Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentine

Another Valentine's day has come and gone, and still I wonder, why do we celebrate this holiday?  Was it always a day to kindle or rekindle romance, or does it have some deeper significance?  Supposedly the day can also be referred to as The Feast of St. Valentine.  The feast commemorates the early Christian martyr who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry.  Later on, Chaucer and other early proponents of courtly love, advanced the idea that Valentine's day was a celebration of romantic love.  While I am grateful that there is a day set apart for this purpose, perhaps it is something that should be celebrated everyday in our hearts, like Christmas, Easter and the New Year.  The gifts of Agape and of Eros are definitely worth celebrating daily.

In connection with the latter, and in honor of St. Valentine, a scene that comes immediately to mind is the finale of Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso. After visiting Sicily for his mentor Alfredo's funeral, the protagonist and cinematographer, Salvatore, returns to Rome and discovers a film montage with the romantic scenes from movies that had been censored by the local priest.  If that doesn't satiate your appetite for kissing scenes, feel free to consider one author's compilation of the 50 steamiest movie kisses (I don't agree with all of the choices, and viewer caution is advised).  Happy Valentine's day!