Thursday, January 28, 2010

The End


Six films that end so perfectly, so tragically, and so romantically.


Flash forward to Décembre 1963. A snowy night, Esso Service Station. Christmas time. Guy is inside with his wife and son, François. Legrand plays. His wife leaves. Outside, a car pulls up. It's her, Geneviève. That glance, true love's stare. A chance meeting on a snowy night. She goes inside. She wipes her eyes while he lights a cigarette. They talk about the weather. She looks radiant. She tells Guy that her daughter Françoise is a lot like him. Are you alright? Yes, I'm fine. She steps outside, looks back for a moment, and gets into the car. He stands in the doorway. As the music swells, she drives off. His wife and son return. The camera zooms out to a shot of them all together as if nothing ever happened.


The pouring rain can only hide Francesca's tears so much. Outside in the rain, Robert stands across the street next to his truck- he takes a few steps toward her, drenched, heartbroken, and they share one final gaze. Her husband returns and they pull out of the gas station. For a moment I didn't know where I was, and for a split second the thought crossed my mind that he really didn't want me, that it was easy to walk away. Now they are behind him at the stoplight- the longest red light in history. All that is left is a rear-view mirror and that red light that just won't change. Robert waits, Francesca grips the handle of the car door, but stops. The light changes, the sight of a left blinker is the final sign that the affair is over. The tears won't stop, thoughts run back and forth across her mind. The memory is all that can remain.


Dr. Harvey: I do love you so very much, I love you with all my heart and soul.
Laura: I want to die. If only I could die.
Dr. Harvey: If you die, you'd forget me. I want to be remembered.

Then, the sound of the train arriving. The train that will take Dr. Harvey to Africa, away from Laura forever. With one last touch of his hand on her shoulder, Dr. Harvey walks away without looking back to the platform. Laura hopes he'll return, something must go wrong, he must change his mind. But the wheels screeched on their tracks, the whistle blew through the night air. Laura runs outside only to catch the breeze of the train leaving the station. She stops herself from death, turns, and disappears back into the station, back into a life now full of feelings of what could have been but will never be.


Bob is leaving for the airport. From his car window he sees Charlotte walking, lost in a sea of pedestrians. He calls to her, she turns around, her eyes wet. They share a hug in the middle of a crowded street, and then Bob whispers something into Charlotte's ear- something we will never know and aren't meant to. A kiss, some tears. She tries to smile. Short goodbyes, backward glances, and those heart attack Be My Baby drums. Charlotte keeps walking, turns back, and disappears into the blurred out expanses of Tokyo. Bob goes back to his car. Walking back to you is the hardest thing that I could do. Like a dream, no: better.


The ruins of Angkor Wat. What once was now lies broken. He remembers those vanished years. As though looking through a dusty window pane, the past is something he could see, but not touch. And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.


There is a knock on Isa's door. Bahar returns. It's snowing outside, and windy. She lays down on the bed. He sits down on the floor next to her and wraps himself around her legs. Silence. He touches her hair, there is so much love in his touch. He lays his head on hers. Breathing. He lights a cigarette, looks at his watch. Still silence. Bahar sits up against the headboard with her eyes closed. A deep breath to cover up the words that won't come out. Still snowing. A music box melody. Bahar wakes up and sits on the side of the bed. Good morning. They sit at the table. Bahar talks about her dream. Beautiful meadows, and she could fly. She flew down toward a cemetery and could see her mother waving at her. This makes her smile. Isa asks her what time she has to be on set. Her face drops. Isa looks serious, he's just the same as he was before. She loves him. Again, silence. On set, more snow. His plane flies overhead going back to Istanbul. Tears in the snow, fade to white and then black. This is the end that comes after the end.

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