So it's Valentine's Day and the official start of the Year of the Tiger.
Here's my Tiger, from the series of Lunar Zodiac animals I've been painting. Yes, he's still a work in progress. I'm hoping it's good luck to finish him in his official year.
I am from the year of the Sheep, or the Goat, depending on what source you use. I prefer sheep, because then I can be the black one.
Mr. Cate's year was the Rabbit, which brings me to the other occasion today. I know I should be making a list of romantic books, but cuddling up together and reading silently isn't exactly something you plan for a date night (well, maybe in this crowd!). Also, Mr. Cate and I met at a movie theater, and fell in love (even more) over late night diner discussions of cinema. So here's a list of my favorite romantic movies that I can think of right now while I type this.
This one is so simple, and so touching. The whole movie consists of one night of conversation between two twenty-somethings who meet on a train ride through Vienna, and spend one bittersweet evening together before they have to go their separate ways. This movie had one of my favorite endings, until the sequel-
This one came out nine years later, and once you overlook the opening, in which Ethan Hawke's Jesse is wrapping up his international book tour for his debut novel at a reading in Paris's Shakespeare & Co. (where the crowd of media types is hanging on his every word) and get to him catching up with his long lost love, Celine, it is the perfect follow up to Sunrise.
The Fountain (2006)
This one was surprising, considering it came from the director of Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and The Wrestler. And also its about a woman dying of cancer, and a time traveling philosopher/soldier/scientist who is driven to the brink of madness trying to find a way to be with her forever, and in the meantime, ends up loosing the short amount of time he really had. But when you think about it, Aronofsky has cast his wife, Rachel Weiss, as the embodiment of beauty, unattainable perfection, and eternal life. Kind of an elaborate way to say "I love you", but hey, it works.
Charlie Kaufman is one of my favorite screenwriters, and this is possible his best script. It also boasts a cast that includes Kate Winslet, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Wilkinson, and what will probably be Jim Carrey's best theatrical performance. As in the best Kaufman works, its not the story he tells, but how he tells it, through the memories of Joel Barrish as he simultaneously tries to erase his ex-girlfriend Clementine from his memory, and desperately hang on to her. In the end, Joel and Clementine realize that even if you could wipe someone from your memory like erasing a tape, you couldn't forget that you loved them.
So what are your favorite love stories? They can be books, too ;)