There is one distinguishing characteristic about my blog, but it is not very obvious. I don’t really talk about my life. I talk about a thing that resembles something that I dreamed as a life, but it is fictional and separate. It is distinct in a way that makes me feel a little guilty that I know so much about so many of you (or think I do) but you know so little about me – for I do not willingly share. I don’t fully understand the decision point here, but it’s what happened. I don’t understand why I should burden or entertain you with stories about my life, so I try to do that with stories about fictional lives. My diatribes, my humour, my stories, my inane and false poetry, they are not completely set in reality. They are set somewhere else.
But I do have one story to share. When my little boy was born, I felt as though the stars and the moon and the words I use to describe them simply weren’t enough. At about that time, I first saw Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men. If you have not seen it, go and watch it. There is something elemental about this movie. And something undeniably hopeful. And something that packs an amazing impact when you are considering the birth of your first child.
Cuaron’s newest movie, Gravity, just came out. The second thing I can reveal is that I am a huge movie fan. I know more about movies than any person I have ever personally met (I’m not bragging really, just saying). I know there are people all over who know more than me, but I haven’t met them. I might read what they have to say on the internet, and I respect them, but I don’t know them.
Here is my take on Gravity. I think we expect a lot out of art, and how it should make us feel. In some cases, art is about not really about bringing any feeling: it is just a passive voice in an empty room while half-asleep on a recliner. That’s fine. But Cuaron’s latest is everything art in a movie should be. It is that visual punch and emotional high that I crave, and it is so breathtakingly beautiful that I hardly know where to begin in describing it. It brought about for me what I can only describe as an adult version of how I felt when I first saw Star Wars. It is not that movie, but it has been a long long time since I walked into a movie theatre and felt true, genuine, ecstatic magic – that I felt that I was watching someone’s vision translated with detail and love onto a screen for my benefit. But I got that today from Cuaron’s latest. I say bravo at the highest level possible, and greatest respect for this piece of art. Go see this movie. Don’t let your expectations rise because of my words or anyone else’s. Allow yourselves to float. Allow yourselves to be free, and see what happens. Don’t worry about the trailers. Don’t think about what this movie might be about. Just go see it and savour the ride. This is a rare one.
One or two specifics. Give Sandra Bullock an Oscar. Don’t bother with anyone else. Just don’t. Give the movie a Best Picture. It is so far and above the disappointment of Oscar winners such as The Hurt Locker and Slumdog Milliionaire or even No Country for Old Men or The Departed or that awful awful dreck Crash that is should not be mentioned in the same breath. This is transcendent. This is art in a movie. Probably not perfect but what is? I’m sure I will see flaws on next viewing, but that’s irrelevant. The first impact viewing of this movie is incredible. Great music, great acting, and a theme running through it that is firmer than even that layered through Children of Men. If you don’t feel exalted to some degree after this movie’s over, please check for a pulse.
Wow wow wow. Wow. That’s all I can say.