We are happy like an apple orchard Fang Hanjun

Madalyn 2022-11-11 07:43:33


Agnès Varda's "Happiness" (1965) won the Silver Bear at the 1965 Berlin Film Festival. I'm surprised that "Old Grandmother" made an extramarital affair so light-hearted. Behind the seemingly peaceful life, there are invisible emotional barriers and contradictions.

The film begins with a scene of a communist sweet life. That summer Sunday was also Father’s Day. The young couple Francois and Teresa, with a young child, came to the cool and quiet countryside in the countryside. middle. The picture of the film is filled with the taste of Renoir-style impressionist paintings, such as poems and dreams, and Mozart's string harmony, which makes people believe that this family is happy, simple and unpretentious.

Ordinary life, step by step every day, there are not too many interesting things. The film's lightness, quietness, seclusion, and no traces seem to always bring out the unhappiness in the heart. Even if we finally examine this "happy" derailment with an unfortunate accident, it still fails to change the overall beauty of the film. . Francois and his lover Emily came together, and they each led a pair of children and walked forward from the cold winter woods. This long shot just makes their backs smaller and smaller, as if time will eventually eliminate all unpleasantness, and the insignificant sons of man will eventually find their happiness, but there is also a kind of dust that is difficult to remove, that is us A kind of hurt that is difficult to detect and difficult to appreciate.


Well, it seems that this young couple is so happy that there is no trace of the "seven-year itch". Then how did François risk his derailment willingly, disturbing the tranquility and happiness of the family. Interestingly, François, who was photographed by the old grandmother, worked with his brother in a woodworks factory. The husband was a woodworker and his wife Teresa was a tailor. Can be described as ingenious. The family lives peacefully and peacefully.

The director's daily life, in addition to the husband and wife's busy work, is their pair of children, which brings them the interest of life. Brother Joe's wife Madeleine also gave birth to a new baby girl. Every Sunday, the adults of the two families take their children to the countryside to enjoy the rare holiday time, which is very peaceful.


The old grandmother is really a master of quiet narrative. The overall tone of the film is like a quiet flowing water. From beginning to end, there is no unease in Francois' heart. What we can see is that he enjoys the sweetness and tenderness at both ends. Without shadows, there is only a sunflower-like smile in the sun. Francois went to work in Vincennes and called his wife at the post office. In the long-distance calls of the 1960s, in addition to home calls, even in France, a foreigner still had to go through the post office to make a long-distance call.

Here, he met the always smiling Emily Savinan. Staring at each other, gurgles of love. Everything is natural and natural. After a few rounds, they went for a walk in the park, sat on benches and talked, unable to hide their inexplicable excitement. The girl gave him the house number of his new house, and she wanted to add some wooden furniture. He is a carpenter.


When François returned home, he and his wife enjoyed fish and water as usual. This was a habitual bed life, and there was no change in François's heart. Said he was pretending, maybe. This is how the movie moves forward in a subtle way. On Saturday, François and Emily met as scheduled in their new house. The two were impatient, and the long-awaited emotional outburst would always be more violent. But the filming was very restrained. It seems that they have known each other for a long time and are waiting for each other.

The old grandmother has an implicit respect for women. Except for her firm breasts, she doesn't show too much, and she doesn't even make love. There are only close-ups of face-to-face, eye-to-eye, ears and face. intimate friction. This kind of freehand brushwork is extremely precise, as if this sweetness is a gift from God, and they just let it go, and they are beyond reproach.


Of course, in the love story between the two, Emily also asked how his wife was. He said she was very nice and we lived happily, as for you compared to her, she needs to be stimulated in sex, that is to get pleasure from me, and you don't need it, you can feel pleasure yourself, you are more passionate , like a new bottle of wine, makes me dizzy. If we met before her, I would have married you, but for now I will live with her. Of course Emily understood what he was saying, and couldn't see her jealousy. He said that happiness is addition, I like to have both of you, she is like a plant, and you are like an animal.

The young couple will still spend a wonderful Sunday with their two children. The days are like this, like Mozart's beautiful strings, so casually talk. When I woke up on Monday morning, François said to his wife how nice it was and I was happy. The film's dialogue is so simple, direct and beautiful, it's like a breath of fresh air. But happiness is multi-faceted, and whether a family's happiness can accommodate personal relationships is a dilemma.


