Me and my lover, (yes, lover), broke up a couple weeks ago. I was pretty devastated. I didn’t understand why it happened, and I wasn’t expecting it. And for some reason it upset me more than many other things upset me because I felt like I needed him in my life. He inspired me to make a bunch of art, he made me feel good about myself (and I hope I did the same). And suddenly, it was OVER.
Then last night, in a drunken stupor, I came across an article about the relationship between Fiona Apple and Paul Thomas Anderson in the late 1990′s, and how they influenced each other’s work (PT Anderson’s Magnolia, and Fiona Apple’s When the Pawn…) The article was so brutally true, and tragic that it kinda made me realize some things about myself and this whole love and art business.
The author of the essay, Steven Hyden, talked about the intense love that these two artists shared for each other. He used their relationship as a catalyst for his theory that they were 90′s artists who had great success before the millenium, had some missteps in the 2000′s, but returned in the current decade with a bang, which solidified their place as major artists of our time.
Though that part of the article is really interesting, I got something different and more romantic from it (because I’m a sap and I just ended a relationship and I was drunk so fuck you)
What I got was that here are two artists that loved each other and helped build each other up, then parted ways, but continued to inspire each other with their work.
When they met in the 90′s, Fiona Apple quickly became P.T. Anderson’s muse. He even based a character from his masterpiece, Magnolia, on Fiona. He directed several of Fiona’s music videos from her second album, When the Pawn…, and he was very protective of her and how the industry treated her (she was a “proto-type of Britney Spears”).
Same goes for Fiona. She wrote several songs about him, and she learned to take control of her music and the desicion-making process because she watched how specific and picky her lover was on the set of his movies.
When they broke up in the early 2000′s, both artists, for a time, failed to produce work that equaled their earlier efforts. Paul Thomas Anderson had a major flop with Punch Drunk Love, and composers literally had to beg Fiona Apple to record a new album, (which became Extraordinary Machine, Fiona’s only album of the decade.)
But they returned! Paul Thomas Anderson married Maya Rudolph and had a bunch of kids, and Fiona is still doing the Fiona Apple thing, (she recently got arrested for possessing hash). Millions of people are anxiously awaiting the release of PT Anderson’s The Master, which every critic and film-obsessed person is drooling over. And Fiona Apple released The Idler Wheel… which is considered her best album, and one of the best albums of 2012. Word has it that Fiona and Paul Thomas Anderson still keep in touch, and that he has directed a video for Fiona’s newest album (it has yet to be seen, though).
At the end of the article Steven Hyden writes that the two artists continue to inspire each other in their work, even though their relationship ended a decade ago. And that’s so fucking sweet it makes me want to cry.
So why am I talking about all of this? What’s the point? Why does it matter? Because it does. Because it shows me, a girl who is 21 and working to become an artist, that shit happens. People go their separate ways. And it doesn’t matter how well you got along, how many lovely paintings you made, or how he looked at you that one time, at some point you have to let that person go. Because you’ll realize that you served each other, you helped each other create and transform. That time you cried wasn’t so bad because you wrote a really fucking good song! And when he made you angry you tore a bunch of paper up and made a really cool collage. And that time he made you smile and feel like you were stoned out of your mind because you were so fucking happy, was also worth it because it pushed you forward and it made you feel beautiful.
And now it’s over. And for a couple weeks or months or however long, you won’t be able to do shit because you’re so fucking sad. For a while you’re gonna think about how you wanna die or how you just wanna marry a rich dude and have his kids so you don’t have to be disappointed anymore. But then, it blows over. The sun comes out again. And you’re really fucking surprised because you opened your eyes and realized he was STILL THERE. Just in a different way. And you’ll continue to help each other grow and change. And you still love each other and you always will.
So, I thought about this for a long time, and now I’m writing about it to you and I hope you understand how it feels, and I hope it helps you. I guess this is what it’s gonna be like for people like you and me. We all love and we all wanna be loved, and we’re all creators and innovators and thinkers, and we’re also all fucked up in some way or another. So no romance (for me anyway, for now), is gonna be like it is in the movies. FACE IT. All those blockbuster Hollywood film directors are liars. James Cameron is a liar. Fuck Jack and Rose and The Titanic, and that barftastic “pure love” everyone talks about. Love is hard. So, just have fun. Don’t be afraid to open your heart and create, create, create. Like Fiona and Paul did.
For that I love them.
The link to the original article is here. Check it out: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8363201/looking-back-paul-thomas-anderson-fiona-apple-relationship-release-masterTweet