Saturday, March 1, 2014

Butterfly Effect

I love movies. The visual art of story telling. The depiction of raw emotion, life, and circumstance. The quintessential portrayal of detailed, human expression. I immerse myself entirely...feeling the weight of despair, the weightlessness of space, a tree's leaves being gently carried across the screen, a pencil's scratching upon the surface of paper, a freckled smile, the sound of lips. Details, which in and of themselves, can hurl atoms through space, causing worlds to collide.

I saw two great movies this weekend. Gravity and Blue is the Warmest Color. While I normally would write an entire blog post dedicated to a single film, both of these movies, which are polar opposites, evoke similar feelings. Thus, I am compelled to address them together. One was a film about an engineer's experience in space, as well as her personal struggle, the inability to let go of a past trauma. I found it poignant and simultaneously fascinating that her experience was so traumatic and indelible, that she was unable to let go of it even in the most remote, quiet and vast locales imaginable. To carry a weight so heavy that even in the vacuum of space's weightlessness you cannot wiggle from underneath it, is a powerful thought.

Conversely, Blue carried with it a weight we've all had to bear, and with which we are intimately familiar....that of breaking up, or losing our first love. The parallel of helplessness in both movies was palpable and salient, even though the path of each female protagonist was, for lack of a better description, on entirely different tangents. One, a young woman gripping with the harsh realities and intricacies of maturation, sexuality, and the dynamic of relationships while navigating the emotional oceans of life. The other, of a woman who's life has lost all meaning and is devoid of feeling, except for one that blinds her to even the magnificence of a bird's eye view of our amazing planet. Both characters faced the eminent danger of losing air or being eternally lost in the cosmos at any moment.

Both movies were fantastic, equally moving, and powerful. Admittedly, however, they are a little stressful, but entirely worth it. Just be warned that Blue is a French film with subtitles, and has a few scenes of graphic nudity that can only be found on Cinemax or HBO. Also, it's just shy of being 3 hours long.

Although I've never been in space to watch a sunset, to witness the glow of Aurora Borealis hovering over the North Pole, or to bask in the radiance of infinite stars and the blue shimmering brilliance of Earth...I hope that if given the chance, I shall choose to stop and appreciate the view.