Armitage study : kiss scene (part 2)

Comme toujours, la version française de l’article sous « lire la suite » !

After this interruption due to  my ramblings, back to what we’re interested in – or at least what interests me  – : Mr A’s kiss scenes.

The second scene to pass under my searching eye is  the first kiss between Maya and John Lucas. This is the real deal, we are far from the pious and chaste kiss exchanged between Guy and Meg ! Like in my first analysis, opinions developped here are mine, it’s the perception I have of the scene and not the ultimate and absolute truth of the latter. You might not share my point of view, and that’s great ! Feel free to comment, I love to discuss 😉

It’s always better when it’s moving !

What interests me above all is their body language and love parade before kissing, especially Maya’s, because it’s the only time I felt connected to this character. They’re standing at opposite ends of the room, him near the door, she near the bay window. She doesn’t remove her coat once she’s in, she doesn’t intend to stay. Not avoiding his gaze, Maya struggles to hold it, even when she tries to unravel his lies. Despite her desire to confront John, staring at him intensely, she always look away after a few seconds because she can’t stand it. I think she knows that at any moment she might succumb, somehow, she has already « lost » the battle by agreeing to come, and moreover at home (not a public place but an intimate one although impersonal in the case of a spy). Obviously, her arms are folded across her chest, a classic. But beyond the fact that Maya stands back and is shut, I think she’s mostly on the reserve, trying to protect herself from being hurt again. She wants to believe in John, to be convinced by what he says, otherwise she would not be there. If Maya keeps her distance and keeps her arms firmly crossed it’s because she’s also protecting herself from her own weaknesses. I see  her behaviour as way to give herself courage and above all to avoid any temptation :  stay away from John, do not touch him, do not look at him for too long, as if  his proximity was intoxicating and therefore irresistible ;). There’s probably an element of pride in her attitude as well, wounded pride by the lies of the man she loved.

As for John (you can’t imagine how hard it is for me to write John instead of  Lucas …..), he doesn’t move. He’s wrong, so he lets her come to him, the choice is not his, it’s hers. He’s not in control of the situation, he hopes for reconciliation but in disbelief. From the moment Maya starts to « weaken », she gets closer to him. Very close indeed, closer than in a casual conversation, with only a few inches between them. She still keeps her arms crossed though, still protecting herself both from him and herself. While Maya’s gaze continues to shift from John’s, he never stops staring at her. At no time until he closes his eyes when he kisses her. If I remember correctly, the only times he avoids her eyes are when he lies shamelessly. The opposite of what we saw between Guy and Meg. John wants Maya, he loves her, devouring her with his overwhelming gaze. Because he doesn’t want to seem threatening, he stands slightly hunched, he is vulnerable, at the mercy of the woman he loves, and especially of her decision. Despite their different heights, their eyes are almost at the same level.

Close your eyes and you’ll remember. Close your eyes.

When she completely stops to look at him , her eyes downcast, he leans gently towards her, seeking her gaze, trying to convince her to trust him. I think he feels he has an opening, that she’s about to yield. Thus, his words are softer, he talks to her in an intimate whisper barely audible. Every time I hear him utter those words, I shudder. If John asks Maya to close her eyes, beyond the simple fact to remember, above all he asks her to trust him. To close one’s eyes  is putting  oneself in a weak position, it’s being at somebody’s mercy, it’s offering oneself to someone. And she agrees. Not without a last attempt to fend him off. From the moment her eyelids are closed, she recoiled, her body doesn’t move but she puts her head as far as possible from his.

Although he somehow « won », John keeps his distance. He’s hesitant. I have long believed that it was he who approached her, but while rewatching  the scene several times – what torture ! – I realized that it wasn’t the case. Yes, it’s he who makes the first step, it’s he who kisses her. But Maya has an ambiguous attitude. Indeed, she initially recoiled when she closes her eyes. But after John has got slightly nearer to her, she moves her face to meet his, stopping just a few inches from him. It’s clearly shown on the screenshots below. When you’re this close to someone, you feel it. You feel the warmth of her/his body next to yours, you feel his/her breath against your face, you’re acutely aware of this proximity. Maya knew this would happen, she tried to resist, but she yielded. But she’s not active, she lets John chooses for her by a tacit agreement, too torn between her conflicted feelings.

