Multiple hyphenate John Cameron Mitchell once told an interviewer that his stage production-turned-film Hedwig and the Angry Inch is enjoyed by some audiences "in the kind of Rocky Horror, 'be free to be me' kind of way. And some people who've been damaged in some way find some comfort in it too, and realize through it that the myth of the origin of love is a pretty universal one. It doesn't exclude anyone."

He was speaking of the central set piece of the film, the song "The Origin of Love" (video after the jump - be warned there's non-pornographic cartoons of nekkid people). Hedwig, a transsexual German rocker who tells the story of her life through her music, uses the song to share a parable from Plato's Symposium, a philosophical work that seeks to explain the very nature and purpose of love. Mitchell/Hedwig's tale is taken from a satirical speech by Aristophanes.

Aristophanes posited that romantic love is a desire for wholeness; that long ago, people had two heads, four arms and four legs, but then the god Zeus split them all in two, and we must now spend our days searching for our other missing half.
categories Cinematical