8125Re: Vanilla Sky
- Aug 7, 2003Ok, my turn *lol*. I had seen this movie some time ago, but after
Lady Cari's report I was forced to take a second look. This time,
however, I cheated. I watched it once straight through, then once
with the director/screenwriter's comentary. My take.....
My previous impression of the film had been to write it off as just
another solipsist movie (a pet peave of mine), but I have rethought
that... I do see some Gnostic elements. There is, most definately,
the notion of awakening to an absolute reality that I had missed
before (well, it was very late after a long party *cough*). I do not
think that the writer intended any Gnostic elements, but that is
sometimes the beauty of pop art.
In fact, I use the term "pop art" very intentionally. Something I
completely missed, even on this recent watching, until the director
pointed it out in his comentary, was just how soaked with popular
iconography this movie was. Many scenes in the movie were taken from
other movies, album covers, song lyrics, etc. (for instance, once
scene with Aames and Sofia walking together was actually a Bob Dylan
cover). The director intended this to tie in with the very first
scene of the movie in which Aames rund out into Times Square NY with
no company but advertisements on the buildings... popular images. The
director states that he is fascinated with the effect of popular
culture on the psyche.
I point this out because of how elements from Gnosticism can pop up
in themes where none is intended by the artist. Is it a matter of us
writing more into a plot than really exists? OR!!! Could it be that
some elements have simply not died from western thought, and thus
have a tendency to find exploration through mediums via distant,
vague, or even subconcious influence of things that are rattling
around in popular western thought to this very day.
I was not able to pick out the movement through the three human
states, the way Lady Cari did... I remain oblivious (nothing new
there *lol*). I could however pick out the basic two elements of
illusion vs truth. From the directors perspective the first part of
the movie was truth, which then melded with the illusion that Cruz
bought from the cryogenic company, which in turn opened back up into
the truth of Aames waking up again at the very end of the movie.
However, the waking up at the end of the movie, once again to a
female voice (which, the director is careful to state, is a third
voice not yet known to Aames... a nurse at the cryogenic company)
stating much the same thing as the voice at the beginning of the
movie, begs the question of whether we are starting over with the
same kind of dream... I hope not *lol*.
BTW, Gerry... I loved Pleasantville. It appeals to my Carpocratian
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, lady_caritas <no_reply@y...>
> > Pursuant to a recent recommendation from a good friend, I finally
> > around to seeing the film, _Vanilla Sky_, on cable yesterday.
> > anyone else seen this movie? I thought it was quite full of
> > imagery and myth. I saw a gradual progression through hylic,
> > stages to a spiritual awakening for the protagonist, David
> Yes, I did see the film one time straight through (and portions of
> on two other occasions,) and was quite struck by the Gnostic
> Ahhh, and how I DID love the voice of Sofía (via Penélope Cruz)!
> That gentle yet persistent prodding is something I'd like to
> into my own alarm clock, but certainly not simply to avoid being
> 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
> 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-
> Mateo Gil and opted for the more complicated presentation, instead
> 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
> 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
> 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
> a film on their own terms.
> Still, the imagery is there. One scene I really enjoyed was
> 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
> than one instance of a character asking, "Do you believe in God?"
> know Julie asked David while they were in the car, but it also
> 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
> 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
> my list, at least, as soon as it makes the rounds on digital cable.
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