Maya, not as passive as I thought she was

Again I stress the importance of  John’s gaze during this scene. Even when Maya closes her eyes, he’s constantly staring at her, fixing her eyelids. When she moves towards him, his gaze drifts to her lips, the universal code for a) I badly want to kiss you or b) you have a piece of lettuce stuck between your teeth. I vote for the first proposition in this case ! And while the tip of his nose gently caresses hers, he looks at her one last time before closing his eyes, overwhelmed by his feelings.

What I especially like  in this kiss is that it’s in two stages. The first act is extremely soft and slow while in restraint, their lips  barely moving. John kisses Maya, not vice versa. It’s a kiss of two former lovers who rediscover each other, getting to know each other once again. Then sensuality takes over the kiss. Lust kicks in, they need  to be closest to the loved one, to merge,  to feel at one. John straightens up gradually in the first act, gaining confidence, dominating Maya and pressing his face against hers. The second act is passionate, fiery and sensual. Maya gets really active in their kiss, taking his head in her hands, clinging to him, disappearing into their embrace.

If I weren’t a hopeless romantic, that kiss would probably be my all time favourite because it’s the one in which I find myself the most. I love the fact that there’s this tension throughout the scene, a tension which is released only when they kiss (at last) before being replaced by another type of tension. I like this build-up, slow but inexorable, that fumbling and  shy hesitation  that turns into a turmoil of senses. I was this girl in a complicated relationship, loving as much as hating this man, refusing to yield because of my wounded pride, but who can’t resist him, swept by a sense of physical communion as well as a communion of mind. I’ve been kissed like that and I kissed like that. I was this girl behind a complicated relationship, loving a man and hating myself for what he was going through because of me, desperate to get him back but keeping him at bay to protect him, wanting him more than anything and overwhelmed by this single connection. When I see John and Maya kissing, I find myself in one AND the other. That’s why this kiss has such a distinctive place in my heart.

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Are we in love with Richard ? Thoughts about Armitagemania

I have several posts on hand,  my two kisses to analyse and a brief summary of my London trip, but I want if not need an interlude. Why? There’s quite a mess in my little head and I have to evacuate it (perhaps it’s the fast approaching of my 25th birthday, will I become an adult at last ? ^ ^)

For those who don’t know it yet, I also run under the same pseudonym a Tumblog I use to share most of my creations (animated or things RA related) but also to discover the creations of our army’s other members. It ‘s a platform rather messy, reactive, a bit shallow but also very addictive 🙂 It’s very visual, whereas wordpress is more textual and analytical (although this doesn’t prevent us from behaving like any fangirl , admiring Richard’s nipples for example ….)

(currently gifing Strike Back – screencaps are mine)

I recently noticed something, first on Tumblr and then  here via Snicker’s mom’s post : « defection » of some fans to other actors. In both cases it’s in Tom Hiddleston’s  favor, but it’s only pure chance, thanks to The Avengers. If I’d written this article 4 months ago, I’d named Michael Fassbender, and in 4 months it’d be yet another actor. I don’t begrudge these people for their « infidelity », nor those actors for leading them astray 😉 , I recognize also that, as for myself, I am not insensible to their charms and talents.

I’m not one to  easily fall in admiration and fanaticism, like any teenager, for the first talented actor attractive enough to catch my attention. Which is why I was much taken aback by my gut reaction for Richard. I’m not a fangirl. I’ve never been  and I would probably never be one again. If not for him. Him alone. And the day when this madness will come to an end, because that day will come, it will have only been him.

