The Film: L’épine dans le coeur [The Thorn in the Heart]
It is important to study films but also the director’s themselves. Understanding why the tell the stories they tell is as interesting as the results.
This is not a film for a casual viewer. I think it’s important to view it intentionally. It was released a year after Be Kind Rewind and the trail between the two is not so distant. A Thorn in the Heart doesn’t attempt to present perfection, it implicitly seeks imperfection. A driving dynamic in the lives of those on screen. While most films hide from this side of reality, Gondry features it. He never crosses in any way into exploitative, or sensational, it seems to him just as much a curiosity as the viewer. The emotionally bold dialog in The Science of Sleep makes much more sense after hearing the way his aunt and her son speak about each other honest to the point of bruises. There is in it, not only a cultural nationality, but the culture of family.
My favorite scene takes place in a playground. It’s clear that for Gondry, film is his playground and the magic of it is a welcome note in the film. Recently diving into a box of 8mm film of my father as a boy, hearing the tick of the film work through the machine, watching the images of him flicker across the original pop-up screen his parents used to show the films when they were made — connected me more strongly to this film than it might have previously. I get it. And Gondry gets it. Film is about who you are. Not always, sometimes it’s just entertainment. But under all that can be a powerful medium which might not mend families but might help others realize that understanding goes a long way toward a better definition of family.
The Food: Hot Chocolate
Tonight was the perfect night for relaxing. That didn’t really happen. But I did make a wicked cup of cocoa. It wasn’t anything special, I didn’t reinvent the wheel. But along with some gingerbread marshmallows, it made my night a little sweeter.
Put in a sauce pan on medium heat. Stir and dissolve
3-6 tablespoons Sugar or sugar substitute
1/2 cup Fat Free Milk
Add and wisk until dissolved
1/4 cup Dutch Cocoa
1/2 cup Fat Free Milk
When the mixture is hot add
2 cups Whole Milk
Bring up to beverage temperature and serve. Cinnamon and marshmallows are optional, but hey — it’s Christmas.