A Vast Profitmaking Enterprise.
The big division in films for me is whether it nourishes me or not. We build our lives from stories, lucidly if we are lucky. Films are the bath in which we rejuvenate — some films. All other film experiences are to be taken apart for profit, to tell me why things work, so that if I cannot get life, I can better understand biology.
A film similar to this one in ambition, ‘Inland Empire’, has structure that goes over the horizon. I can trust the filmmaker with my soul, and come out the other end full of chemicals that will work on me for weeks, months. Breaks are fixed, some old becomes new.
This film instead is in the non-life-changing category. What can it tell us about things that could work? Quite a bit I think, because they have built a world that is largely about itself. The larger world is Hollywood, a quote: vast profitmaking enterprise that sells human essence to make us feel younger. Films like the Wachowskis make have to be watched as if there were intrigue being used to take something from me. All their effort is toward redirection.
This world has an innocent noir type, an accidental heroine and all else are background: clerks, protectors of property, minions. Refiners of the essence. This is a very easy dynamic to understand, making it easy to equate the Dune-inspired siblings with the filmmakers (including the financiers). And us to the girl who is whisked here and there through flashy space, never being told quite the truth, because truth doesn’t quite exist in this world.
All that said, these folks are good world builders. Actually they built several visual worlds. Each of the three aristocrats plus the bureaucracy have their own styles. Nothing is particularly novel here but it seems that more has been thought through than usual and the personalities involved all have suitably styled environments.
The one thing that impressed: the space vehicles of all organizations are build using what the designed calls floating panels, connected magnetically. The design objective was to allow form to change, but when I saw this I was imagining a deeper dynamic.
I thought of these panels as morphologically quantum entagled elements. You can see the shimmering glassy material between. Were I to invent a novel propulsive system, it may have features like this where parts are held together by quantum snapping and the tension of the unconnection and movement harnessed for power. (From the inside, everything is connected and rigid.)
Because the major advance of this society seems to be in biology, the world should have all the technology based on physics use the vocabulary of biology rather than the other way around as it is in our (current) world. That way, the genetic impetus they have harnessed for other purposes, they can use for this quantum coupling.
The wedding scene is the lushest in recent memory, and that is saying a lot. I’ll bet it sticks in that specialised vocabulary.
Posted in 2015
Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.