8126Re: Vanilla Sky
- Aug 8, 2003--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, pmcvflag <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> Ok, my turn *lol*. I had seen this movie some time ago, but afternot
> 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
> think that the writer intended any Gnostic elements, but that isfrom
> 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
> other movies, album covers, song lyrics, etc. (for instance, onceDylan
> scene with Aames and Sofia walking together was actually a Bob
> cover)....Especially with Cameron Crowe's interpretation would we expect to
find the immense infusion of pop-culture references (certainly with
the music), but since I still haven't seen the Spanish version, I'm
not sure of the authors' original goal in that regard.
Still, take a look at what Crowe's production designer planned for
fleshing out David's character through his surroundings:
"To that end, Hardwicke adorned the walls with reproductions of
classic works by Balthus, Rothko and Matisse, as well as some
evocative canvasses by local Los Angeles artists. Quirky personal
items also accented the rooms, such as a hand-painted Jason Lee
original skateboard, emblazoned with the image of David Bowie; a huge
surfboard sculpture from Hardwicke's own collection; and an homage to
Crowe's rock & roll past in the form of several guitars, including a
smashed one, lovingly framed behind glass.
"Tom and Cameron emphasized that they wanted to convey David Aames'
vitality," Hardwicke says, "so we used sports equipment in a
decorative way like this amazing, dreamlike painting of the side of a
car by Robert Russell. The piece is just so indicative of everything
that happens in the film, in terms of cars and driving, and I thought
it kicked ass."
Well, between Bob Dylan and David Bowie, you once again can find
lyrical themes that resonate with Gnosticism, and in the case of the
latter, a musician who actually professes an affinity toward Gnostic
thought. Was the skateboard chosen because it was sporty and "kicked
ass," or to patronize fellow actor/artist Jason Lee, or were there
unseen forces at work influencing people's choices without their
The decision to include archetypal images is certainly deliberate,
but one wonders if it's often in merely a psychoanalytical context to
give a film's characters greater depth. You can easily find that
introspective element in a movie like _Fight Club_, but for a film
that's often referred to as "Gnostic," it seems to be quite lacking
with regard to the mythos, as in something like _The Truman Show_.
As for _Pleasantville_ then, I'm looking forward to seeing it,
especially after learning that it all started with a red apple. ;-)
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