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Re: Vanilla Sky

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  • lady_caritas
    Thanks, Gerry and PMCV, for viewing the film again and offering some wonderful insights. I ll admit I didn t take the time to research or listen to
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 8, 2003
      Thanks, Gerry and PMCV, for viewing the film again and offering some
      wonderful insights. I'll admit I didn't take the time to research or
      listen to behind-the-scenes comments, partly because I initially
      wanted to see what impression the movie made on me with only my
      preconceptions before adding those of others. LOL

      It will probably be easier if I just copy and paste relevant pieces
      of your posts to respond to.

      Gerry (#8124) ~
      "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 AmenĂ¡bar 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."

      Yes, following the jumps in time requires a lot of concentration, and
      honestly, I didn't immediately unscramble a linear progression of
      three states, so much as I observed them in hindsight. Near the end,
      scattered pieces tended to fall together. I'll admit that although I
      interpreted the "subplots" as "three aspects of our nature," I'd
      agree with PMCV that it is not at all apparent that this was the
      writer/director's intention. And, even though a movie might contain
      Gnostic motifs doesn't mean it necessarily should be categorized as
      a "Gnostic" movie. As you say, Gerry ~

      "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."

      Most certainly.

      (In an interview I skimmed ~
      The Wachowski Brothers admitted to being influenced by some Buddhist
      ideas in making the film, but when asked, "Have you ever been told
      that the Matrix has Gnostic overtones?"--their response was, "Do you
      consider that to be a good thing?" Ha! Gotta watch out for a
      backlash from those who might not consider Gnostic overtones to be
      acceptable if they are considered *heretical*!)

      Heh, sometimes I wonder if writers/directors even fully know wherein
      their inspiration lies. As you say, Gerry, maybe _Vanilla Sky_, is
      about the "quest for the nature of true love." This has been a theme
      in so much literature throughout the ages. Might this love include a
      spiritual component? Our unconscious nonrational side is not always
      so easily rationalized, especially if one considers possible
      archetypal motifs transcending time that PMCV addresses below. This
      would go beyond even conscious archetypal images deliberately used,
      as you suggest, Ger. The writer's/director's own psyches could be
      explored, too, regarding choices (for instance, the "nurse" I'll
      discuss later). ~

      PMCV (#8125):
      "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."

      Ah, yes, and considering Gerry's comments about beliefs in God
      (#8124), I'm reminded of David being wheeled into surgery,
      singing, "What if God was one of us?..."

      PMCV, you had the benefit of listening to director comments (#8125) ~
      "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*."

      I would hope not, too, PMCV. Is the director really listening to his
      own words? If David is "waking up again" to "truth" (as exemplified
      in the beginning of the movie), why is he waking up to the voice of a
      nurse at the cryogenic company? How on earth is the uninformed
      viewer supposed to even surmise that at the end without more
      background researching of source material or his directorial notes
      here? LOL Gosh, after just seeing the Sofia image in the last
      scene, my mind must have been playing tricks on me because the voice
      sounded so much like hers. But then I only saw the movie one
      time. ;-) I suppose I'd better review it, too. Nonetheless I am
      also struck by the idea that a *nurse*, a healer, was chosen to tell
      David to open his eyes, instead of the recorded voice by hylic
      Julia. Did the director have any further comments as to why this
      nurse was chosen? I wonder if we're possibly seeing an unconscious
      (soter) motif emerge or am I really stretching here. :-) A Gnostic
      interpretation would view the first part of the movie as reality, but
      not the only reality. A materialist would see a return to the
      material; however, a Gnostic version might include a spiritual
      reality at the end. And, as you say, PMVC, if not, are we
      only "starting over with the same kind of dream"? Is David in some
      kind of vicious cycle? A rather depressing thought, eh? David
      expressed that he wanted to "live a real life." I suppose a viewer's
      sense of reality might play a large role in reading that final scene.

      "Pleasantville"? I, like Gerry, will have to see this one,
      too. "Carpocratian tendencies," PMCV? Incorrigible you
      remain.... ;->

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