John Porter, showing us his muscular back

Why do I say that the day of my defection will come with such certainty ? Because it’s already somewhat the case. No, I’m exaggerating a little, but I’m not far from reality. Why? Because I distance myself. I already did on a regular basis from the beginning, but I used to plunged back every time.  Not anymore. Strangely, this dates back to my article on fantasies, as if the fact of having  written them down had suppressed them.  For example, since I’ve written my main fantasy here, I’ve never invoked it again.  Do I need another scenario to play with? Maybe 🙂

Is the scarcity of Richard the cause of my declining passion ? In part, I’d be lying if I said otherwise, but it really isn’t the main reason. I’m too « new » in this army for it to affect my enthusiasm. I think I invested so much in my Richard, who lives in my head, in my fantasies, that the true one, as Richard himself, doesn’t have the same interest in my eyes. He’s no match to my fantasized version of him. Which is a good thing !

I’m better in my life, my work,  my relationship. I feel that I could eat the world. I wasn’t in a hole when Richard (or rather John) crossed my path, but I wasn’t good either. And he helped me feel good again , he supported me, he was my pillar,  he made me smile, laugh and cry. The moment I saw him, I loved him with all my heart. There have been only him. There will only be him. I forget who said this, but this sentence comes to my mind « a crush lasts only four months. » It’s been six months for me, so when I say I’m a baby soldier, I’m not kidding :). And yet I’m still hooked, I stepped back, certainly, for my own sanity, but I’m still hooked ! It’s not a crush. I’m in love with him. That’s it. I write it. This is not a love in the conventional sense, let’s be clear, but the feelings I experienced and I feel are very close to what I felt every time I fell in love, hence the parallel I authorize myself to make, and especially the words I allow myself to use. The words we use to describe our admiration for him are part of the love vocabulary, so why not push the analogy further? The fires of passion have thus subsided between Richard and I, we are now starting a calmer but deeper relationship 🙂

Of course there’s his lovely profile, but all I see is his hands, holding the trigger, and his raised thumb.

Am I crazy ?  Am I sick because I write these words ? I do not think so. Of course, naming things makes them real, but it can also hold them at bay. The act of writing, particularly here, and interacting with other fans makes me realize that I am not alone which is reassuring, but mostly is cathartic, so I encourage you all to write what’s on your heart, no matter who read you, whether it bothers some people or not, do it for you and it will make a world of good.

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An Armitage kissing scene study (part 1)

En français sous « Lire la suite » 😉

I’m back from my long weekend in London, I’ll probably share some details of my trip here in a next post 🙂

I finally found the time to stay in front of my pc more than 5 minutes to discuss a subject I’ve been willing to study since last week : Richard’s kissing scenes. Or more precisely, my favorite Armitage kissing scenes. The opinions and assumptions I’ll make in these posts are my own. I develop my personal opinion on these scenes, and how I perceive them, therefore I can understand that some people may have different views from mine, which I find also very interesting !

I will try to restrict myself to the kisses in themselves and not ramble on the whole scene, even if it may be difficult in some cases ^^

The first to be dissected is my number 3, the kiss exchanged between Guy and Meg in series 3 episode 9. Let’s be honest, the only interest of this season was Guy’s change of look and said episode (to this day I still haven’t seen the two episodes in which he’s not). The relationship that develops between Guy and Meg, and the evolution of these two characters feels right for once. I won’t talk about the fact that Meg had to die because Guy couldn’t be happy after killing Marian. Because of this act, he was condemned to die, not without suffering (again), as if his redemption could only be achieved  through death. You see? I’ve already deviated from my main subject !

As usual, spot the differences 😉

Back to the kiss. One thing that makes me particularly appreciate Meg as a character is that she brings out the good in Guy and it’s shown in his  behavior with her. When he strokes her hair, he shows tenderness and sweetness, hushing her in a whisper. He knows her wound is mortal since he examined it a few seconds before, yet his face is serene, open, his muscles relaxed. Guy doesn’t dare to touch her, he brushes her face and hair more than he caresses it, probably afraid of hurting her. His expression changes imperceptibly when he looks into her eyes, as if by confronting her gaze, he is troubled. Everything is in the detail: his eyes opening wider, his eyebrows arching up and his forehead slightly tensed, but it’s enough to make us understand his sorrow.

