Like many people during the covid pandemic, I have streamed the 1987 film, Moonstruck—and not just once, but several times, in great appreciation for its pitch perfect combination of life, love, art and death—all present, all the time. 

There’s one bit of dialog (among many fabulous lines—John Patrick Shanley won an academy award for best original screenplay) that stands out to me. It’s Ronny Cammareri’s declaration of love to Loretta Castorini. It occurs to me that it could just as easily be about art as about love—and that it’s often really hard to separate the two anyway. Here it is—inserting the word “art” for the word “love”—

…I love art. Not like they told you art is, and I didn't know this either, but art don't make things nice - it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and make the wrong artwork and *die*…

At which point Ronny sweeps Loretta off to his bed and we artists are left to go to our studios and, deeply committed, make all that we can.

 

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The Moonstruck Theory of Art Making: “Art don’t make things nice…”

10/12/2021

Like many people during the covid pandemic, I have streamed the 1987 film, Moonstruck—and not just once, but several times, in great appreciation for its pitch perfect combination of life, love, art and death—all present, all the time. 

There’s one bit of dialog (among many fabulous lines—John Patrick Shanley won an academy award for best original screenplay) that stands out to me. It’s Ronny Cammareri’s declaration of love to Loretta Castorini. It occurs to me that it could just as easily be about art as about love—and that it’s often really hard to separate the two anyway. Here it is—inserting the word “art” for the word “love”—

…I love art. Not like they told you art is, and I didn't know this either, but art don't make things nice - it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and make the wrong artwork and *die*…

At which point Ronny sweeps Loretta off to his bed and we artists are left to go to our studios and, deeply committed, make all that we can.