Friday, June 10, 2005

The things that make us happy

I'm usually pretty easily annoyed by Alain de Button-pressed-to-state-the-bleeding-obvious (sic), but I rather liked his piece in the Guardian today. Discussing film's portrayals of happiness, he goes on to identify Mike Leigh's Life is Sweet as a more realistic depiction of the realisation of happiness (a film I saw this with Cloud that really moved me). But it was this citation from the end of Manhattan where Allen's character/self "runs through all the reasons why life is worth living, his answers being deliberately small-scale and bathetic:
Why is life worth living? It's a very good question. Um ... well, there are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. Uh ... Like what ... OK ... um ... For me, uh ... ooh ... I would say ... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing ... uh ... um ... and Willie Mays ... and um ... the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony ... and, um ... Louis Armstrong's recording of Potato Head Blues ... um ... Swedish movies, naturally ... Sentimental Education by Flaubert ... uh ... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra ... um ... those incredible Apples and Pears by C├ęzanne ... uh ... the crabs at Sam Wo's ... uh ... Tracy's face ... "
I had forgotten how much I loved that scene, and it caused me to think of similarly wonderful things that make life worth living. For me these would include the laughter of, and shared with, my closest friends/sisters; Bill Hicks, "E lucevan le stelle" from Tosca; the crescendo of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue; John William Waterhouse's The Lady of Shallot and Ophelia; Katharine Hepburn; Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese; a certain Scottish voice talking to me; and the daily sight and pleasure of life with Cloud....

1 comment:

Neil said...

Wow. Thank you.

And "ditto".