A friend recently gave me a dvd of the film. I've watched this Scorcese film long before. I have forgotten the story line. Trying to recall it, I keep on confusing this with Dangerous Liaisons. My dear friend told me to enjoy the film again, because he continues to be so enamored with it.
It is a beautiful film. Exquisitely produced. A true audal and visual delight as the audience is transplanted to turn-of-the-century New York. The costumes, the production design are impeccable. I drool over the numerous classical art on display on the walls of New York high society. And with a beautiful, haunting orchestral soundtrack. No wonder my friend loves the film.
The story is quite simple. In the pretentious world of high society, with strict moral codes and ethics, a woman tries to go against the grain. She is labeled and effectively marginalized. But not before capturing the heart of a young man, already betrothed to another, of the same class and breeding. Their passion for each other, severely tempered by the circumstances. They steal a few moments just to be together. No, there is no sex. Yet the few instances when he manages to touch and caress her, both of them fully clothed is even more erotic.
Never consumated, their passion eventually gives way to rationality, to convention. And they grow old apart. Though a final scene was almost a meeting many years after, he turns away from the chance to see her again, resigned to their fate yet truly loving as one could ever love.
Now back to earth, I'm wondering if that could happen to me. Could I actually fall in love so deeply with someone without having even sex at all? And should that chance finally happen. Should that opportunity to finally express the passion sexually happen, would there be a danger of 'sexual failure' because of incompatibility? And with that, would love suddenly dissipate, a mirage really, for all that time?
how important is sexual compatibility really? Isn't love so true the only real aphrodisiac that transcends sexual compatibility? Isn't this preoccupation with being sexually compatible simply another manifestation of our compartmentalized lives, the heart and the loins in different drawers, each independently satisfied? And if this popular culture was otherwise, just like in decades past, would we still put as much emphasis on being 'compatible in bed'?
could you fall in love without the benefit of sex? or is sexual compatibility one of the metrics in measuring whether one is 'in love' or not?
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