Archive for September, 2010

Inception – Christopher Nolan

Para Jorje :*

Here I am writing for the first time about a blockbuster, a major Hollywood production. . I write easier about movies nobody sees. Who can tell you’re writing bullshit?

Why was I feeling superior buying my ticket in the middle of the night? Oh, the European blazé cinemagoer went to see this picture with eyebrows already risen, because… I don’t know why, because I always expect the worst when it comes to movies, ideas, feelings hailed too loudly.

Well, my eyebrows did not change their position for almost an hour. They changed attitude though. I was mesmerized. I was sucked into the story with brains and heart and stomach altogether.
Here is a story developing on multiple layers for multiple levels of understanding, wrapped, of course in an extraordinary setting, visual effects and mad rhythm.

Sounds like any other blockbuster, doesn’t it?

Having multiple levels of understanding we also have multiple levels of perception and this is the recipe for not just another blockbuster.

This movie could have looked any other way, though. They could have done it in black and white, frozen Bergman style, or it could have been western spaghetti style, or teenage vampire story style. The idea of the screenplay would have still nailed you to the chair opening a gap between your life watching this film and your life you left outside the cinema. I have to say, though, the style is perfect, both image and directing, even when events go faster than your capacity to understand what you see. Just like in a dream.

What the f… is the difference between reality and dream? A simple question with a frustration mark. And the answers for it occupy billions of pages written by philosophers gone mad or not. It is much more fun though dealing with the problem in the cinema than reading a heavy book about it. We all know that and I think we all recognize that. Why shouldn’t we treat the simple, impossible, bitchy issues with a thrill and then forget about them, leaving them melting on a white silver screen. We have the feeling for a while as if we have understood, overcome major secrets. Then we know we didn’t because they strike back. Then we run for our next shot of escapism through movies, drugs, books, illusionary feelings.

We have in Inception tones of ideas about dream within a dream and reality and the relation between the two, and how minds can be lost between these two realms.

Cinema once again proves to be closest to life than all art forms and on the same level with a narcotic illusion. And so are dreams.

I said I was fascinated by this story for an hour or so. What happened? It was like being woken up while dreaming. There is short sequence that snapped me out of dreaming this film. I consider it a flaw in the script, but maybe it was an intended slap I needed to wake up and start watching the film. I might have lost my mind otherwise. Yet I guess it was an error, because every step of the story we are informed thoroughly about what and how it is happening, but that sequence is somehow outside the logic of the story. I’ll tell you in private, if you want to, I don’t want to have a spoiler in this article. Anyway it didn’t spoil the fun enjoying the movie.

Inception is about what cinema is about: You dream the dream I want you to dream.

Stardust Memories -Woody Allen

The artist sits in front of a white canvas, an empty piece of paper, a silent musical instrument. What to fill it with? Where do all those colours, sounds, words come from?

We have the sweating artists, who have the skills and not always the idea and they torment themselves in front of the empty surface. Then we have the artists with the ideas but not the skills to transform them in a work of art. Then there are some persons with love for art, with an extraordinary brain activity and probably with hearts broken too many times.

Well, these are the artists that cannot be anything else, but artists. They pour their life into their work and the result gives them back their life anew. It sounds like therapy.

What is the inner source of a work of art, which is just a surface open to the most hilarious misinterpretations? It may not be very important, maybe the hilarious interpretations are more interesting than the initial idea.

But here we have in Stardust Memories an ars poetica and it seems like Woody Allen’s whole process of creating and living is disclosed. It could be quite embarrassing to face the artist in such a cruel light. Woody Allen is merciless to himself but merciful to us, he keeps our smile active although his heart and brains are bleeding. The director gives us the inner sources off all his creation.

Haunting memories of past relations, misplaced feelings pour over the artist while he is confronting the world admiring his work. It really sounds like any other Woody Allen movie. But this time the hell of creation and dealing with personal problems blend in an almost nightmarish universe. There is a big resemblance between this confession and Fellini´s 8½. There is definitely no copying. In Fellini`s work we can feel the artist´s light heart towards all his haunting characters and ideas. This gives him the power not to make a comedy out of his confession. Allen cannot confess without being ironic and this is a proof of him being much more miserable.

A perfect work of art comes out of a perfect quest for equilibrium, comes out of perfect mistakes, and perfect illusions. Artistically he wants to take the express train, in life he accepts the cheapest one, he loathes as an artist and he calls that “not a compromise but getting lucky”. Oh, how much illusion in this too, and he knows it; the suffering will never end, but he also knows that his art will see him through the day.

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