I'm watching a lot of films lately. Which is probably good since I'm doing a film studies course at university. But yes. So watching a lot of movies and a lot of old movies at that. And cinema is often about love. People in love. Falling out of love. And having watched a lot of noir films at home and then seeing The Best Years of Our Lives today I just find myself thinking a lot about what love means and how people express love and the degrees of love and how all words, all concepts are constantly evolving.
I suppose what keeps rubbing me the wrong way in some of these films is how quickly people jump to say they love each other. Maybe I've just been so over saturated with material I'm just waiting on the profession so it all constantly seems too rushed. But I dunno. Even with the compression of time that happens within film, I still feel like a lot of the time I have a different working definition of what love is from these people. How soon you say it. How soon you say it and actually mean it. Or perhaps today's definition of love is very different from what it was in the 40s and 50s.
I think what I'm trying to say is I feel like people were more open to saying "I love you" then than they are today. And maybe this is just my rosy retrospective assumptions for a time I didn't even live through, but I feel like people meant it more back then too. I have to keep in mind that all of this is being presented to me in films. And that these stories aren't real--they are written constructs. But at the same time, I believe that cinema is a reflection of life. A window that let's you look onto life. It's not verbatim. But cinema is not only influenced by the world it is made within but influences that same world right back.
I was bringing up some of my issues about love and what it means with Sanne today, and she raised a very good point that today we mostly use the word "love" in only the opposite extremes. We throw it around meaninglessly. We love this actor. This television program. This random stranger we met half an hour ago. You use it in a kidding sense. I'm guilty of this.
What's at the other side? It's the love that people are afraid to use. Actual love. Or restrained love. Or obsessive love. Love that we feel embarrassed of. We don't want to admit it because we think it makes us look weak, or overly sentimental, or we feel it will run off the person it's directed toward. I think the kind of love that gets wrapped up in this is love for your family members and very close friends. You can care about someone very much yet I know for many it's difficult to just plainly say "I love you" to some of these people.
And where do crushes fall into all this? This is where films start to weave their way into my confusion over what love is. Are you in love with someone you intensely like? Is love any less valid if it's not long term or unreturned? Are you only in love with someone if you're able to directly express it to them? Or if you're finding you wish you could express it to them. And what about varying degrees of love? There are varying degrees of intensity when it comes to liking someone. At what point does a certain intensity equate to love and when is it appropriate [if ever] to express this to someone? What's even more troubling is love and the internet. How many times have you seen people sighing about being in love with people they've never spoken to, people they've never even met?
These are just some things that have been on my mind. I suppose I find it sad that there are certain people I'd like to tell that I love them. But I won't. Is it because I question my own sincerity? Or is it that I question other's sincerity and feel the word "love" has become too loaded? Is it too charged a word? As with every lecture and seminar I've been attending lately, I'm left with more questions than answers.