Love and Life, Death, and Art

Alain Resnais represents “You ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” to the audience
Alain Resnais represents “You ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” to the audience

Resnais directs Sabine Azema (Eurydice) and Perre Arditi (Orpheus)
Resnais directs Sabine Azema (Eurydice) and Perre Arditi (Orpheus)

Orpheus is trying to run away from his and Eurydice's destiny
From fear of surrendering to the impulse of looking at Eurydice, Orpheus is trying to run away from her, from them, from their destiny.

Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azema
Pierre Arditi and Sabine Azema – many times in their life Orpheus and Eurydice

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Why Eurydice, again and again, endless times in history, many times in theater and cinema? What is her magic, for those who are addicted to love, vulnerable to life and philosophically sensitive to death?

What could Eurydice do for the fist- or money-brutes of the 21st century, for whom life is beyond life and death? But those who are still alive (who feel that they will die – who didn’t lock this feeling into their wallet, weapon or self-sacrificial apotheosis) cannot be without her.

It is for us, the dreamers and lovers of Eurydice, Resnais latest film is made. We are not like the protagonists/actors of Resnais’ film who are Orpheus’s eternal peers, we, the viewers, are the little brothers of Orpheus – we need Eurydice, who is simultaneously ideal and real, everything and the particular, nearby and sliding away, alive and dead, here with us and somewhere else without us.

Love is the attempt to resolve the incompatibility between life and death. But love always fails in this task of a mediator between them. By the logic of things love is doomed to exist on the territory of life. Instead of reconciling life and death, love is destined to give itself either to life or to death. Only on the ontological space of art love can reach self-realization by being itself and able to address both – life and death.

Art is a miraculous condition that can make life and death – co-exist palm to palm, elbow to elbow, shoulder to shoulder sharing the same heartbeat which is love. The conflict between life and death – between ontological light and ontological darkness is still there. But they “negotiate” through love as a “translator”.

Art is Eurydice because Eurydice is art – the art of combining life and death through the thread of love between Orpheus (human heart struck by the mystery of human existence) and Eurydice (the projection of this mystery into Orpheus’ creative gift).

Eurydice is between love and life, between love for life and love for death, between just living and the empty grace of death, between yearning and apathy, between passion and inertia, trembling and tranquility. She is between being human and being a ghost. She is as love is, simultaneously generous and aloof. She is what Orpheus wants her to be because she is what he wants – he needs to possess and to surrender his possession, to keep and to lose, to melt together and to disentangle, to be and not to be. He wants Eurydice in both forms, because only together, in their irreconcilability they make love exist, they make love to him.

Eurydice is art because art is Eurydice. And Orpheus is a (mortal) artist of the immortal desire to live and to die, to die and to live. We see in “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” the impossible Resnais’ actors who are still living and dying, dying and living in front of us through the vehicle of the cinematic screen. They are Orpheuses and Eurydices, themselves and us, carriers and incarnation of psycho-socio-cultural archetypes by which we live and die, we, the slaves and the rebels of life and death, shy and confident lovers for whom life and art is the ultimate womb, for whom life is a mother and death is a father, for whom love is the unity of the two, life and death.

Resnais, Eurydice and Orpheus, Resnais, cinema and we, the viewers, Resnais, life, art, death and love. We live because we are connected with art – with Eurydice and Orpheus via Alain Resnais, Sabine Azema, Pierre Arditi….