04 April 2012

Films Inspiring the Intellect and Life's Moments in Movies, Recurring Themes on This Blog But This Time With a New Fridge

Every time I open our new fridge I feel like I'm in someone else's house. The someone else who has a better fridge than we do. But it's our fridge.

I'll get used to it.

Flexible people are happier. Making adjustments to circumstances over which one has no control is crucial to an emotionally healthy existence. Finding the good, the benefit, the reason. It's damn difficult but....

There is a real danger in the comfort of a routine. Your mind doesn't explore as much. You become rigid and thoughtless. By thoughtless I don't mean rude. I mean not thinking.

It's worth cherishing those things that inspire us. Move our minds in new directions. Shake off the cobwebs. That's what a really good film will do. You can get locked into diversionary movies that keep you from thinking. They don't challenge you. Your brain sits through them. Maybe wanders to trivial matters.

When I saw Napoleon (1927) the other day (maybe you read about it), my brain at times had trouble focusing on the movie. Not so much because the guy behind me had the sniffles, but because the movie was artistically so powerful that my intellect was doing the boogaloo. My mind was intoxicated. It's like a hypodermic shot of love.


(Did I mention that the fridge makes ice? Our old one had stopped doing that a long time ago. Ice is nice.)

Bergman films always get my juices flowing. So do those of Fellini, Antonioni (the picture up top is from his film L'Eclisse (1962)), Woody Allen, Kubrick, they all do it. No wait, "juices flowing." Kinda lame. Let's say they get my cerebellum synthesizing. Or my heart and intellect talking -- to each other. Each. other. To. And you do.

I like a movie for moments. Those real and simple moments - like those captured in a painting by Cezanne or a Diane Arbus photograph. Flower petal seconds, you could say. If you dig me. The brain on rapid-fire kitsch. Just check out the clouds....

....and note how the camera is looking up to the trail, following the two women on horseback. Simple beauty.

If we can look at the simple in a different way, we can contemplate in a different way, too, and away we go. We're onto something. Creativity or awareness.

The Coens are great at moments. The candy wrapper unkrinkling in No Country For Old Men (2007). Tarantino, for all his flash and dash, did it Inglourious Basterds (2009) with cream for the strudel.

Some moments are big. I know this from such things as earthquakes. Those can be some big f*cking moments. Let 'em be inside the movie. Don't make 'em outsized. Look at the stupid action super hero movies that just blow up big moments and turn them into dust. Eye candy. Watch how Coppola handles the big moments in Apocalypse Now (1979). Dead straight camera watching it. Unflinching. Boom! Guy's leg blow off, screaming. Observe and move on. Kubrick will expand them, sometimes. Surround our senses with them. We can't look away in A Clockwork Orange (1971) as Alex commits rape. Obvious and horrible. Just make them accessible for us. Don't be gratuitous.

Of course, like Abel Gance in Napoelon, like Bergman, Woody Allen, it's best when directors tell stories through faces. All of human history is written on the faces of the progeny of all who have come before. We wear on our visages all that we have done and all that has been done to us. Oh, the joy and the pain that we reveal in our eyes, cheeks, mouths and expressions. Those expressions when we are not posing. In great films there is very little posing and a lot of being. A lot of people being what we all are. Sometimes confused, sometimes enlightened, sometimes ignorant, sometimes curious. Always experienced.

Dance everyone. Lift yourself off your doldrums. Give up your comfort zone. Let your mind out for a walk. Buy a new fridge. See a movie that asks you questions; that challenges you to ask questions. OF YOURSELF. Be the somebody that you are capable of and not the somebody you can settle for.

I like our new fridge.

(An addendum, if you don't mind.)

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