Change of point of view, this time the camera is on Meg. In a man, the first thing I look at aside his eyes is his hands, and Richard has beautiful hands. I particularly love Guy’s light and very gentle touch  while stroking her hair. I liken this action to that of a parent trying to reassure and soothe a child who had a nightmare. For me, the relationship Meg/Guy is closer to  a parent/child or big brother/little sister one than lovers, especially in this scene. There is something very pure and sexless in the way he behaves with her. Indeed, he makes a slight negative nod  followed by a slight smile just before Meg whispers “please”, as if he already knew what she was going to ask and refusing on principle. I think Guy sees her as a pure and fragile little thing he has to protect, not something/someone he wants to possess, unlike Marian.

Guy, making his decision.

Once Meg made her plea, the camera returns to Guy. As usual,  Richard expresses Guy’s decision in the details. The latter watches Meg for a while, apparently hesitant, jaw relaxed and mouth slightly open. As soon as he makes his decision, he lowers his eyes, his jaw contracts closing his mouth. It’s one thing I admire about Richard, his ability to convey to the viewer in a microsecond with a small change of expression the emotions of his character. He smiles and leans slowly toward her. Something strucks me, especially compared to the two other  kisses I’m going to study. It’s the fact that he never looks directly at her. From the moment Guy agrees to comply with her request until the end of the kiss, he looks at her mouth, her face, but not her eyes. Guy looks at her eyes only when he’s not involved physically with her in a romantic way.  To me this confirms once again that he doesn’t perceive her as a lover, his relationship with Meg is not a physical relationship. He kisses her because she wants him to and because she’s dying,  he can’t and won’t deny her her last will. He doesn’t desire her, not like John wants Margaret – gazing at her earnestly  for example (and you all see what I mean 😉 ) By the way, Guy is well known for his heavy glances and his smoulders.  One might think that the fact that he doesn’t look at Meg intensely right before kissing her is due to the character’s evolution but I don’t think so.

Guy approaching his prey…

And finally, the kiss! Indeed, it’s far more complicated than I thought to restrict myself to the kisses stricto sensu. The preliminaries are as important, if not more important than the kiss itself. The latter is extremely soft, it’s also more a peck than a real kiss. Guy’s lips brush against Meg’s, pressure almost nonexistent, their lips barely moving. For once, Richard doesn’t crush his nose against his partner’s face 🙂 ! A chaste kiss in short.

THE kiss

Why this kiss is one of my three favorite ? Because it shows us a side of Guy’s personality, if not nonexistent,  at least extremely rare. He’s caring, tender, sweet, considerate and mostly unselfish. He puts Meg’s needs and desires before his own. While in series 1, Guy is desperate to get Marian’s favors, for the simple purpose of possessing her, as he’d possess a horse, in this episode, he’s doing anything for Meg by pure altruism. For once, he is the good guy. And this evolution is not even forced on us. It’s the logical continuation of the character’s evolution which, for once,  doesn’t regress to his original state two episodes later. If we put aside Meg’s tragic death, this scene is totally adorable and cute.

Next one, Maya and Lucas/John’s kiss …. I can’t wait ! 🙂

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I’d love to/ J’adorerais

Cela me brise le coeur de savoir que je ne le connaîtrai jamais réellement – Original can be found here

I’m not one to be interested into celebrities private life. Moreover, the fact that Mr Armitage’s is so private is not to displease me. I’d hate to find his whereabouts spread all over a tabloid. What interests me in a band I like is their music. What fascinates me in a novel is the way I feel while reading it. That’s why I’m always surprised to discover in an article the face / life /age of a person I admire because in general my curiosity is limited to their work and not to themselves.

