I skydived (skydove?) for the first time yesterday. The rush when I just walked off the airplane into nothing and realized what gravitational acceleration actually meant was incredible. The experience would have been even sweeter had I actually pulled the cord myself and steered some more.

Still, jumping off a propeller plane with a 220-lb hungarian man strapped to your back and realizing all you have is 12000 feet of thin air between you and the ground is quite exhilarating. I would definitely do it again, if only to prepare myself to do a solo.

Hysteria – Trifecta

It is said that the female gender is ten times more likely to suffer mental disorders than the male. So much so that the word ‘hysteria’ was coined from the same root as the word ‘hysterectomy’. A few filmmakers, perpetually fascinated with the female gender and its enigma, try to explore and depict this in their movies.

There are three films I can think of that center around this subject.

* Through a glass darkly – Part of Bergman’s Faith trilogy, the film shows Karin is going mad and is completely aware of it. Given to Bergman’s trademark dialogues (and monologues), Karin muses on the futility of faith when she can see herself sliding into madness.

* Turkish Delight – Rutger Hauer’s first starring role. The film’s protagonist might be an exuberant sculptor in love with an equally exuberant woman, but the film focuses more on the woman when the joie-de-vivre of both gradually turns into despair.

* Betty Blue – A french film that comes pretty close to being the quintessential film in the ‘woman gone crazy’ genre — if there is such a genre. Again, the woman’s liveliness is only the crest of her manic-depressive cycle, so the man in love gets a fair helping of both phases.

Apart from the depressing subject matter, all three movies are a pleasure to watch. ‘Through a glass…’ for Nyquist’s black-and-white cinematography, and the other two for their share of unashamed nudity. ‘Betty Blue’, with its brilliant summertime colors and eccentric characters, is quite a visual treat on High-Def.