Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Deal


St. Catherine's Hill, September 2016
"Something occurred to me when we were making that film," says Swinton, "about the relationship of love to loneliness." The latter is, for her, "the last great taboo of modern western civilisation. Capitalism is built on the idea that one can go out and buy another scented candle and get less lonely somehow. But I think the deal is that you are fully lonely, and the sooner we accept and embrace our loneliness, the healthier we are. And that real love has nothing to do with that romantic idea of oneness, of distracting and healing each other from our loneliness, it’s about witnessing each other as individuals and saying: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours."
Tilda Swinton (interview with Catherine Shoard, Guardian, 1/4/2010)

Old Winchester Hill, September 2016

9 comments:

stephen connor said...

I think Tilda's confusing "loneliness" with "alone". We are all most definitely alone, but it doesn't automatically follow that everyone is lonely. Many of us are quite happy with solitude.

Mike C. said...

Stephen,

Good point. Bear in mind she's an actor, not a philosopher, though, and that it's an interview, not a considered statement! But, yes, maybe "aloneness" would have been a better choice of word.

Mike

Zouk Delors said...

"Aloneness" isn't a word you hear often though, is it? I wasn't even sure it was a dictionary word till I checked. "Solitude" you hear more often, and I think it has positive connotations, so it can't be what she meant, else why would it need relieving with a scented candle or anything else? It might help if we knew which film "that" was (but not in my case as I seldom see any). Anyone up for watching it to get a clue?

Mike C. said...

The film is "The Love Factory" -- you can read the original interview here:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/apr/01/tilda-swinton-luca-guadagnino-interview

The operative word here is "love", i.e. she's talking about the nature of love, and its relationship to existential loneliness, aloneness, whatever you want to call it. Not "solitude" though, or being content in one's essential isolation from others.

Mike

Zouk Delors said...

Can't say I really understand everything she says, even after reading the full interview and the scant info about The Love Factory on imdb, but I notice that Derren Brown says something (perhaps) similar in his new book, Happy, where he writes of:

"realising that we are all alone, that no one is ever entirely right for us because we are all broken, and that we can only open our broken aloneness to that of another".

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/sep/23/derren-brown-youre-only-sad-if-you-tell-yourself-youre-sad

Mike C. said...

Never going to look good on a greetings card, either way, is it?

Hmm, though I don't know...

Mike

Zouk Delors said...

"Congratulations to each of you individually on your wedding"

Of course, other sources hold the contrary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA5jsa1lR9c

D.M. said...

I'm finding this one of your more puzzling posts, Mike. Why this quotation from 6 whole years ago?

Some boffins are getting very agitated about a space race to identify the possible existence of microbes on a moon of Jupiter. Are there bugs on Europa? Just heard this quest summarised as the "great question of existence - are we alone in the universe?" How extraordinary - seven billion crowded on this one planet and somebody asks the question - are we alone in the universe? I think you've posted about this in the past as well haven't you?

The images are puzzling to me in different way from other images of yours. Are they tryptyches? The "folds" in the second image particularly emphasise the aloneness of that fine old tree. There's only two images, though, are you only concerned with menages a deux?

Mike C. said...

D.M.,

I generally find a good quote doesn't have a "use by" date... I came across this one (can't recall where) and, as always, traced it to its source.

Well spotted on the "folds" -- it was originally an accident, but an effect I liked, so decided to exploit. Hard to explain what it does, but it does do something.

Mike