Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Art, and the Ability it has to Move Us

I love art. Of all types. I love film and television (obviously), literature, paintings/drawings/more "classic" artwork, and even music, though I am not very educated musically. What I love is the ability art has to make us feel something, whether it makes us happy, sad or even angry. I just wanted to take some time to share pieces of art that have really moved me recently.

Sometime Around Midnight--The Airborne Toxic Event

(I've also included a link to the video itself, as it cannot be embedded and the video is so moving, that I feel it's part of the "experience" of the song)

I discovered this song at the beginning of the summer when I heard it on the radio. It took me awhile to actually listen to the lyrics and discover the meaning of the song (initially what I enjoyed was the emotion in singer Mikel Jollett's voice). Once I really listened to the lyrics, I cried, because it was exactly what I was going through at the time. I love the music itself; the violin is probably my favourite instrument and it's used very effectively. And how the emotion in the song builds. It starts calm, with an almost indifferent tone, and it slowly builds to the climax (Oh and when your friends say,“What is it? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”), where Jollett sings with so much pain and emotion in his voice, to the point where it sounds as if he's almost screaming in agony. It's beautiful.

As I said earlier, I can really relate to this song. I lived it over the summer. And sometimes, when the situation I was in was really hurting me, I'd put on this song, and cry it out, and it was about the most cathartic thing I could do. It wasn't the only song I'd play at those times, there were many others, but this is the one I wanted to give special mention to. Thankfully I've moved past everything from the summer, but it is still a song that moves me very much. And I gotta say, I've never written this much about a song before.


(Yes, I believe television is an art form, as I stated earlier in this entry.)

Lost is my favourite tv show, by far. I discuss it, almost obsessively when it is airing, I have my own theories about what's going to happen, and am even reluctant to go out while it is airing because I'm paranoid my VCR will die and it won't tape!

This show has me feeling a whole range of emotions. I've felt great happiness, sadness, anger, even frustration (such as when we don't find out what's going on, or during some of the "weaker" episodes). I believe every single season finale so far has had me shedding tears at some point, and certainly every season so far has had at least one or two episodes (sometimes more) make me cry. Every season finale has left me frozen in shock as well, and longing for more! The most recent season finale has been the best (or perhaps worst?) for that, the minute it ended, I found myself shaking, tears rolling down my cheeks, wishing for more. I'm still waiting for January to roll around, so I can get into the final season.

I just wanted to highlight one particularly moving moment from the fourth season (there will be season 4 spoilers, season four not being the most recent season, but the one before the most recent season):

Desmond speaks to Penny on the phone ("The Constant")

Just a bit of background information: Desmond's mind was travelling between 1996, and 2004, because after leaving the island, he experienced a "time shift". Once the chopper landed on the freighter, Desmond spoke to someone experiencing the same thing, and saw this man die. After speaking to Daniel Faraday both via walkie talkie in 2004, and finding him at Oxford in 1996, Desmond learns he needs a "constant" to stop the time shifts. A constant is someone you know from both times. Desmond picks Penny, his ex-girlfriend, whom he still loves. In 1996, he convinces Penny to give him her phone number, and tells her that he will call her Christmas Eve in eight years. He returns to 2004, remembers the number, dials it, and upon speaking to her, his mind recovers.

Desmond had been trapped on the island for years, after his boat crashed onto the island. All that time, he's been longing for Penny, and wanting to return to her. That phone call was the first time they'd talked in years, so hearing them profess their love for each other was amazing. As was knowing that phone call saved Desmond's life. The actors Henry Ian Cusick and Sonya Walger played the scene perfectly.

(Have I mentioned that Desmond is also my favourite character? And that their love story is my favourite love story on television?)

When I first watched this scene, I actually had to stop it midway through that scene (I'd taped it because I worked the night it was on) because I was crying so hard I couldn't see the screen or hear what they were saying. Afterwards I rewound the tape and watched the scene again. And again.

Later on in the season, you find out that their phone call lead directly to the rescue of some of the "Oceanic 6". Another very touching moment in that season, as the clip I linked to shows their actual reunion.

(end spoilers)

As you can see, I am a bit of a romantic, and things to do with love or lost love move me. :) I also got a bit carried away with my write-ups, so I'll probably devote another entry or two to the subject of very moving art at later dates. Here's my question for those who choose to comment: What piece of art (any medium) moves you? I mean that in any way, my examples were ones that made me cry, but yours can be ones that fill you with joy, or make you angry. Anything, I care what YOU think!


  1. I can't wait for Lost!
    Apparently J.J. Abrams is going to go on Letterman, or some late night show, and read the last page of the script of the final episode...or something like that.
    Anyways, he plans on pumping it up and making us even more curious!

  2. Seriously? I had not heard that! Thanks for letting me now...I'll be watching the late night listings really carefully now.

  3. Aww, I had to comment about Sometime Around Midnight. I believe music to be one of the most "overt" forms of art, because you rarely have to cut through tons of encryption to get to the emotion of the lyrics (even if they're abstract, you can always tell something from the singer's tone and inference).

    Mikel Jollett's "she walks up and asks how you are/you can smell her perfume/you can see her laying naked in your arms" strikes me every time, because even though I've only ever been in one meaninful relationship I can only imagine what it's like to be around someone you were so close with; how could you not see them in their previous life with you? I still adore it every time I hear it on CURVEFM.

    Also, you make me want to start at the beginning of LOST & watch it all (I've never seen an episode, for some reason. I think I felt it was too much of an investment!)

    Kudos for a bang-on post!

  4. Thanks Tiffany. :) I was reluctant to get into LOST as well, because I knew it'd be a commitment but once I heard how good it was, I started to watch it, and I've been invested ever since. I think at this point, it'd probably be best to wait until the series is over, after this next season, before getting into it. It's one of those shows you can't really jump into, and you can't ever miss an episode because you just seem to get lost if you do.

    And that is a meaningful lyric to me as well. Because scent is the most powerful scent in some ways. A few days ago some guy somewhere had the same cologne as this guy I once had a crush on and even though I'm long over him, I smelt it and those memories just came rushing through my mind, and it was amazing. It didn't hurt at all because it was so long ago, but I definitely thought it was an interesting experience. I hadn't really thought about him for awhile, and haven't thought about him since, until I thought about smelling his cologne a few days ago. And being close to someone you once had something with and knowing you can't ever have them or be with them again sucks. One of the more hurtful things people can experience, or at least I've experienced.