Table of contents:
- Ghosts of someone else's past … Starikov's loneliness, as if turned inside out in front of the viewer. They appear to us in different films: either in the guise of screenwriter Arthur from "Exchange Vacation", then the mother of Germain and Margarita from "Blank Slate". They turn into endlessly in love with each other Noah and Allison from "The Diary of Memory", and, of course, into Daisy and Benjamin Button from his "Mysterious Story …"
- ALL IN THE PAST
- NEW MEANING OF COMMUNICATION
- ONE WITH DEATH
Video: Forgetting The Eve. 4 Films About Loneliness In Old Age We Watch Together With A Psychologist - Reviews
2023 Author: Oswald Adamson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 20:18
Ghosts of someone else's past … Starikov's loneliness, as if turned inside out in front of the viewer. They appear to us in different films: either in the guise of screenwriter Arthur from "Exchange Vacation", then the mother of Germain and Margarita from "Blank Slate". They turn into endlessly in love with each other Noah and Allison from "The Diary of Memory", and, of course, into Daisy and Benjamin Button from his "Mysterious Story …"
ALL IN THE PAST
The old man is alone anyway, because he is a piece of bygone time. Time is dead. An entire era is gone. Rows of people and events, once well-known and significant, have sunk into oblivion. It's like in the house of screenwriter Arthur from "Exchange Vacation", where the camera snatches out a lot of dusty awards, coupled with the coveted Oscar for many, but almost no one already remembers what to call its owner, who "retired since 1978". And only the persistent efforts of the young acquaintance of the master help to return his name to public space.
Director Nancy Myers
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law
This is a separate old man's topic. Usually it is represented by endless stories from the series "Here, there were people in our time …", well, or various options for life and love adventures, like the love story of Noah and Allison or Benjamin Button and Daisy told in the "Diary of Memory". But how many real old people do you know who are not alone in their memories? Who has someone to tell them to? After all, any memories come to life only if there is at least one interested listener - as in any of the above films. And how many memories are destined to disappear forever along with their owners! After all, an old man is very similar to a told story, the only meaning of its existence is to have time to share it with someone.
Director Nick Cassavetes
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner
An old man can be made lonely by a long-term habit to a certain way of life. So in a comic vein, they often exploit the image of a retired soldier who is out of his mind, who is not able to say goodbye to the measured army life, like the old colonel from "A Mysterious Story …" who raises the national flag naked every morning in any weather. Jokes as a joke, but try to endure even not such an original army player at home. In addition, old people are characterized by a painful desire not to change anything around them - neither people, nor the situation, nor relationships. Who wants to live with the ghosts of someone else's past?
The old man is also made lonely by his weakness, which largely limits not only the physical ability to move, but also the psychological readiness for it. After all, old age returns us to the original meaning of existence - it becomes important again to eat, write and poop without problems.
The scale of values also changes - social achievements recede into the background, and, as in childhood, delight and respect begins to cause the ability to move independently. Only now there are no dad and mom, who are tenderly watching the "first steps". So in the presence of an ironic attitude towards yourself, you have to touch yourself. In this sense, an interesting remark by screenwriter Arthur from "Exchange Vacation" that he is proud of himself, because he was able to climb several steps without help from others. Note that he pronounces it on the podium of a cinema hall filled with admirers of his talent.
NEW MEANING OF COMMUNICATION
Loneliness also lies in the fact that there is no one to share the accumulated experience with - simply because in modern conditions there are not so many areas of life where the old man's experience can be more valuable than the experience of the new generation. Here such "reserves of eternal values" as literature and art come to the rescue. Let us at least recall how Margarita from "Blank Slate" hooks an illiterate Germain to Camus's novels, but in other cases old people are now doomed to either continuously learn new things on a par with the young, or step aside without the right to the role of an experienced master, to which the young run for advice.
Director Jean Becker
Cast: Gerard Depardieu, Giselle Casadesus, Moran
Another specific type of old man's loneliness is loneliness associated with manifestations of dementia (senile dementia). This is when a person gradually loses his memory. And, as you know, it is the ability to remember and store information that turns us into people. I must say that various types of memory loss are just a Klondike for storyline creators. Fortunately, a person can temporarily or permanently, quickly or gradually lose memory due to many reasons, ranging from a severe blow to the head and ending with all kinds of senile diseases with expressive names such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or Pick's diseases.
Frankly speaking, the creators of film scripts, as a rule, do not show all the "charms" of the development of these diseases, confining themselves to the sentimental lack of recognition of relatives. As in the story of Noah and Allison from "The Diary of Remembrance", where the illness of one of the partners dooms Noah to a close to religious service. Noah enjoys only the rare moments of Allison's improvement when they can be together.
In the sense of naturalism of depicting the consequences of senile dementia, the last period of Benjamin Button's life turns out to be much closer to clinical realities, which in a fantastic version of the “reverse course of life” demonstrates in detail the terrible consequences of the old man’s “falling into childhood” - from a sharp pathological change in character and personality itself to the complete loss of the ability not only to take care of themselves, but also to communicate with others.
The mysterious story of Benjamin Button
Director David Fincher
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Julia Ormond
ONE WITH DEATH
But, perhaps, the most serious loneliness is the endless loneliness of a person in the face of death. And, unlike representatives of other ages, for whom this date is rather an exception to the rule, for an old man the problem of dying is one of the main topics. Leaving this life is easy and quick - separate luck and happiness. In all the films listed, those who were supposed to leave this world did it easily and in a civilized manner, even if the reason for leaving was cancer, like Daisy, who left without pain, to the sound of an impending hurricane. Here, perhaps, it is worth recalling the recent high-profile domestic stories with the lack of timely access to pain relief. But a person, plunged into pain, captured by it, becomes not only lonely, but also infinitely humiliated by that,that others are denying him the right to preserve human dignity. Pain can crush anyone - the only question is the duration and strength of the impact.
And further. Old age, with its diminishing capabilities, casts aside what is superfluous, secondary, adds contrast, reveals the true, the most important. Only the very thing remains. Love for books, love for a wife, love for films or intemperance and hatred - this is where the true face emerges - as in the case of Marguerite and Germaine's mother from "Blank Slate". So grotesque and terrible, or just so incomprehensible that sometimes only loneliness can endure it. So loneliness in old age is sometimes salutary.