Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Yearning for a Worthwhile Passion

The film Adaptation is a fascinating movie on the adaptation of Susan Orlean’s book, The Orchid Thief, into a film. As well as playing on the adaptation theme it focuses on many facets of the subject of passion.

When Susan Orlean is researching her book, orchid enthusiast, John Laroche says to her: “These flowers are smart! You gotta fall in love with them. Once you learn anything about orchids, you’ll devote your life to learn everything.”

To build her knowledge Orlean visits an orchid show and is intrigued by the many people who sniff flowers, feel petals, stare deeply looking for nectar, jabber passionately about the plants and buy some specimens to add to their collection.

Orlean looks deeply into various flowers, at a dazzling array of colours and shapes but remains detached.

Later at home she says sadly to herself: “I wanted to want something as much as people wanted these plants but it isn’t part of my constitution. Orlean stares out the window at the empty streets below and says: “I suppose I do have one embarrassed passion. I want to know how it feels to care about something passionately.”

Geoff Pound

Susan Orlean, The Orchid Thief
, Director by Spike Jonze