Movie Binge

I’ve been really sick lately. I couldn’t sleep. So last weekend I watched movies.

Nowhere Boy: I really enjoyed this film! I’m not sure how factual the storyline was but it was very well done. Someone really took care with the art direction and framing, which also made it stand out to me. I spent the first half of the movie trying to place the lead actor, and then I realized (okay, maybe I IMDB searched him ahah) he was in Kickass! What a difference! haha, very well done though, definitely a recommended film.

Dogtooth: This is a very strange movie. Very good. But very strange.

It deals with two parents who keep their adult children at home and teach them lies about the outside world. Of all the movies I watched on the weekend this one has stuck out the most to me. It was disturbing, funny, and makes for a strange caricature of modern society. There are so many things the family could represent, so much symbolism. This one would be fun to go analytical on.

It is interesting that this is a foreign film, so part of the strangeness may come from cultural differences, and I think part of it is intended.

Garden Party: I really liked this movie! I had wanted to watch it for a long time, after seeing a series of youtube videos they posted as promotion. They paid actors in Hollywood $100 to tell their sceezy stories of the saddest things they’ve done to get paid. There were some pretty funny ones.

It’s interesting because in the marketing and synopsis they really highlight Willa’s character and how she is trying to find a normal way to make money, however I didn’t think that was a very prominent part of the film at all. For me what really stood out was the struggles surrounding sexuality. Confused, abused, using, taking advantage of… The film really shows the ways we are all using eachother. It also led me to an interesting revelation. In society, we like to punish the oppressor. You do something bad, it is your fault. However, strange as it sounds, I really feel like the oppressed party plays a role in that relationship. Who gives power to the oppressor? How are they able to carry out their bad deeds? Perhaps if we stopped enabling people and giving them power over ourselves, we would have less challenges surrounding power. So much to consider!

PS: I could only find this “garden party true story”… but there were some good ones!

Eraserhead and the discussion of ART VS SHIT

Earlier this week I watched the David Lynch film Eraserhead for the first time. It’s pretty controversial, I know that lots of people find it highly disturbing and others think it’s a masterpiece. Personally, I wasn’t very disturbed by it but that said it was almost too ambiguous for me and some of the storytelling elements things weren’t clear the first time I saw it.

Watching this film led me to have some interesting dialogues surrounding “Art VS Shit”. By that I mean the opinion divide that most works of artistic expression face.

Is it art? Layered in symbolism, containing so much meaning and insight, complexity and messages that resonate with people.. Or is it shit? What were they thinking? This doesn’t make sense, it’s a pile of rubble and is completely random and arbitrary. There is no meaning. Whoever created this had no idea what they were doing.

I trust that you are familiar with the feelings I am trying to illustrate. I feel that part of this issue is personal opinion. Not everyone agrees. We all have unique preferences. That said though, there must be some line dividing the kid with the camcorder who uses windows movie maker and a painter who works for months on his great masterpiece. Right? There are some artists like Monet that were only appreciated after death. Maybe, in some works, it takes time for genius to become apparent. Maybe our inability to appreciate all things as art is the only thing in our way. I feel that art acts as a mirror for life and can show us something (either that we understand already or are unfamiliar with). We can learn something from everything, even the amature artist who “doesn’t know anything”.

This also makes me consider the divide between clarity and leaving things open to interpretation. Do we want the audience to work and make their own conclusions? Yes. However I also feel they need to understand what’s going on and sometimes ambiguity can add to a failure in that sense. For example, in a video project I made this semester, some people didn’t understand it the first time and had to watch it again. I took this as a lesson that the storytelling wasn’t clear enough, however, maybe the problem was that I had an idea in mind that I was trying to get them to understand, when really, as the film maker, I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER WHAT THE AUDIENCE THINKS/FEELS. Or maybe i’m just confusing directing theatre and that role with filmmaking. Hmmm.

Razia’s Shadow: The Indie Musical

Recently I was going though my iPod listening to songs beginning with the letter “e” (which really is an awesome letter btw: Enchantment by Lily Frost, Enchantment Passing Through from AIDA, The End by Mayday Parade…) when I stumbled upon”The End and the Beginning” from Forgive Durden’s musical Razia’s Shadow.

I discovered Forgive Durden just as Razia’s Shadow was being released, right after all the band members quit. I don’t know exactly what happened but the drift I got from reading various webpages is that Thomas Dutton (the only original remaining member) is both crazy and a musical genius. One of those people that is impossible to work with but creates amazing things.

The End and the Beginning

Anywho, Brendon Urie (Panic! at the Disco) sings on several of the tracks which made me love it immediately. It is very dark and intense but I love that an indie rock musical has been created! I love it when things I love come together.

The final song in particular has some really moving lyrics.

Please listen to my last words, before I fade away.

This is my gift to you: live for your love every day.

Please don’t let your tired heart stop beating.

You’re bleeding. Just keep breathing.

That line reminds me of the end of Godspell (which isn’t surprising because the sentiment is the same). The whole show is a bit of a Christian allegory if you ask me, but it’s an interesting story (betrayal, sacrifice) so  can see why it’s been reincarnated some many times.

So this is my cue of where to leave you.

Now it’s your story to retell and pass on.

Because an idea is only relevant if it’s being thought upon.

So remember, never surrender.

‘Cause the unrelenting constancy of love and hope

Will rescue and restore from any scope.

The percussive movement in this song is so awesome, I love it and I hope you give it a listen : )