Capturing the Look of Love

Lion photo by Mitch Reardon

When Dusty Springfield crooned ‘The Look of Love’ for the James Bond film, Casino Royale, in the late 1960s she hit a real nerve. Burt Bacharach had originally composed it after seeing a curvy and sultry Ursula Andress in an early cut of the film. It was that kind of look. The song was later covered by Claudine Longet, Lainie Kazan, and Nina Simone before Sergio Mendes and even Andy Williams began to butcher its original Bossanova feel. But the genie was out of the bottle and artists of various kinds started interpreting ‘the look of love’ as a more intense and explicit thing.

When you think about it, the various ‘ looks’ of love are universal expressions that transcend boundaries of race, colour and creed like no other. The ‘come-on’ in Africa is understood equally in Europe as it is in Australia. A blush in Bagdad is equally felt in New York. Smiles, pouts, cries, laughter, stares and even tears can all convey a look of love in their own unique way.

But above all the various faces that love takes, one look reigns supreme. Mixing joy, sorrow, memory, lust, fear, ecstasy and pain all in one, the look of sexual union is the one most akin to samadhi or spiritual release. It changes people’s faces like nothing else. So it’s the forbidden look – the one which strikes fear into priests and imams. It’s the look of creation and a reminder that when Shakti stirs the lower chakras, she can transform people’s visage like nothing else.

I Don’t Mind the Bullshit but Can’t Stand the Nonsense by Steve Hillier captures the moment beautifully…