Mr Armitage is the exception that proves the rule. I’d barely finished watching North and South that I wanted to know more about him. I wanted to (and still does) know the real him. Who is he ? How is he when there’s no camera ? What makes him laugh ? What does he like ? What is his favorite color/book/dishes ? What was his childhood like ? How is he with his friends/relatives ? I would love to know his foibles, his mannerisms, the nuances of his intonation betraying what he really feels, how he is when he’s tired/angry/amused. All those little details that make us who we truly are. It reminds me of an another richardarmitageconfession, one about just being his friend and hanging out together. I’d love to.

But sometimes, my fanaticism of him, – because I‘m a fan(atic) let’s face it -, pushes me to question my sanity – thus this blog second title. It’s like the ebb and flow of the sea. Sometimes my feelings and sensations are so overwhelming that it almost becomes scary. At other times, I distance myself so much that I’m able to tell myself I could stop everything and no longer feel the urge to talk and write about him. And then I see a picture of him, a gif, I hear his voice and the cycle repeats.

I’m leaving tomorrow for London for a long week-end, so no new post until at least tuesday. I have a few things on my mind, and after being such a masochist by studying Lucas, I will treat myself (and you 🙂 ) with something nice. The idea popped in my mind while making these gifs. Next on the french armitage army, a kiss study in 3 acts ! 🙂

Je ne suis pas du genre à m’intéresser à la vie privée des célébrités. D’ailleurs, le fait que celle de M. Armitage soit aussi privée n’est pas pour me déplaire. Je détesterai retrouver ses déboires en une d’un tabloid. Ce qui m’intéresse dans un groupe que j’aime, c’est leur music. Ce qui me fascine dans un roman que j’adore, c’est ce que je ressens en le lisant. C’est pourquoi je suis toujours surprise de découvrir au détour d’un article le visage/l’âge/la vie d’une personne que j’admire, car en général mon intérêt se limite à leur travail et non à leur petite personne.

M. Armitage est l’exception qui confirme la règle. A peine avais-je fini de regarder Nord et Sud que je voulais en savoir plus sur lui. Je voulais (et veux toujours) connaître le “vrai” lui. Qui est il ? Comment se comporte-t-il quand il n’y a plus de caméras ? Qu’est ce qui le fait rire ? Qu’aime-t-il ? Quel est son plat/livre/couleur préféré ? Comment était son enfance ? Comment est-il avec ses amis/famille ? J’adorerais connaître ses faiblesses, ses petites manies, les nuances de son intonation trahissant ce qu’il pense réellement, comment il est lorsqu’il est fatigué/énervé/amusé. Toutes ces petites choses qui font de nous ce que nous sommes réellement. Cela me rappelle une autre richardarmitageconfession, une à propos d’être simplement son amie et d’aller boire un verre ensemble. J’adorerais.

Mais mon fanatisme pour lui, car oui, je suis une fanatique il faut le reconnaître, me pousse parfois à remettre en question ma santé mentale, d’où le sous-titre de ce blog. Il est comme les flux et reflux de la mer. Parfois, les sentiments et les sensations que je ressens sont tellement puissants que cela en devient flippant, à d’autres moments, je prend tellement de recul que je me dis que je pourrais laisser tout tomber et ne plus éprouver le besoin de parler et d’écrire sur lui. Et puis je vois une photo de lui, un gif, j’entend sa voix et le cycle recommence.

Je pars demain à Londres pour un long week-end, donc pas de nouveau post avant au moins mardi. J’ai plusieurs choses à l’esprit, et après avoir été une telle masochiste en étudiant Lucas, je vais me faire plaisir  (et vous faire plaisir) en étudiant quelque chose d’agréable cette fois. L’idée m’est venue tout en faisant ces gifs. Prochainement sur the french armitage army, une étude en 3 actes de baiser ! 🙂