So tonight, I went down to Burns Court Cinema in Downtown Sarasota and I watched a film. I realized that half of my love for this film came from the experience I had watching it. Even though I might have been the youngest person there, I loved how everyone would laugh, cry and gasp together. I experienced a film that brought a group of strangers together. At that moment, film was our only language and we communicate through laughter, tears and interpretation. It is during this film that I understood the difference between watching a movie in a theater and watching it at home.
Love Is Strange is about a gay couple, George and Ben, who have been together for forty years and just got married. After getting married, George lost his job at a Catholic School which caused the couple to move out of their apartment and live with their close friends and family. Both George and Ben are separated from each other but their love is strong enough to keep both of them going, even while being apart for so long. My expectations were that they would divorce because they couldn’t handle the separation but it clear that they could take on the world when they are together. This is a slice of life film and it is telling a story without putting too much emphasis on the problems; it is as if we are just going through the motions just like the characters.
There’s a scene in the film that is so well built and it is the scene when Ben falls down the stairs. The suspense begins with a familiar image of Ben drawing on the rooftop. The first time he is with Vad and as they were bringing in the supplies, they had difficulty with the door but it ended fine. The second time Ben is alone but this time, the trouble with the door backfires. At this moment, we hear the sound of someone falling down stairs but the audience is left to imagine this because we are looking from the outside. Ira Sachs made a smart move by deciding to not show the actual act. It goes back to the directors intent, that this is reality and these things happen.
My favorite part would have to be the ending, it was the happiest way it could end. My first thought was that it ended when he walked down to the subway, because it went black for a good second. It was during this second of blackness that time has passed and Ben had died. Once again, I love that Sachs didn’t show us Ben dying because just like the nephew said, that he wanted “to remember him the way he was, not the way he looked in a casket”. After all, Love is Strange is showed us the complications life brings us and just how much love could overcome.