Something I thought of while enjoying Blue is the Warmest Color (streaming on Netflix!): “As for erotic or pornographic films, without being a passionate fan I believe they are in expiation, or at least in payment of a debt that we owe for sixty years of cinematographic lies about love. I am one of the thousands of his readers who was not only entranced but helped through life by the work of Henry Miller, and I suffered at the idea that cinema lagged so far behind his books as well as behind reality. Unhappily, I still cannot cite an erotic film that is the equivalent of Henry Miller’s writing (the best films, from Bergman to Bertolucci, have been pessimistic), but, after all, freedom for the cinema is still quite new. Also, we must consider that the starkness of images poses far more difficult problems than those posed by the written word.”
—François Truffaut, 1975
This isn’t to say that I found Blue is the Warmest Color (aka La Vie d’Adèle) to be pornographic. Then again, I also don’t find pornography to be pornographic. That is to say, I don’t find the act of watching humans copulate any less significant or legitimate (or voyeuristic!) than, say, watching Jack Nicholson perform his home-entering ritual in As Good as It Gets. Why should things be this way? Maybe in 50 years things will have changed. Too bad we’ll all be dead. Still, …Warmest Color seems a positive step to me and I couldn’t help shedding a few tears both for Truffaut and for Roger Ebert while watching it as I know they’d’ve liked it as much as I did. That’s the worst problem with being dead.