The InsiderOne Daily Report

  Tuesday, January 30, 2001

The Crime Against Love

InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: Since the French director Jean-Pierre Améris' 1999 film, "Bad Company," will open in the U.S. soon, there was an interview with him in the Jan. 28 New York Times. "When the film came out, people thought it was much more shocking than, for example, if Laurent [one of the characters] had killed an old lady or robbed a bank, because he committed a crime against love," Améris is quoted as saying. "He destroyed love. That's what's disturbing." As it should be. Another new film about committing a crime against love is "Faithless," directed by Liv Ullmann (with a script by Ingmar Bergman), who starred in Bergman's masterpiece "Persona." In "Faithless" the heroine's affair has a devastating impact on her life and those she loves. The years since the '60s have seen much confusion about love and sex. While men had long differentiated between sex with a woman you loved and just plain sex, this was a new concept for most women. When I arrived at U.C. Santa Cruz in the early '70s, still recovering from an intense three-year love affair that had not ended well, I was shocked when a young woman essentially picked me up in the dining hall with the intention of an afternoon dalliance, and then, after it was over, just split. My mistake, I believe, was putting on Pet Sounds, one of the most romantic rock albums of all time. It must have scared her. I wanted love; she wanted sex. I have known men who carried on affairs for months, possibly years, even as they prepared to marry the girlfriend they lived with and professed to love. A crime against love? Of course! The secrets we keep from the one we love create an emotional wall. Sex as an act of love is a merging of two spirits into one. Yet how can two become one when there is a wall of deception? In the Times article, Améris said "Bad Company" was inspired by an article he read about "middle-class high school girls who prostituted themselves at the request of their boyfriends to bankroll an escape by all of them, from their Paris suburb." In the film the character Delphine falls in love with Laurent, who "becomes the object of an all-consuming passion that teaches her that love makes us capable of anything...." At the end of the film, Delphine says, "I loved a boy who hurt me." Do we understand the implications of our actions? We get one life to live, and if we blow it, what then? On his deathbed, my dad, who was consumed by his work and had few friends, came to the realization that his isolation had been a mistake. But it was too late. To live life going through the motions, as some couples do, is not to live at all. Yet to drift from one casual affair to another, never really committing, or to pretend to commit, while living some kind of secret life — those too are crimes against love. One doesn't have to ask one's lover to become a prostitute to commit the crime.

Datastream: Joe Pernice is mixing the next Pernice Brothers album, an as-yet-untitled collection of his heartbreaking, country-tinged pop songs that should see release by early summer. The album will be the first on Pernice's new label, Ashmont Records, which he's formed with his manager, Joyce Linehan. Recorded in Pernice's new home studio, it was produced by Pernice and producer/engineer/musician Thom Monahan, who also co-produced Pernice's solo album of last year, the superb Big Tobacco. Many of the musicians who performed on previous Pernice albums — 1998's Overcome By Happiness, 2000's Chappaquiddick Skyline and Big Tobacco — are on the new one, according to Linehan. Pernice will play a handful of solo shows in Ireland and London in February; no U. S. dates have been scheduled yet. ... "I don't want to work for anyone" is the opening line of Action Slacks' excellent third album, The Scene's Out of Sight, and it's a sentiment I'm sure most of us can relate to. "There's no time there's no time for fun" continues singer/songwriter Tim Scanlin. Scanlin used to work in my editorial department at SonicNet, so when he sings, "I swear some nights it feels like I could fall right down," I know, personally, just what a burnout the job could be. The new album, produced by J. Robbins (formerly of Jawbox, currently of Burning Airlines) is a rocking power-pop affair. Action Slacks are on the Noise Pop bill with Superchuck and Spoon for a March 3 show at Bimbo's in San Francisco. They'll be touring with Girls Against Boys soon.

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Michael Goldberg is the president of He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.

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