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  • Writer's pictureB F Gypsy Scholar

Films Exemplifying Troubadour Ennobling Love (Fin'amor)

CAMELOT (1967 musical)

Alan Jay Lerner (based on the play Camelot and novel The Once and Future King by T.H. White)

King Arthur: [after telling Guinevere how he pulled Excalibur from the stone] That's how I became king. I never knew I would be. I never wanted to be! And since I am, I have been ill at ease in my crown... until I dropped from the tree, and my eyes beheld you. And then, for the first time, I felt like a king. I was glad to be king. and most astonishing of all, I wanted to be the most heroic, the wisest, the most splendid king ever to sit on any throne. [My emphasis]

This piece of dialogue from King Arthur exhibits the Gypsy Scholar's discussion (in the current musical essay series, "The Troubadours & The Beloved," which also included discussion of the Arthurian romances) of the troubadour conception of love (fin'amor), which was a virtue defined as an "ennobling" form of love ("The ennobling virtue is the distinguishing characteristic of the fin’amor.") This "ennobling power of love," a cardinal virtue, inspires and ennobles the lover; that is, it ennobled the lover’s character: "Fin'amor ennobled the soul and made one good." The troubadours practiced what is been called "the troth of chivalrous love." To pledge one’s troth—that is, one’s faithfulness or fidelity—by the chivalric ethos meant to establish a bond, a vow, between oneself and one’s beloved. In other words, it meant to establish an unbreakable covenant of the heart between lover and beloved. This was the essence of chivalry and cortezia. To prove this troth of the heart the Lady sent her knight on quests to prove his love. This was one of the essential features of the chivalric code of love; to wit, the total self-sacrifice on the part of the lover.


A Love Story disguised as a sci-fi film.

This was my initial take on transgender director-writer, Lana Wachowski’s, first movie of the franchise, The Matrix, and it continued to be so with the the entire trilogy; The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions—and the same for the fourth in the series, Matrix Resurrections. I will try and give evidence for this take on the Matrix move franchise; that is, why I feel that, in the final analysis, what matters overall in the Matrix movies is the love story.

I have already articulated this same take on some of the modern vampire movies—that the love story is the focus of the genre of the gothic horror story—, such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the ultimate vampire love story, The Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), by Jim Jarmusch, which portrays two artistic, sophisticated and centuries old vampire lovers (finally, a rock musician as vampire—perfect!), who ponder their ultimate place in modern society. (And, of course, the The Twilight Saga, a vampire-themed romance fantasy, 2008-12.)

The following is from online reviews I read after watching Matrix Resurrections.

Nick Romano, of Entertainment Weekly (November 30, 2021), wrote: “Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss resurrect a 20-year love story with The Matrix 4.0".

Other reviews had this to say:

“Matrix Resurrections is a flawed entry in the franchise, but boasts of several merits in comparison to the other sequels. Is it the best sequel? … The Matrix Resurrections is undoubtedly no match for 1999's The Matrix, as nothing can ever replicate the ingenuity of the film’s concept at that point in time … some believe that the sequel is too scattered and meta for its own good, bereft of the magic of the original. On the other hand, The Matrix Resurrections has been praised for its innate brazenness, and its grounded focus on a romance that imbues the narrative with great emotion and depth… As Neo struggles to discern what’s real and what’s not, Bugs and Morpheus, along with the crew of the Mnemosyne, find a way to extract him into the real world, reminding him of the reason he kept fighting for so long - Trinity.”

“While The Matrix has always been about love, as evidenced by Trinity’s life-affirming kiss that brings Neo back to life in the first film, Resurrections drives the point home in a sincerely emotional and grounded manner, connecting the two main characters in ways that were only hinted at in the original trilogy; their love for one another was central, but The Matrix Resurrections builds upon that relationship and makes it integral to the longevity of the matrix itself.”

The following is from the Bonus Features (Reviewing and trying to explain the three prior Matrix movies in light of this current sequel)

Carrie-Ann Moss (Trinity): “And then, of course, what the movie is really about, is love.”

Jonathan Groff (Mr. Smith): “At the end of the first movie, he’s finding that perhaps more important than his personal destiny is this love that he feels for Trinity. And she saves his life with her love.” (At a certain point in various actors giving their explanations of the primary events of the earlier movies) Groff states: “But, none of that actually really matters at the end of the day. What matters is the love.” Groff later on elaborates on this in describing what happened in Matrix Three by saying that Trinity “sacrifices her life for her love.”

Chad Stahelski (Chad) “At the end of the day, Matrix One, Two, and Three is a love story that progresses through time.”

In another feature, “Neo & Trinity,” Keanu Reeves recounts how Wachowski first approached him to do this sequel, saying how she was “wanting to write a love story.” He then reflects that in the original was “a prophecy of love.” Carrie-Ann Moss reflects: “It’s such a beautiful love story. It has this depth to it that’s not frivolous or trying to be something. It feels so grounded. To which Reeves responds: “Yeah. It’s beyond. It’s not romantic love. Which, oftentimes, that kind of connecting is portrayed as.” Moss adds that “its noble, right? That you’re trying to reclaim and help her…. You wanna help her to awaken from The Matrix.”

Again, this sci-fi blockbuster, Matrix Resurrections, exemplifies the troubadour’s notion of love—fin’amor—as an ennobling and self-sacrificing kind of love.


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