Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mindshot: One Hour Photo*

*Note: Mindshot is (hopefully) a new category where I reflect on one specific shot from a film -- reconciling the sound and image with an idea/moment of emotional gravity.

Just hours removed from my month-long siesta in America, a weight has come off my chest.

ment in Southern California is somewhere around 15%, and if including under-
ment, I wouldn't be surprised if that number crests at around a quarter.  This epidemic speaks to my general apprehensive thoughts in that land: what's my goal again?  For the unemployed, there is, or should be, one generic rallying cry towards finding a place of cash flow.  But even that goal is really a goal of means rather than ends.  

The frustration of setting life goals and the like in a community like Hollywood is ever-so jarring.  How can you ever hope to stay focused?  Every corner has a billboard to envision yourself as linked to.  Everything is a distraction.  Everything grabs your interest.  Everything points toward some dream, some expectation.  And everything will only ever rise to the heights of medication.  Medication rather than exaltation.  
It takes the full ninety minutes of "One Hour Photo"'s running time to reach its last devastating shot.  Seymour Parish, as portrayed by a blonded version of Robin Williams, is a man of the disturbed plus lonely variety.  He is.  The course of the film's events prove this sufficiently for the audience.  We see his great desires conceptualized in his mind's eye, as well as the externalization of his internal struggles.  What we are deprived of (in part) is the fulfillment of Sy's personal expectations.  

Sy sits in an all-white inter-rogation room.  As an expression of pity, the investigator, at story's end, let's Sy have his photos that were recently developed.  Sy greedily snaps at the photos to reveal them.  The revealing, the revelation.

FREEZE HERE.  Here, Sy is captain of his domain.  His purpose is direct, and clearly achievable.  He lays out the photos systematically, one next to the other.  His pursuit is only to place them all out in fine order; a simple goal.  When we freeze this moment we see the realization of an end.  Sy is as content as he can ever be, when he fully concentrates in the now.  Look at how the pictures introduce the room to color. 

Take away the demented aspect of Sy, and we have a distilled view of purpose + execution = success.  You see, Sy Parish is enviable.  He is driven towards a goal that is achievable and most importantly, satisfying. 

Life confuses the snot out of me.  Most of the time, I can't really grasp what it is I am to do.  LA life only cements this prognosis.  

In conclusion, I'm full of good cheer to be back in Slovenialand.  And one other note.  The pictures, remember them?  They are of a room.  They are boring pictures of a boring apartment.

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