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The Prestige (2006)
Tesla - Have you watched him closely?
The film is brilliant, but its brilliance is also it's greatest downfall. It's a film for the awakened, but a sleeping pill for the already sleepy. To appreciate the film is to already be aware of certain facts, or to have faith in certain schools of thought, primarily the possibility of time travel.
Tesla was a genius. A scientific prophet maybe. He claimed that concepts for many of his inventions simply appeared to him in his mind's eye or in a dream. A long explanation of Tesla's life could be made by somebody with sufficient knowledge, which I don't have. But I do have faith - that he was a man who knew things that have changed and will continue to change the world and the way that we think.
The film is a truth puzzle. To understand the film, is to understand that there are concepts and ideas that have been repressed from us, to be free from the fear of uncertainty, and to embrace the vast pool of possibility and discovery that is humanity's gift. The film addresses the two polar characteristics of man - his ability to be logical, and his ability to be emotional - and merges them into a mutually exclusive relationship. That is, one cannot exist without the other.
For those who are at odds with the film - the prestige of our lives is the discovery of truth, and I encourage those who wish to understand it's message. Hell, it's worth it. I love this film, and the passion put into it by the actors and other artists. It defines the age we live in, and is an elaborate and magnificent portrait of our collective soul in this modern age.
Insights from a master
This film is truly a treasure for all students of acting. Oshea Jackson enlightens us with his perspective of the acting process in true Cubesque style. Much can be said about the nature of genius, in this instance however, it is no overstatement to apply the term. Spike Jonze once again shows us why he is one of America's premier directors and a revolutionist in the art. After the cinematic tour De force of Being John Malkovich, one could have suspected that Jonze would struggle to top himself. Well it can safely be said that the spirit and vibrancy demonstrated in the director's first feature has organically permeated into his work as a documentarian. Throughout the film, Jackson invites us on a journey into his mind which cradles an encyclopedic knowledge of the acting profession. He demonstrates an uncanny ability to move and manipulate his eyebrows, utilizing them as an emotive device, and juxtaposes the delicacy of an art form with the vulgarity of profane language to great effect. A must for anybody who takes the craft of acting seriously, and a landmark film in Spike Jonze's career as a hard hitting documentarian. A delight!
Donnie Darko (2001)
The porthole opens right before the moment of Donnie's death.
Frank knows this, and gives Donnie the opportunity to experience a tangential existence in which Donnie escapes death. Inevitably, Donnie realizes that a universe in which fate is denied is doomed.
When the porthole closes, on the date specified by Frank, Donnie has the choice of whether or not to live in this tangential existence. For him, the choice is either, watching everything around him crumble, or leaving before the porthole closes then dying. It's live and be alone, or die and face the unknown.
I guess the movie has no real meaning, rather, just plays with unproved scientific and philosophical ideas.
Frank possibly is God, who for unknown reasons chooses Donnie for this experience.
The film may also be suggesting things about the nature of death, and that possibly, before any of us die, we are shown a 'truth' which allows us to know that the life we have lead is both meaningful and meaningless, and that we are part of an organic process that allows to just 'be'in the moment of death.