted with freckles under a pink skirt that is straining to contain them... her hair shadowing her face, but the face is too remarkable to be hindered by mere locks. (Hands is also naturally stunning in last year's Lady Chatterly).

I wish I could bottle this moment and turn it into a sunshine pill for the sad and lonesome.


Jason Bellamy said...

Fox: Great goosebump scene, and perfect analysis of the suffocating turned magic-carpet-riding form of "Diving Bell." That movie sure makes you appreciate the enormity of the little things in life.

hobbes said...

Wow! I must see this movie now.

debbie said...

I really loved this movie.
I love the experimental cinematography, hinged on a strong concept.

Persepolis too, gave me that joy ride. It is a movie that rewards the viewer and gives them an experience not long forgotten.

Oh, and we can't forget U2 3D.

Top 3 movies of the year.

Mandy said...

I too freaking loved this movie.

Fox said...

Wow, guys! Thanks for all of the comments... on a Sunday even! :)

Jason: thanks for the kind words. It was perfect that this movie came out on DVD last week. When I watched it I was kind of in a selfish, bummer mood. Then I felt stupid for feeling that way...

Hobbes: YES! Like do it now! And I will promise to watch *The Big Lebwoski* you gave me a year ago.

Debbie: I thought of you U2 3D when this scene happened, and I really hope to see it some day. Also, you loved this director's other films, right? Baquiat and Before Night Falls? I need to Netflix them ASAP.

Mandy: How could I not think of YOU when "Ultraviolet" came on. On it's own, I was still blown away by how modern that song - and *Achtung Baby* as a whole - still sound.

debbie said...

Yes, I loved Basquiat, but I love movies about artists.
And, similarly to your recent post, it also stars David Bowie as Andy Warhol.

Haven't seen Before Night Falls.
But, love the Big Lebowski.

Have you watched Schindler's List yet????