{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Lynch and von Trier

Last month, I saw two movies, One by David Lynch and second was by Lars von Trier, my first experience of both of them and it opened new gates of cinema that is brutally harsh but unique.

David Lynch is a master of lynching the audience. You may feel anything but good after seeing a 'Lyncher'. You enter his world but you are not allowed to leave it at will. Some of it stays with you, his movies can best be described as 'necessary evil'. They are necessary as a bitter medicine and are evil for all other reasons. You don't become fan of this guy but his movie stay with you like some distorted painting, which you will like to erase but it is not easy getting out of it. I will not recommend a Lyncher to anyone as most of you may abhor it for obvious reasons. For me also, I am not planning to see any of his films, one in a month looks an overdose to me. All this is not to scare you but to warn you, Mulholland Drive is surrealism at its fullest, and it may be too much for some of us. But the interesting thing about it is that the look and feel of the movie is not at all bland or depressive, it has rich style, hue and colors, pretty faces but all is distorted with precision till you cannot see any prettiness what so ever. Mulholland drive is not a horror film but it horrifies you. It was my first Lynch movie which made me think all this but they say its his style. One more thing if you attempt to get the film you are starting with no hope, Mulholland Drive is loopy and any attempt to fully understand it as a linear movie is sure to fail, what you take away from this movie is unique and bitter-sweet fuzziness. How can ringing of a phone sound so different, what is a volte-face, what if you were what you wanted to be not what you are or vice versa, what if dreams were real and reality were dreams, how can red color be so horrifying, ask David lynch about these questions because you will be having them once you dare to watch Mulholland drive.

Lars von Trier is another one of this lot of filmmakers who don't try to pretty up the picture. All the things are done to their raw details so that they hit you deep somewhere. In Breaking the waves, he breaks every rule in the book associated with the basic emotions of love, faith, sacrifice and redemption. Breaking the waves is an anti-rule, anti-religious, anti-society testimonial about love, faith and sacrifice in their naked rawness. Breaking the waves is endearing if you 'somehow' believe in what is shown, if the 'stupidity' of Bess looks real to you, if the demands or desires of Jan look unselfish and true, if you like to see love that is anything but lovely, if faith and sacrifice can make you believe that love can take a course that Bess took. All these things are hard to see and harder to believe but von Trier makes you watch it and believe that love is love in whatever raw form it must exist. Breaking the waves could have been reduced to a 'stupid faith' movie but it is not so. Its an unsettling yet interesting journey of Bess from love to faith to sacrifice.

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