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Pace of a film


"Nature is a temple, where, from living pillars, confused words are sometimes allowed to escape; here man passes, through forests of symbols, which watch him with looks of recognition."

Charles Baudelaire 1821-1867

If I were to state that art imitates life, and therefore film is but a derivative of life, then 'Nature' being a 'temple' allows humans to pass through and witness the symbols that exist.  I crave for these symbols in film, and I watch each film fervently trying to identify them.  In many ways it has to do with the pace of the film that is being presented, which may indicate the amount of symbolism that is prevalent.  The faster the pace, it seems, the fewer the symbols or clues to the point perhaps where they are non existent.   Has Hollywood forgotten that humans pass through this world looking at symbols, identifying with them, relating their life to them?

I managed to watch two films this week, possibly a feat in itself, and totally different to each other, yet I couldn't help comparing the two.  I should look at like for like, but in this instance the two films begged to be put up against each other.  Iron Man 3, (2013) directed by Shane Black , and Abrir Puertas Y Ventanas, or the English translation, Back to Stay, (2011) directed by Milagros Mumenthaler are the two films.  Iron Man 3 is the seventh installation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and sequel to Iron Man (2008) and Iron Man 2, (2010) which revisits Tony Stark with Post Traumatic disorder after his confrontation with Aliens but who has Aldrich Killian, played by Guy Pearce, after him, and Back to Stay, a story about three sisters trying to cope after the death of their grandmother.

Two totally different films where the pace differs dramatically.  Obviously...Iron Man is an action film and will be fast and furious, but this here is exactly my point.  It lacks the substance that can only be derived by embracing and enjoying the symbols in life.  The film has no symbols, nuances, intricate webs that can enrich my vision of what nature has to offer.  Even though it is not that type of film, and even though it has grossed nearly a billion world wide, does it not have that responsibility to the viewer as a film?  I hate to say this, but I enjoyed Back to Stay a lot more.  It was slow, I could absorb it, feel it, drink it like a long black by the fire, and as for those symbols; there were many, but, it was the vibrating bed, once owned by the grandmother, that won me over.  Symbolically what that could mean or be interpreted as, I'll leave entirely for you to consider.

Stella Dimadis 2013


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