Sunday, October 14, 2018

Not What's the Point But the Wholeness

I've recently watched a couple of Netflix movies--started them and then fast forwarded through sections, ending the film, and then going back and closely watching key scenes. It was either fast and dirty or just turn the darn thing off. Then I clicked onto IMDB (International Movie Data Base) and read more about the movies and checked out some reviews.

Evidently, according to many reviews, I'm a shallow viewer who is so conditioned to the standard plot sequence normally presented that I cannot appreciate a truly artistic flick. And, according to the reviews, I am not the only creativity-challenged viewer.

The films viewed were Hold the Dark, a movie or survival and alienation set in the far, frozen North; and Under the Skin, a sci fi flick about an alien femme fatale with a gentler modus operandi than the Predator franchise.

I was tempted to ask what's the point of the movies, but I understand the concept that art doesn't need to mean, just be. Art's existence enlivens the mind and pulls one from boundaries to the unbounded. It expands.

In the two films mentioned, a lot happens--death and destruction, despair and tragedy. However, in the end, I was not left with any sense of wholeness. I did appreciate the craft, but the vision was, as one reviewer wrote, left on the cutting room floor.

I'm not here to bash Netflix, but as the company pours millions into new material, I certainly hope it doesn't end up being a lot of "B" grade material bought on the cheap because it got no traction anywhere else.

And as I write my current short story, I am reminded that although art doesn't have to justify its existence, that's only true when it is existence, when it is the drop of water that reflects the ocean. Without the reflection, the boundaries are too restrictive. I don't want my writing to reflect grey water in a grey world; neither do I want to watch movies where the only color is the grey sheen of lead bullets or the grey grime of roadside snow. Where's the sunshine? It's out there (and in there), and, Lord, let me not be distracted by all the shades and shadows between black and white.


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