In the Dark

Unutterable Visions, Perishable Breath

S1m0ne
Produced and Distributed by New Line Cinema
Written and directed by Andrew Niccol

One Hour Photo
Produced by Catch 23 Entertainment, Laughlin Park Pictures, and Madjak Films
Written and directed by Mark Romanek
Distributed by 20th Century Fox

Why do we expect perfection, especially when it comes to romance, that most mercurial department of our uncertain lives?  There is a sex distinction here, of course.  Men are far more likely than women to succumb to the full force of this diseased yearning.  Despite the ceaseless warnings of poets and novelists, in the face of painful experience itself, guys go on hankering for the ideal woman, the goddess whose incandescent beauty and infinite charm will cushion life’s manifold disappointments.  (Most members of the gentler sex are far too clearheaded to harbor such ridiculous notions.  A dam-sel may love a man to distraction, but she rarely takes such leave of her senses as not to notice her lug’s shortcomings.  Her delusion is to believe she can reform him.)  Sometimes this madness leads to great things.  Think of Dante reaching for the ever-elusive Beatrice only to find himself at last in paradise, the one realm that admits perfection.  More often, however, our lunacy leads to disillusionment and, sometimes, disaster.  Although he had an...

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