my thoughts on “The Fountain”

This year I have been OBSESSED with Darren Arronofsky. Ever since I watched Black Swan (which he also directed) I have been super into him.

I found this film to be very abstract. To me it sort of brought up the relationship between life and death. It reminded me how connected we all are, across space – across time. In many ways, I think death is life – from death grows new life.

The movie also made me think of the merging of worlds. In many ways I think life is a merging of worlds – for each life and moment serves to connect beings and things together.

From a more technical standpoint…

  • The surreal imagery was very beautiful, and at times proved a distraction for me.
  • Hugh Jackman was delicious.
  • I also liked the ending credit font. Type = love : )
  • To me the carefully considered sound design was clearly conceived : )

What have you been watching lately?

Love!

Jenni

Pay it Forward as a Christian Allegory and A Poem about Loss

SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! 

Last night I re-watched Pay it Forward. This movie gets me every time. So beautiful and tragic * sigh *

I had never viewed it as a Christian Allegory before but that was definitely the reading I got this time. I think the kid represented Jesus, the people he helped were his disciples and well… you know how it ends. I think the Mom might have been some sort of Mary Magdalene figure.

Then I got to thinking, what if all of life is a Christian Allegory. I mean Jesus is Love right? And since everyone is a “divine creation” we are all Love. And if all of life is here to teach us about love and compassion then each death is for our sins. So we are all Jesus, in a way. Possibly? (Note: I am not Christian and I am not trying to be sacrilegious by writing this… I just like thinking about how love shows up in the world. No offence intended). Anywho I was really upset last night. I started pondering some recent events that have transpired in my life. The unfairness of loss. I think taking life is the worst thing one can do (weather it be the life of another or your own). I wanna watch some more Leo Buscaglia and go hug everyone. Love more. Yes…. and now a poem
Loss

 A POEM ABOUT LOSS

the inescapable feeling of all the air suddenly disappearing from my lungs,

and the unsatisfyable need to be anywhere but here.

and the sinking knowing that in this moment everything is not alright.

and the uncomfortable notion of observing the bloodshot and tear stained eyes of my weeping self. and the search for beauty in that moment but the finding of only emptiness. vast, cold emptiness.

and despite all of the happiness and joy I might have had today I want nothing more than I cry myself to sleep.

and grab, squeeze, reach any part of you or anyone who has ever known you, or would want to, or would pretend to.

bolting from the room as if to vomit up my pain and shock.

and thinking deep down that everything will be fine, and there is a lesson to be learned, and this challenge will make me stronger… but not caring because I cannot breathe.

and sinking down, away, into the bathroom stall.

but not caring because I cannot breathe.

and I think that it’s unfair. But a life taken doesn’t care.

and I think that it’s not right. But that won’t bring you back tonight.

And I am at a loss.

of life.

my thoughts on DREAMING (or a review of Waking Life)…

The basic plot of the film is based on a physiological phenomenon known as “lucid dreaming”. Lucid dreaming means dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming. The term was coined by Frederik van Eeden who used the word “lucid” in the sense of mental clarity. Many of the dream state idiosyncrasies described in the film, such as the inability to read time on a digital watch or the tendency of light switches to malfunction, are described in studies authored by Dr. Stephen LaBerge of Stanford University, the leading American authority on lucid dreaming.

FROM INDB

I think it’s interesting that is was created on mostly consumer equiptment, proving that you don’t need to spend lots of money to make good art (however I am the proud owner of the new Nikon D7000 haha).

I LOVE the quotes in the movie. I was trying to tweet everything but there wasn’t enough time. Some of my favorites were…

Dreaming is destiny.

Judge not lest ye be judged.

As one realizes that one is a figure in someone else’s dream, that is self awareness.

On really romantic evenings of self, I go salsa dancing with my confusion.

…that’s what I loved the most, connecting with the people. Looking back, that’s all that really mattered.

…we all know the function of media has never been to eliminate the evils of the world, no. Their job is to persuade us to accept those evils and get used to living with them.

I had some interesting thoughts of my own as well. I think i’m gonna use them to make an art film though so stay tuned : D

I really want to learn more an experiment with ludic dreaming and this whole realm of ideas.

PS: There’s a HOW TO for everything these days : P

Requiem for a Dream

What are you addicted to?

BE EXCITED, BE BE EXCITED!

So I just watch the AMAZING movie Requiem for a Dream for the first time. It was directed by the same guy who made Black Swan (winner!) and I’m really excited to watch more of his stuff. Anywho, I thought IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL FILM. The acting was so real and I found the whole thing to be very immersive. The soundtrack is haunting and I thought the editing was super innovative, simple and a very creative use of the visual medium. Did i mention the script? BEAUTIFUL! Every word. I laughed, had tears in my eyes and was really taken by the narrative. It was a very interesting study of addiction. I think they should show this movie in high schools because it really made me want to not do drugs. hahaha. But seriously, the conclusion was really disturbing (in a good way) and I was physically altered by watching this film. Riding my bike home afterwards was a bit of an adventure given my slightly altered frame of mind having just watched 2ish hours of drug related visuals (had this moment where my shadow was chasing me… so scary… and funny haha). It’s interesting to think about my own addictions though. In the movie they deal with hard drug addiction, prescription drug addiction, food addiction, sex addiction, people addiction, art addiction… I think everyone has addictions. What is your drug? And what would your life be like without it?

PS: The film also has this pretty trippy wesbite!

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.

Missionaries of Hate: Thoughts

Someone on facebook linked me to this documentary called “Missionaries of Hate” which you can watch online.

In a nutshell it is about a large group of religious extremists in Uganda who are trying to make homosexuality illegal and punishable by imprisonment or death. It isn’t too long and I recommend watching it.

I was at a leadership conference in January at in one of the workshops (about blogging and storytelling ironically) they asked us what our biggest driving force was. I think the issue at the core of my being, the one thing that makes me live my chosen lifestyle, is repression. I have been very lucky to have lived without much exposure to repression personally but it still really usets me. Repression of women, repression of animals, repression of certain races, repression of lower classes and in Uganda: repression of homosexuality.

This is the one thing that gets me the most about religion and extremism. Sure the bible may say “man shall not lie with another man” or whatever but it also teaches compassion and kindness. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Any law that violates this creed cannot be seen as even remotely “Christian” in my opinion. It’s one thing to make a personal choice about how you live but it is another to condemn, imprison or kill others because of the way they live.

I hope for and do the best I can to try and encourage acceptance in the world in an effort to stop things like this. After all, if everyone does what they can we’ll all get what we need.

We’ll do much better

if we all move together.

Also, to point out a specific flaw in the argument of misguided man featured in the film… When he shows the gay porn to his audiences he doesn’t mention that there is tons of equally, if not more disgusting, straight porn out there… just saying.

Movie: Kurbaan

My mom’s friend lent her this shady copy of the indian movie Kurbaan. When I got home at like 1:30AM on Saturday night she convinced me to watch it with her.

The movie itself was really well done. The acting was very convincing and all of the effects were believable. It was like watching 4 movies in one because it seemed to hit all the genres. There was romance, mystery, suspense, action (complete with explosions and pyro effects). It starts out very lighthearted and the cover we had was different from the one i’ve pictured here. When it started to get more intense we were both really surprised… but hooked nonetheless. It was a very political movie, touching on the current conflict the US has in the middle east.

It was kind of funny becasue it had english subtitles the whole time (even though they spoke english about half the time). Even the music had subtitles. There was one subtitled song that had the lyrics:

Decorate your tomorrow today.

Spend happy moments in the path of life.

Everyone’s love has a story.

I approve : )