A stand for beauty…

An evening at the cinema watching Renoir, a French movie about the painter and his model Andrée (Christa Théret). Andrée also became Jean Renoir’s lover, inspiring him to follow his heart and venture in to film and cinema.  A female muse to a great painter and a great film maker.  She must have been quite a woman.

It’s a little weak in terms of script, character and emotion but I’m totally satisfied, carried along by shots of golden sunlight, water, rivers and the divine coastline of the French Riviera. Scenes of the red headed Andrée half clad watering the orchard as spray catches the sunlight; intense close ups of orange paint merging with water; Renoir’s son Coco paddling down a shallow, glittering stream as ladies paddle with parasols. I’ll take that.

Renoir’s stand is for beauty, pleasure and being at the source of inspiration. “The Renoir’s don’t paint with black. There is enough pain and darkness in the world. Why would I want my creations to add to that darkness?” Hear hear!

I used to be shy about my appreciation of beauty, hiding it, ashamed that it clashed with the majority’s apparent obsession with function and fake. Beauty to me being appreciation of spirit, true essence and depth. Radiance. Well, not anymore. I’m firmly in the camp of Love, Truth, and Beauty.

Always and forever dumbfounded by obsession with fake breasts, plastic surgery pinched noses, tightly pulled up faces. It seems a warped removal of the natural, true essence in favour of the grotesque. It feels painfully destructive. Or a film producer dedicating a $20 million budget to create a movie full of violence, horror, cruelty and psychopaths. What motivates an individual to create a portrait of violence and horror as their life work and legacy?

Last out of the cinema and the door to the projector room is ajar.  A giant film spool and projector is revealed and I’m transported to the romance and heart of vintage cinema.  In front stands a square, current day, digital projector. It seems harsh, clunky by contrast and makes my heart sink. The cinema chap explains the old film projector works so much better. The digital technology is always shuddering and juddering. Why are we so ready to sacrifice beauty, depth and connection for this fast track technical progress?

Without beauty it all seems so half-hearted.


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