Tuesday, March 28, 2006

About "Clean" by Olivier Assayas

Can there be life after living through the chaos and excess of youth, or can we expect only reason and order? Can we come to terms with ourselves, or are we condemned to a life of mere survival, as shadows of our former selves?

Society tells us relentlessly to live for today, and offers instant gratification through the consumer goods that it puts at our disposal. Drugs are still the best way of achieving precisely that aim. They give us the peace that we ache for, and give satisfaction, just like medicines, which treat the symptoms and leave the disease untouched.

Yet, living in this eternal present day: that of youth, however extended, that of the unconscious, that of drugs, cannot last. One day, you wake up. Time comes calling.

Time comes calling for Emily, who has lived this adventure to its very edge. She has created nothing, she has never done anything other than to destroy herself, taking self-destructive pleasure in doing so.

She has dragged along with her all those who have been close to her. But one day, this flight: from the present that propels her forward must come to an end.

So then, what’s left? A devastated and and desolate landscape, the ruins of past and forgotten dreams. That same self whom we tried to escape from during all these years, sometimes for a lifetime. But the moment always comes when we have to come face to face with ourselves.

If Emily tries to escape, it’s surely because she doesn’t like herself, because her escape has been a journey, an adventure: because real life is somewhere else. But afterwards? When one comes back? What then? An unreal life?

Or, do we have a chance to reinvent ourselves? What if the only way forward is exactly this: our ability to draw on our own resources to choose between life and death, to be able to recognize and choose the tenuous path that links us to the living, and to ourselves, alive, constantly evolving.

Emily knows that she has to start all over again, that she has to rebuild herself in the most modest way, one step at a time.

Danger is always there, and discouragement too; but when you have nothing and no one, there is no other way.

1 Comments:

Blogger edward said...

She has dragged along with her all those who have been close to her. But one day, this flight: from the present that propels her forward must come to an end


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8:53 PM  

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