Sunday, February 12, 2012

Endgame Payout

They wandered, blind, through the streets...

My eyes were just beheld by the mystery that is the new trailer for Beyond the Black Rainbow. 
Behold for yourself.

The trailer was reminiscent for me of other strange films that promise to take me somewhere wholly new, wholly other. The bait of such a marketing slogan might not coo to many, but it does hold a deeply seductive resonance with me.

It calls to me from the highlands, from beyond the meadow and past the plains.
It whispers to my soul, promising:

(in a mechanical, yet soothingly erotic female voice)
Dante, there are new ideas here. They live, grow, and reproduce here. 
Yes, they reproduce merrily.
I alone know what hope this enraptures in that shell of yours, small man. 
I know the secret yearnings in your heart's mind. 
Dante, come and see, witness and take note -- 
the time of revelation has been found here. 

And like a weightless Garfield, levitating towards the fumes of lasagna, I must quench my thirst.
 I must behold. 
And so I do...
...and inevitably am disappointed. 

The problem with these films Beyond the Black Rainbow (I'm assuming), Cube, Begotten, Into the Void, and to a lesser extent Pi, is that they can never actually take us to that place of total epiphany and wonder. They may show us obscure images and sounds, but they ultimately hold little meaning. There's nothing by which I can cultivate my truth-garden with --- truth-garden--- hmmm... I may hold onto that phrase.

They all end the same way: the protagonist either escapes the 'new-ness' or enters into it.

Take for example, Cube.

Cube is a jolly fun film. A bunch of folks wake up in a cube. They have no memory of how they got there. They don't know each other. But, by jove, there appears to be a paneled exit. Sadly, however, for the amnesiac band of outsiders, this panel leads to yet another cube, and it just so happens that this cube is booby-trapped, deadeningly! And so it goes; each cube has a different booby-trap, and each cube has an exit leading to another like-minded cube. That's just how it goes.

The film is a bit of fun just for trying to decipher which of the ragtag team will make it out alive, and indeed there is a level of enjoyment in beholding the various ways the renegades get impaled and the like, but the bottom line question of the film always remains --- what is this place, why is it here, and why were these people chosen?

Those are also the questions of our existence:
What is this place?
Why does it exist?
Why do we exist here?

I find those questions to be a bit more intriguing than the more generic "Who am I?" and, "Why am I here?" --- the focus is less on us, the microscopic, and more on the creation as a whole along with the Creator, the macroscopic. 

Spoiler Alert:
As it is always the case, one dude or dudette (in this case, handicapped dude) escapes the mystery. Yep, he escapes, and the movie ends. 
The films themselves can never enter into these unknown realms entire. They can maybe touch them, but inevitably they have to leave.

I am left lacking. 

We can't know the mind of God. We can't figure him out or understand his motivation. Every time we try, we'll come up pathetically short. 

Nevertheless, I can help but give a thumbs up to those aestheticians who try, eh? 

They wandered blind, through the streets;
they were so defiled with blood
that no one was able to touch
their garments.
Lamentations 4:14

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