pretending to be Amélie

What is it about the movie Amélie that people love so much? Well I’ll tell you: for me, there is an indescribable simplicity centered around the observation of life and the playful nature associated with such. Sure, her scavenger hunt to lure herself closer to this dorky guy who she ends up falling in love with is cute and enticing. But really for me, the movie captivates me in the first 10 minutes. I love the summarized explanation provided in introducing her character. And I think hyper-observant creatives such as myself also are drawn to this because we empathize the situation enough to imagine how our own movie narrative would start off.

Doesn’t this introduction excerpt make you wonder what miracles of life were taking place as you were born?

On September 3, 1973 6:28 pm and 32 sec.

a blue fly of the Calliphorides species,

whose wings can flutter 14670 times per minute

landed in Saint-Vincent Street, Montmartre.

At the exact same second, outside a restaurant,

the wind was sweeping in under a tablecloth,

causing the glasses to dance without anybody noticing it.

At the same time, on the fifth floor of avenue Trudaine,

Eugène Koler, erased the name of his best friend, Émile Maginot,

in his address book after coming home from his funeral.

Still at the same second, a spermatozoon

containing an X-chromosome and belonging to M. Raphaël Poulain

was reaching the ovum of Mrs Poulain, born Amandine Fouet.

Months later a girl was born: Amélie Poulain.


Besides daydreaming about my personal miracle moment into this world, I appreciate the subtle observations of characters described in the following moments into this film. It’s captivating and has encouraged me multiple times to observe my subconscious preferences as well:

In explaining her father:

He doesn't like peeing next to somebody else.

He doesn't like noticing people laughing at his sandals.

He doesn't like coming out of the water with his swimming suit sticking to his body.

He likes: to tear big pieces of wallpaper off the walls to line up his shoes and polish them with great care to empty his toolbox, clean it thoroughly, and, finally, put everything away carefully.

In explaining her mother:

She doesn't like to have her fingers all wrinkled by hot water.

She doesn't like it when somebody she doesn't like touches her,

She doesn't like to have the marks of the sheets on her cheek in the morning.

She likes:

the outfits of the ice-skaters on TV.

to shine the flooring.

to empty her handbag

clean it thoroughly,

and, finally, putting everything away carefully.

An in explanation of Amélie herself:

Instead she cultivates a taste for small pleasures.

Dipping her hand into sacks of grain.

Cracking créme brûlée with a teaspoon.

And skipping stones.

What would be your movie intro of odd things you dislike and the small joys you notice? I think mine would go something like:

She dislikes the lines to buy train tickets in Italy, but loves the dramatic atmosphere of boarding Italian trains.

She dislikes the hair that collects in the brushes of the vacuum.

She dislikes the loud sound the dog bowl makes every time her dog’s lick makes the bowl move.

The confused energy in a yoga room before the class OM’s.

Taste for small pleasures includes:

Picking off old leaves from plants.

Stirring a ceramic espresso cup with a small teaspoon.

Spraying the entire sink clean after using it.

Rewrapping extension chords around her arm.

After seeing this movie, I also want to try dipping my hand into a bag of grains or beans. I feel I’d love that too and would like to make a hobby to doing it. I haven’t found a grocery store in the USA where that is possible. Looking forward to this idea popping into my head when I’m in a market one day somewhere with bags of grain.

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