8124Re: Vanilla Sky
- Aug 7, 2003--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
> Pursuant to a recent recommendation from a good friend, I finallygot
> around to seeing the film, _Vanilla Sky_, on cable yesterday. HasGnostic
> anyone else seen this movie? I thought it was quite full of
> imagery and myth. I saw a gradual progression through hylic,psychic
> stages to a spiritual awakening for the protagonist, David Aames....Yes, I did see the film one time straight through (and portions of it
on two other occasions,) and was quite struck by the Gnostic themes.
Ahhh, and how I DID love the voice of Sofía (via Penélope Cruz)!
That gentle yet persistent prodding is something I'd like to program
into my own alarm clock, but certainly not simply to avoid being late
for work. ;-)
I like how you noticed the progression of three states, but I found
it quite difficult, myself, to keep up with the jumps in time. I was
actually heartened to learn that in the original Spanish release,
_Abre Los Ojos_, director Alejandro Amenábar also had reservations
about the disjointed sequences. In the end, he agreed with co-writer
Mateo Gil and opted for the more complicated presentation, instead of
a linear approach, in order to avoid three separate stories that
lacked cohesion. I gather he was merely talking about sub-plots
there, but it works even better, IMO, when considering the three
aspects of our nature.
Having looked at what comments I could find from the writers and
directors of both films, I'm not really convinced that the story was
intended to be Gnostic, rather than simply an exercise in
introspection and the quest for the nature of true love. Perhaps
it's a matter of our being left somewhat in the dark since, all too
often, directors are reluctant to spell out exactly what they feel is
their inspiration (and intent) with a given film. From what I've
seen, for instance, the Wachowski Brothers gave a downright cryptic
response when asked directly about Gnostic influences in _The
Matrix_. I guess no one wants to alienate other groups who relate to
a film on their own terms.
Still, the imagery is there. One scene I really enjoyed was actually
hated by one of the reviewers I read. At the birthday party, Sofía
is almost playfully passing her hand back and forth through a
holographic image of John Coltrane. I'm not sure if the critic
thought it was disrespectful or simply gratuitous, but when
considering the character as Sophia, it seemed to me quite
appropriate that she should be testing the "reality" of the jazz
musician's "apparent" image.
Among the observations you made during the film, did you notice more
than one instance of a character asking, "Do you believe in God?" I
know Julie asked David while they were in the car, but it also seems
like David repeated the same question at a later time (I vaguely
recall that from one of those groggy previews I had, but I forgot to
pay attention for a recurrence when I finally saw the film in its
entirety). I may have to watch it again just to see if the context
of that reiteration (if it happened) has changed as well, in which
case Julie's notion might have been more in line with the Demiurge,
while David's might have been of a more transcendent deity.
Overall, I quite enjoyed it, Cari. I'm already wondering about the
themes to be found in _Pleasantville_. That will probably be next on
my list, at least, as soon as it makes the rounds on digital cable.
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