I saw this movie when it came out and wrote about it — using my random list blogging approach — on August 15, 2008. The movie is all about romantic love and sexual feeling, and when I saw if the first time, I hadn't been in love in a long while. So it was fun to see it again and to go back and read that old post about it. And it was really fun to dip into the comments and find my then-future-husband Meade, who said: "If only I had a nickel for every time someone has come up to me on the street and mistaken me for a lesbian Javier Barden..." Ha. Lord knows what I pictured back then, before Meade ever sent me his photograph. But did the movie affect me differently now that I have my dear Meade? I'd say it made a deeper impression when I was love-deprived, because it's about people trying to understand and get to the love they want.
Too much personal happiness may diminish one's appreciation of art!
In the movie, Javier Bardem — Meade typo'd his name — plays an artist who can't maintain a stable attachment to his wife. He passionately loves her, but it's all tempestuous and violent. And it makes his art fabulous, of course. He's splattering paint all over the canvas — as painters in movies usually do, because it's not sufficiently cinematic to be dabbing paint carefully. A great exception to the movie rule that every painter must fling paint like Jackson Pollock is the Catherine Keener character in "Synecdoche, New York." She paints pictures so extremely tiny they require magnifying glasses to view.
But painting in movies is always a metaphor for sex, is it not? It's different sex in Synecdoche and Barcelona. And that makes me wonder if, on rewatch today, "Synecdoche, New York" would make a deeper impression.
What are the works of art that become more profound when you are, in real life, experiencing great happiness?