Love Movie

Hjartasteinn To be as gentle as possible

I’ve seen Icelandic director Gudmundsson’s 15-minute short film “Valley of the Whale” before, which, much like most Nordic films, goes for a chilly, melancholic look. Later, at the Venice Film Festival in 2016, there was “The Stone of the Heart”, a feature film created by the director based on “The Valley of the Whale”. The films made by Scandinavian directors, no matter how bizarre, perverted or pure love the subject matter is, like to adopt a clean style of painting, under the extreme composition is a disguised tenderness full of a sense of disconnection.

At the beginning of “Heart of Stone”, there are several teenagers fishing at the pier, the blue water attracts the rare sunlight, and the teenagers here give a sentimental and melancholic temperament. Christian, the main character, and Saul, who is younger than him, appear one after another, and under the director’s intentional close-ups, a hidden ambiguity between the two boys emerges. It is obvious that Christian has a crush on Saul, but Saul likes Beth.

You love him, he loves her, and such a love chain is the norm in gay love life. This reminds me of Guilian Magnesium and Chen Bolin in “The Blue Door”, also a bend and a straight.

For Christian’s emotions like a trapped beast, the director designed a lot of ambiguity or metaphors, the opening scene of the stone fish disliked by the teenagers, the bird of prey who would rather break his wings than painfully break free from the rope, all speaking of the disapproval of same-sex love.

This has also been echoed in “Valley of the Whale”, the whale stranded on the beach, suggesting that hardship is everywhere, depression, collapse is inevitable.

As a gay Christian, he loves Saul, but he can’t say it out loud, and instead goes to help him chase Beth. If you love someone, you want them to be happy. Does it matter who makes that happiness? It doesn’t matter. His love for Saul is so pure that it breaks the heart. I often feel that humans are strange and keen on classification games, such as to divide love into heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, labeling them and then treating them differently.

But no matter what type of love, it is a chemical reaction that produces dopamine constantly, and on a scientific level, there is no essential difference. Human beings always focus on things that do not matter, but instead lose the understanding of the true meaning of love.

In the film, the director is careful to show the subtle changes in Christian’s emotions with restraint, which also gives us a deeper understanding of the emotional world of gay people. The point that struck me was the way in which Christian digested his feelings. He felt angry when Saul gave him a casual kiss while playing Dare, and for Christian, that was hurtful if you are in serious love with someone.

He stood at the edge of a cliff and I understood that, that urge to jump, in that moment, it was the only way not to be sad. Christian likes to escape by diving, likes to smash cars to vent, such violence is lonely, silent, no one will care, and no one can sense it.

I think of the whale with 52-z sound waves, and finally died alone. Gay people are like giant whales with independent channels. It can take a lifetime to find a matching partner, and compared to heterosexuals, their process of chasing love is purer and simpler, but the hard work is also multiplied.

Christian attempts suicide at the end, and the boy in “The Valley of the Whale” also plans to end himself at the beginning, the suicide thing is easier than getting into a fruitless relationship.

We all laugh at the kind of people who shy away from bold courtship, but what if exposing their sexuality only causes more harm? We’re all too self-righteous to know that gay suicide is not just about escaping, but more about protecting the one you love.

Saul may finally understand what kind of concept that kind of love is. But love cannot be forced, so Christian chose to disappear, leaving the last bit of dignity.

Truman Capote said, “Love, because it does not know geography, so it has no boundaries.” Same-sex love is always equal to exiled love, not within the prescribed boundaries, so they have to burrow into the cramped space to find a respite.

The quiet and melancholic shots, the depressing tones, seem to tear a rift valley at any moment. Whether it is “Brokeback Mountain” and “Carol”, or “My Own Idaho” and “Heart of Stone”, the same-sex love described in them is delicate to the point of no return.

Any love will come with a price, but in same-sex love, the price is especially heavy.

The final shot of the movie, the unpleasant stone fish was disgusted by a teenager fell into the sea, the camera was fixed for a long time in the falling stone fish.

After an unknown number of seconds, the seemingly dead stone fish shook its tail and swam toward the light. Two hours of depression finally ushered in a fairly warm ending, Christian was also successfully rescued.

Saul sneaked into Christian’s bedroom in the middle of the night and gave him a gentle kiss on the forehead, someone said Saul was bent, but I think, whether or not it was bent is not the point.

That kiss is more of a sense and reception of his emotions, there is sorry, there is also understanding. The emotions between teenagers are like the icy blue waters of Iceland, occasionally floating over a few seagulls, with sadness and purity.

The emotional rendering and the title of the film successfully match. The stone in the heart keeps falling, and below it is the unknown territory, a desperate situation, or perhaps nirvana.

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