Ondine's Dream

I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours

Can movies and books be friends?

How many times have I heard a tirade how a movie ruined a book, how book was better, or movie was better than a book. Let me take my words back, I don’t remember hearing anyone say that movie was better than a book.

Honestly, and please don’t hate me for it, but I do. I truly preferred Baz Lurhmann’s The Great Gatsby to the read itself. I am an avid classical lit fan. Though the life they depict sometimes seems more idealistic than needed, I still prefere that happy tale (once in a while). Most of the books, however slow paced they are, manage to get you to empathize with the moods and expectations of the heroes of the time. However, that is something I never experienced with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s or T. Capote’s creations, especially Breakfast at Tiffany’s and other short stories, The Great Gatsby added to this group as well. I agree that Jay Gatsby is a truly multilayerd character with sad and unenviable destiny, however F. Scott Fitzgerald simply never persuades me to care about Jay. Luckily Leonardo DiCaprio did, and I will forever remain indebted to him for bringing some stirrings in my heart for the mysterious Mr. Gatsby.

Overall I seem to have gotten off my initial purpose quite much. From the very beginning I intended to write about a book and a movie – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Patrick Süskind). I read the book way before the movie was released and I imediately favoured it. If you haven’t read it – its about a man, a “nose”, who is seeking to create a scent for himself by stripping others of theirs. When reading the book I could never imagine it could be made into a decent movie, for how can you show the pleasure of smelling stone, glass, wood or nothing. But oh it was done, and it was done good. Ben Whishaw (seen in Layer Cake, I’m Not There, Skyfall) does a brilliant work potraying the major protagonist/antagonist (depends on point of view) – Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He manages to capture the loneliness, isolation, angst and resolution of the character to a perfection. By watching him, you understand the enamour he feels for the plums girl (or her essence), his dread for not having his own mark in the world and his determination to create the perfect mask of humanity. I would definitely recommend to follow Mr. Whishaw’s work, for you will have a pleasure of finding a brilliant acting professional with (hopefully) promising future.

The ending of the movie deserves its own praise. It is something I truly wanted to see visually and it did not dissapoint. It all ends where it all began, in the same shocking manner.

If you have a few hours to spare, give the movie a chance to show itself, if you have a few days, please don’t miss a chance to be enriched by the book.

 

The original trip to the Moon

Are there many people who haven’t watched at least a single sci-fi movie? Chat with somebody about “spacely” movies and you will most likely hear sound compounds similar to The Matrix, Alien, Star Trek, Star Wars (I just reminded myself I need to re-watch Godzilla (1954), that ought to be a good blast) and others. How often while watching one or another sci-fi movie do you catch yourself thinking: When did it all start? How did it all look? Well, that’s what happened to me a while ago while I was all into Star Wars re-runs.

After a continuous search I was very lucky (and happy) to find the most awe-inspiring creation by Georges Méliès, a 1902 “Le Voyage dans la Lune” (also known as The Trip to the Moon).

For me the film is not only impressive for its age and length (considering the year it was made), but also the theme – a trip to the Moon. In 1902 an idea of a trip to the Moon was relatively close and far away. Le Voyage dans la Lune allows us to see how people of early 20th century (who in a way were the pushing force that ultimately kicked all the great inventions and ideas into action) imagined space travelling and life outside the Earth. What is surprising for me, is their openness (even though more comic) to the idea of extraterrestrial life. Let me continue no more. Let’s see how did the very first moon landing look like…

Lars von Trier and Human Condition

Shaking off the slumber of winter and the drowsiness of spring, I awaken. The upcoming months will be dedicated to active learning and observation. I am reading, watching and looking for something new to learn. However, before going into new territories it is quite easy to remember that, which has been already seen, and stayed throughout the hibernation.

Lars von Trier. He is a genius, he is one of the few creators that truly manage to capture the essence of human condition. Maybe we should talk about the Dancer in the Dark (which I am sure I will one day), or even Melancholia. What about Nymphomaniac? Oh, I can feeling it coming. However, today is a Dogville day. Dogville was that something that hatched a little niche for von Trier in my heart. Never before was I so shocked or uplifted, when leaving that small cinema hall after a screening. I kept thinking and thinking about human nature and behaviour in the setting of absolute power, are we all tyrants and abusers at core, how long can compliancy continue? Why does the gruesome revenge bring out such a personal feeling of gratification?

I do believe that power corrupts and pliancy is a very temporary condition, Dogville is a visual exhibit of my belief.

Me

I have been in many places and seen many things. I heard a lot and said even more. I was surrounded and left alone. To find my way I had to learn how to read maps and faces, hear whispers and not to turn away from screams. I learned to believe that there is a way in and out.

All was a test, being is a sign of passing.

I am putting down my knowledge of today for the scrutiny of my wiser tomorrow.

After all, one must always remember past struggles and victories to ready oneself better for the coming.

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