Harold and Maude
I first saw Harold and Maude (1971) in my sophomore high school English class. I was still just learning about film as an art form, so much of the film techniques went over my head at the time. I was quite satisfied with my rewatch of the film recently, finding it quite cinematic in addition to its pointed observations of humanity.
One question that came to my mind was whether Maude is a Manic Pixie Dream
Girl Woman, as the story of the film is essentially a young man learning about himself and gaining a new zeal for life from falling in love with a woman. But the film escapes this trope, as Maude is her own person through and through, not merely an object of inspiration for Harold. Maude has her own past, as illustrated through her home, with her various art pieces and collections. She explains her various phases in her art, from painting, to the tactile, to the aromatic. Objects such as her protesting umbrella or her kimono in one scene reveal her past and her individuality. She lives her own life and does her own things, as we see her modelling for an artist friend in one scene. It is clear she is a real person with her own life to determine. And determine it she does.