Music was our first love…

Music was our first love…

Annelies van Noortwijk


The presentation will explore the representation and the use of music in Forever (2006), a documentary  that,  by portraying Paris’ famous ‘Père-Lachaise’ grave yard and  some of its regular visitors,  reflects  on the importance of art, and in particularly that of music, in human live. It will argue that this award winning documentary from foremost filmmaker Heddy Hongimann  has to be considered as emblematic  for the paradigm shift of postmodernism to post-postmodernism, understood as a new, non ironic kind of poetic  in which senses of ‘sameness’ and ‘presence’ and a drive towards  inter-subjective connection and dialogue play an important role.

Combining a cognitive approach with insights from aesthetic (film)theory it will be shown how this carefully composed documentary film, with and through a special focus on music, and quite surprisingly evokes emotions of not only empathy and comfort but also of inspiration and hope.

Forever can be understood, and as will be demonstrated,  in this sense as a piece of music itself  which invites the viewer (and listener!)  to experiment the different layers of sentiments that are at  the heart of it,  just like the many different feelings that constitute the spirit of the romantic music of Chopin as we learn  -and are invited to feel-    from the central character of Forever;  a young female Japanese pianist that by visiting Chopin’s grave and through the composers  music not only mourns but also remembers and honors her father that died of ‘overwork but who  in this way lives on forever.


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