Monday, October 23, 2006

Proof

Catherine, the main character in a movie titled "Proof" and performed by Gwyneth Paltrow is a fragile woman.
We're not sure if she always was or if the grieving for her father's long death (a descent into madness and then a death) has made her so.
What we know is that she has genius, mathematical and otherwise, and that the only equal and opposite reaction to her woundedness is her mental ability to find her way and will clear to the light.
She sums it all up for us, at the end of the movie (a John Madden film) when she places herself at the treshold of...a house...not knowing whether or not it can all make sense.
Here is a quote from David Auburn's screenplay, who also wrote the stage adaptation of his play, which also starred a winning Paltrow.

..."How many days have I lost?
How can I get back to the place where I started?
I'm outside a house
trying to find my way in
but it's locked and the blinds are down
and I've lost the key
and I can't remember what the rooms look like
or where I've put anything
and if I dare go inside I wonder
Will I ever be able to find myt way out?"

Now we know that the perspective is correct, now we relate to a feeling (the whole movie is about relationship...s to people/things/ideas...) so universal that we instinctively are grateful for the knowing we do have of our intimate spaces. Now, that they are not too big, humble of proportion & built according to a human scale (*see earlier posting on Alexander's work) and somewhat organized, warm and welcoming in nature, re-assures us and allows us to go on in peace.

We could not resist adding another quote from the movie, from the scene where Catherine meets her father's madness face to face (Anthony Hopkins plays the father's part here).

(The Proof:)

"Let X equal the quantity of all the X's.
Let X equal the Cold
It is cold in December
The month of Cold
equal November through February
There are four months of cold
and four of Heat
leaving four months of indeterminate temperature
In February it snows
in March the lake is a lake of ice
In September the students come back
and the bookstores are full
Let X equal the monthfull bookstores
the number of books approaches infinity
as the number of months of cold approaches warmth
I will never be as cold now
as I will in the future
the future of cold
is
infinite
The future of Heat is the future of cold
The bookstores are infinite
and so are the numbers of
books
in
September."

Never has life made so much sense.

-The House