When indulging in double sweet Francois, in the countryside this Sunday, face your wife and say you are happy. He proudly said, too much satisfaction, I don't want to hurt you. This guy can't help but tell his wife about his love affair with Emily this month. The wife was deeply surprised, even terrified, but she was always calm and just asked how she was doing.

At this time, the husband who was immersed in the description of the taste of love did not take into account the feelings of his wife at this moment, but said that the happiness of the three of us together is like an apple orchard, what a happy situation it is. When he saw a cloud pass over his wife's face, he immediately realized that this was a big deal, and said that you are the first, and I can give up her for you. The wife asks how much you love me. He hugged her tightly and said gratefully that he loved her more than ever.

It can be seen that Francois is an animal that follows his senses and does not think deeply about what he is doing. They just can't wait to have sex on the grass and enjoy the sweetness of sex. It seems like everything is gone and there will be no more problems. At least that's how the film feels so far.


But when he woke up, his wife was gone. He took the child to his wife, only to find her drowning in a pond. He called to her, scooped her up and put her on the shore. The camera flashes repeatedly of him picking up his wife from the shore, and there is a magical scene of her struggling to swim in the middle of the pond. But to no avail.

Whether the wife committed suicide or was caused by an accident by the water, it is difficult to say. It is undeniable that when a wife goes to the water with this complicated and incomprehensible state of mind, it is always related to her husband's affair. But the film cools down on it all. Everyone buried Teresa together and arranged the life of the pair of children together, but no one blamed Francois for half a sentence, and everything was slightly over.

Next, going with the flow, he and Emily came together. He said I still want to be happy. She said to me, you are my happiness. In the early winter forest, there is no sense of bleakness, and the broad leaves and the breeze are moving gently together. His pair of children and Emily are also very close, and the outings are as joyful as Teresa's life. But we still see the difference between the two women. Emily likes to decorate her life with flowers, the smiles of flowers are everywhere, this is life with color. And Teresa is in a daily state, doing her duty as a wife, and there are not many tricks, and she is honest. Different lives show different personalities.


An ordinary wife can never get out of her inner shadow. It is obviously a postcard with a poignant and beautiful heart, but it reverses our ordinary definition of happiness. The grandmother's female perspective is remarkable. The odor of happiness, why is it so heavy, without a trace or weight. You can see how slender and broad the grandmother's state of mind is. Under her lens, despite the subtle gaps, reality made Francois choose Emily over Teresa.

There is a scene in the film where François makes a special trip to the post office before telling his wife that he is having an affair. Across the counter, in front of Emily, she used a pen to write on paper to express her love. She took over and drew a red "heart"-shaped pattern on the greeting card with a smile, also expressing her deep love.


Consistently quiet and understated, the film keeps us from seeing the moral fetters and conscience reproaches in it. They just listen to their inner emotions, like he said to Emily, after falling in love with you, I become more like myself. In an ordinary family, you need to undertake all affairs, a dual role of father and husband, in Emily, there is only pure love between the two.

French romance doesn't struggle with whether this kind of love violates the moral bottom line, on the contrary, what they want is simple and pure love. Even so, the accidental drowning death of his wife is still the aftermath of this turbulent affair. It is conceivable that without this affair, Teresa would not have died, at least she would not quietly get up from her husband's side with emotion and go to the water to sway or swim. Here, Teresa's death, we can regard it as a kind of revenge for her husband's cheating, or the price he has to pay. But who knows.


But the end of tragedy is often the beginning of happiness. The film seems to tell us that happiness and personal love are difficult to go hand in hand with, but can be replaced. A life overflowing with fragrance of flowers is of course poetic and beautiful, while the immutable lifelessness hides a marriage crisis. The old grandmother meant something, it couldn't be more obvious, it was a piece of advice to all bland marriages. Just like this young couple who have been talked about by people all the time, but because of François's derailment, it caused an accident.

The strange thing is that the tragedy is only a fleeting glimpse, and he and Emily immediately enter the happy mode. Although it is already cold at this time, he does not feel a little cold, and only sees this regrouped family. The children, walking through the golden deciduous forest, happily entered their new life.


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Extended Reading

Le Bonheur quotes

  • Émilie Savignard: Now I'm here. I'm myself, I mean.

    François Chevalier: I like that about you. And it's the same for me. I can't say I'm different since I met you. On the contrary, I'm even more myself.

  • François Chevalier: You know, I met my wife when I was in the service. It was love at first sight. We married when I got out. Had I met you first, I'd live with you.