Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Opus Natura

Azure Window, Dwejra, Gozo, Malta

Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight
one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next.
What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.

- James Caviezel as Edmond Dantes
in The Count of Monte Cristo (film 2002)

This is a photo I took when we visited Gozo. I believe most photos of Azure window are taken from this vantage point. Another wonderful angle can be seen by taking the inland sea. It must be breathtaking to come here during a tempest, with waves swirling and breaking around the arch. I consider this as a natural work of art --- a product of thousands of years of weathering of limestone cliffs on the Gozitan coast, forming a 50 m. aperture where you can see the equivocal blue sea. If you are into diving, there are two known dive sites within the vicinity called the Blue Hole and the Chimney.

Have you seen the movie The Count of Monte Cristo with James Caviezel and Guy Pearce? If you have, then, you would have seen this tourist spot. In fact, several scenes of the film were shot in Malta, including the one where Mercedes and Edmond have just taken a swim and are talking about getting married (with the Azure window in the background). I love this film. It's not only a story of betrayal and revenge but also of forgiveness and letting go of your hatred. The movie line I mentioned above strikes me as true. Our character is not only molded by the good fortunes we've had. But even more by the blows that life is throwing in our direction. And as Nietzsche says: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Some say that the French version of the film in 1999 with Gerard Depardieu is closer to the book than this Kevin Reynolds pictures. Well, I still have to see that one. Also, I need to read this work of Alexander Dumas before making any comparisons. I've heard the book is quite long... and if that's the case, maybe I'd settle for the English translation than the original version (it would be easier for me to read it that way) . Anyway, so far, I really like this movie. And having seen other Reynolds films (Tristan + Isolde, Rapa Nui, Waterworld, Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves), I can say that I greatly appreciate this director's works.


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