or is it the fact that both mediums try to offer (big question mark on 'try') a comprehensive package of something- while sorely lacking most of the 'real' experiences it tries to portray (for instance, there's no 'smell' in a movie. impossible, yet, sense of smell is one of the most powerful sensory experiences of all). also the fact that majority of the sensory stimulation from such mediums (aural, visual) tend to create an invisible cage for one's own imagination. well, i think that's why people frequently complain about the crap translation of a book to a movie.
but sometimes, movies- esp. ones that were conceived as a movie from the beginning rather than a retake or a translation of something else, could speak louder than... well, bomb drops, i suppose. this week has been very unusual in a sense that monkey went to the theater twice. twice! excluding one documentary i specifically went to see two weeks ago ('food inc., a movie adaptation of eric schlosser's fast food nation and michael pollan's omnivore's dilemma and in defence of food. i do tend to dig well-made documentaries. i was real pissed when i found out that end of the line- another documentary about the epic fail of fishery industries in global scale was actually no longer playing anywhere in toronto...)i cant even remember the last time i went to a theater seriously. it was probably sometime last year, in november, when i was in new york. i always try to drop by the icp by village vanguard and catch a flick before jazz show at the vanguard. creature of habit.
the first one was the latest harry potter movie. now, i have heard many complains about the quality of this particular adaptation. however, barely remembering what was actually was on the book, i still found it quite entertaining. not profound or anything, entertaining. i mean. even the book series itself, it is not what i would call it masterworks, but of mastercraftmanship. it has all the elements of interests (good vs. evil, process of growing up, the ambiguity of decision making process, human emotions etc) and most importantly (for me anyways), it got many people interested in books! reading! what a bloody marvelous concept!
sarcasm aside. there is a reason why monkey went to see it in the theater, easy: it's a big theater movie. can one imagine how impressive it would be if.. well, if any of the spectacular CG effect scenes were on 10.2''screen with a crap built-in speakers (just look at the size of it... it's tiny. there is no way any sound of decent quality is gonna come out from it). so that was that. and it was entertaining.
second movie, however, was a different experience all together. hurt locker: it was about bomb removal unit in iraq. i have zero sympathy for military members in general, especially if they are from the countries which recruits volunteers rather than conscribes. you sign up to become a soldier. a soldier is a tool of a war. does not matter if you play in military band or cook for your fellow men, or even just maintain civil ordinance. the premise of becoming a soldier is to win the war, which involves casualties. you will be killed or you will kill. either way. no half ways about it.; no wonder that the us govt pays so well for what seems to be an easy gig- until you are actually sent somewhere. like iraq.
it involves this main bomb removal tech man, who is reckless in all things- except when he is de-fusing the bombs. i dont want to spoil the plot, but there isnt much plot really. his job is to show up to a site, find then dismantle the bomb. simple. day after day. his rather cavalier mannerism does get on his crews' nerves. and that's the whole movie. wanting to survive. wanting to take a safer way out (ie. evac then detonate) vs. dismantling the bomb properly. and the main character, a properly damaged man, does not have any other choice but to keep going back tot he bomb site, as he is no longer able to sense the world as an average person would- average, as me, you, whoever. seeing so much things in such short time (for instance, if you were 300 years old, perhaps the vigor and violent hunger of war wont be such a shock), so closely (it's interesting that people will often care more about some cat trapped in empty drain pipes than some numbers of dead soldier casualties in the iraq war), one has no choice but to be... conditioned.
conditioned for what? to become an addict of a sort. when one is properly addicted to something- whatever it may be, substance or a situations, emotions, etc., nothing else matters. for someone who is looking for that 'hit,' it is impossible to find a substitution. there is no substitution. only replacements. that's why the whole idea of addiction is deadly.
this was not my pick but my matey PO's. he wanted to see it and i just agreed- as it seemed interesting enough. however, i walked out that theater with a profound sense of disturbance. stomach in a knot. eww. now. that was a proper movie. i always find it surprising- just visual and aural. and the passage of time. some directors can mold an entire world inside of- well, span of may be maximum 3 hours. and i left with a significant dent on my guts.
so ya. there's monkey's two nights caged in movie theater. but at least none was wasted, which is a rarety in the usual hollywood-bogged toronto theaters. so i remain happy for the experience but also wonders when my next visit's going to be..