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Edward Frenkel…

… a mathematician at Berkeley, has made an intriguing short film, Rites of Love and Math. It’s based on “Rite of Love and Death” by Mishima.

It’s currently in competition at the Sitges Film Festival in Barcelona.

Frenkel kindly sent UD the film, and she watched it, together with the Mishima.

Both films seem to UD to want to think about our self-damaging pull toward pure truth and ultimate beauty. But while the lover in the Mishima film is happy to go with the loved one to a purer realm (both commit suicide), there’s none of that self-annihilating spirituality apparent in Frenkel’s film. It’s got the same stark intensity as the earlier film, but seems a cautionary tale: The pursuit of pure truth and ultimate beauty will destroy you, because once you discover it, everyone else’s passion for it will make you a marked man.

Margaret Soltan, October 9, 2010 11:10AM
Posted in: intellectuals

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One Response to “Edward Frenkel…”

  1. Eric the Read Says:

    I can’t wait until this is available locally. I’ve always found Mishima creepily fascinating, and am no stranger to the appeal of higher mathematics.

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