It’s no secret that we live in a society afraid of getting old that is obsessed with images and bodies but not just any bodies: young, thin, graceful, sexual bodies, bodies that don’t age and remain frozen in time. Many celebrities, whether in Quebec or internationally, will make headlines and receive praise for having managed to keep their bodies looking like they did in their twenties when they are in their forties or fifties. Why do we congratulate them on “aging successfully”? Why are we terrified at the idea of older bodies retaining the sensual attributes we typically associate with youth?
Microclimat Films sees itself outside conventional boundaries—against the mainstream. The production company chose its name to illustrate this break with the mainstream, creating its own avant-garde microclimate of Quebec auteur cinema. The film and first building block that cemented the existence of Microclimat Films is Anatomy: it explores intimacy through the aging but still desired and desirable bodies of actors Gilles Pelletier and Françoise Graton, two important figures in Quebec theatre. Directed by Patrick Bossé, the film portrays the real intimacy and connection of the actors who shared their lives behind the camera. With no dialogue, it challenges us with what love and sensuality can look like as our bodies age.
Many prefer not to think about their parents’ or grandparents’ sexuality and especially their own sexuality when their bodies will become wrinkled, less firm, perhaps sick. We associate aging with the decline of physical health and abilities. We are scared to death of wrinkles, yet they are evidence that we have lived a life full of emotion—anxiety or stress at times, but also laughter and smiles.
Old age does not only bring declining health but also emotional wellbeing—the paradox of aging. Indeed, research suggests that our mental health tends to improve with age. While we may be more susceptible to stress and anxiety in our youth, grey hair brings peace of mind through wisdom (seriously). Seniors have better self-awareness, as well as more developed qualities such as empathy, compassion and patience.
In our society, we have forgotten that our parents and grandparents are complex individuals in their own right, in addition to being the ones who gave us life. Their need for intimacy remains constant, despite their age. Just as we find it strange suddenly to be considered adults once we’ve reached legal age, though we may not feel any different or more adult that before, seniors don’t feel different either as they age. They advance in time without forgetting their desires and needs despite the accumulated birthdays. As we watch Anatomy, which lets us peak into Gilles and Françoise’s intimate bubble, it becomes undeniable that aging is a privilege.