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Nov. 7th, 2009 08:05 pm
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La jetée - I had to watch La jetée one and a half times, because I zoned so far out that I too woke up in the future it was so utterly profound that it took two viewings. It was fascinating to find out that upon my first half viewing I saw the film as incredibly slow, but on the second viewing somehow it had miraculously had sped up. Time is relative!

I both enjoyed and disliked this film. I love this film because it is a work of art. Each shot is stunning, well framed and artistic. The soundtrack is mindblowing - I loved the whispering (wonder why they were whispering in German though?) and the chorus of voices. At first I didn't like how the movie consisted solely of still shots (I was going to argue in class that this didn't qualify as a movie because it was just a series of images, but I had to give in because movies consist of images strung together albeit a lot faster) , but it grew on me, and I actually appreciate the statement it makes on time. The film makes you feel like an observer through the narration and the still photos. As someone not involved in the action, you are able to realize that all time is a collection of moments strung together. We exist in the here and now, moment to moment, in pieces of time. We do not exist in the past or future, only the present, and this holds true even when the character goes to the past and future - when he is in the future, he exists in the present of that future. The past and future are only memories and imaginings.

The idea that the past and future only exist in one's head is further reinforced through the method of time travel described/not described in the film (this is the part that I disliked).  I was thoroughly confused by the film's method of time traveling. There were no machines or scientific explanations - time travel is this mystical psychological method achieved through control over one's thoughts and memories, and that really pissed me off even if it's philosophically pleasing. You can't just hop through time because you willed it, which leads me to believe that one possible interpretation of this film is that it's all about mind games and brain experimentation, and that the entire movie took place in his memories during the present day ruins of Paris, including the memories of the child. Far fetched, but it's one of the only ways I can reconcile the events of the movie in a way that makes sense to me. 

Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life
- I want to say Kafka is rolling in his grave, but I haven't read enough of his work to distinguish what 'kafkaesque' truly means and whether he would be pleased or not by this film, but I don't think it means cheesy and silly. I'm a fan of parodies, but this was just ridiculously nonsensical, cheesy and over the top. Somebody was high when they made this. I love parodies - I thought George Lucas in Love was great - but this so didn't deserve Best Live Action Short at the Oscars. Kafka singing Christmas carols and grieving over smushed bugs? Gooey sentimentality might have worked for Jimmy Stewart, but to throw in a respected literary figure who certainly didn't write that kind of dreck tears me apart. The plot is vaguely based on Kafka's search for a muse but is really a thin excuse to throw in random nonsense that I wish had something profound beneath it but which sorely escapes me. This is altogether sad because I adore literary parodies and I think this could have been magnificent if taken more seriously. A shining example of everything I find utterly unbearable about post modern art, or maybe I'm just interrogating the text from the wrong perspective.

Interesting tidbit: The Metamorphosis is not necessarily about an insect.

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