Escapism, this is what cinema has always been about, taking a break out of “thinking” giving time for the brain to slow down, relax into the chair and be transported into a world that belongs to someone else. One that can leave us inspired, but nonetheless one that we don’t have to take responsibility for. That world can be anywhere, according to the individual tastes of the viewer, but it will weave a story as we sit and listen to the streams of dialogue flowing from the characters mouths. Words, both positive and negative, uplifting and depressing, loud, whispering, gentle or harsh, they are part of our everyday experience, without the spoken word it would be extremely difficult to function.
In film its different, it is for me anyway, It is what “I see” that uplifts me, the visual narrative that elevates me, wide breathtaking panoramas, to the tiniest costume or set detail, a riot of colour, all combined with the magic of music and I am transported to dizzy pulsating heights or plunged into the deep recesses of my soul. Who knows why this is my experience? Was it because my mother, an avid cinemagoer all her life, took me to see Walt Disney’s `’Fantasia” as a very small child, was it the memories of the beautiful spring sprite, butterflies woven into her long hair as she magically swoops and glides around the snowy forest bringing tress to life, birthing magnificent blossoms and the loving closeness she shared with the elk, all set to the sound of Stravinsky’s Firebird, or the dance of the inscrutable red capped mushroom, or the delightful images of the Pegasus’ family flying through the sky………… No words, just moving images, colour, expression and the emotive notes of the music, these images and the emotions evoked all those years ago have never left me
Perhaps this is why I am interior designer? I see with colour, hear with colour and texture, scale and proportion, this is my narrative and I design in my studio to music! The music lifts everything to another dimension, its as if the chords in the music, major or minor talks to something deep within me, instills within a far deeper movement, moving me to the extreme polarities of Joy and sadness.
Strange how the silent movie is making a presence again? Hugo and the The Artist recontextualised for this modern age, utilising new technology is the silent movie set to become a new genre for the 21st Century? Guess its not that strange really when you think about it. With the constant bombardment of noise in our lives, the ever increasing amount of sound bytes thrown at us from all directions and of course our growing addiction to obtaining knowledge through the internet, social media and the like, the ease of acquiring knowledge fills our heads with so much “stuff”, especially now that a lot of the words we hear and read are fear driven, there comes a point when something needs to change, we perhaps are drawn to something that touches us in a different way. All of this combined with the growing “separation” that is slowly creeping in, the disconnection from our inner world with the community seems to breeding a new generation that doesn’t really need to leave their homes or interact in any meaningful way, we can now work remotely, shop remotely, make friendships remotely and even have sex remotely………….. Its very heartening to read that the two “almost” silent movies have been runaway successes.
Viewing a movie without “spoken word” is going to enlist a lot more from the viewer, a closer connection to the film itself. Our intuitive processes will be ignited into action, and instead of the screenwriters words engaging our brains and thinking mind into his own personal views, the images and sound will be working on a deeper level, our hearts will be engaging, interpreting what we see and hear creating a completely different experience from the cinema we have grown accustomed to in this modern age. We can sit back and have a new experience, although for me this has always been my experience, pure visual excitement.
The following clip from Fantasia never ceases to move me, the music is Stravinsky’s Firebird. As I have reached more mature years I can see the symbology in this piece and now more than ever we need a “death” in the world to bring about change, our planet is suffering through our own hands, the firebird is here already………… however this is another story for another day. Please enjoy the clip, it is 9mins long but so beautiful in every way