Saturday, May 30, 2009


Here’s a quick clip from Star Pilot a.k.a. 2+5: Missione Hydra (1966) in which director Pietro Francisci teaches us the fine art of body language. See if you can guess who amongst this merry gathering will cause trouble later in the film and who will become fluent in the universal language of looove.

So, how’d you do? Not too hard to figure out, huh? I think it’s fair to say that the director of Star Pilot wasn’t exactly aiming for subtlety in this scene. Ah, but it’s only funny because it’s so true, right? Even in the Old Testament itself, at least according to Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, you can find five examples of the kind of googly eyed love at first sight moment like we see in this clip; Adam and Eve, Rebecca and Isaac, Jacob and Rachel, David and Avigail, & David and Bathsheba. Now, I think I might argue a little with the good Rabbi over including David as I’m not quite sure what he was feeling was “love” the first time he saw these women, especially the buck naked Bathsheba. Oh, I’m sure he felt “something” alright. But love? I guess I’m just a skeptic. Still, even if you toss those out, that still leaves us with a few good Biblical examples of love at first sight.

Good examples or not, though, Rabbi Ginsburgh advises us to approach these stories with caution. “One should not expect to be struck with an intense feeling of predestination when he first meets his predestined spouse.” he notes. “As a rule, the couple's love experience grows and develops as they nurture it together throughout their lives. Nonetheless, every rule has its exceptions, and thus we find these examples in the Torah of the intense experience known as love at first sight… Every exception tells us something about the rule that we would not otherwise have known. In our case, the exceptional experience of love at first sight is a graphic manifestation of the intensity and romance that developing love does eventually achieve as well. The converse is also true: if the experience of love at first sight is real, it will eventually achieve the stability and rootedness of developing love. Instances of love at first sight are thus instructive even for the majority of couples, who do not experience such intensity at the start of their relationship. Rather than feeling that their love is somehow deficient or unromantic, they should view examples of love at first sight as enlightening portents of the intensity into which their love should -- and hopefully will -- develop.”

Sounds like someone’s been reading their Catechism. Okay, maybe not, what with him being Jewish and all, but hey, we’ve always said that “when she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, "the first to hear the Word of God." So, it should be no surprise to find that the Catechism agrees with the Rabbi’s assessment that whether it starts off as a slow boil or as a blazing fire, a good marriage always leads to growth. "From a valid marriage arises a bond between the spouses which by its very nature is perpetual and exclusive; furthermore, in a Christian marriage the spouses are strengthened and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and the dignity of their state by a special sacrament."

So with all that going for them, maybe Bellsy & Luisa and Phena & Whatshisname actually do have a good chance at being more than just four space ships passing in the night. Now, if they can just keep that spark going so that twenty years from now, after a few kids and careers and interplanetary crises and such, when they’re sitting across the space breakfast table from one another and look up into each other’s eyes.. the camera will still zoom in just like it did in the beginning. That would be sweet.

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