Dennis Gansel: “Die Welle” (2008)

May 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm (Random thoughts)

I really enjoyed watching this film. After the first ten minutes I couldn’t help asking myself: If the “abominable political regime” called communism would be implemented again in Romania, having in mind that the population is now aware of its flaws and its long-term tragic consequences (heck, they witnessed them firsthand), would people even realise that/what it’s being implemented? The answer is, of course, no. This film explains exactly why: because 25 years ago, when communism was abolished, we actually treated the symptom, not the cause of the society’s real infection. The problem is still there, latent, waiting to explode.  But identifying the issues of society was not what I had in mind when I started writing this post.

There was something in this film that I didn’t agree with, and to be more specific, its end. Actually I was completely shocked when I saw that a man who dared to break the silence and prove the fact that there was indeed something wrong with us all was eventually imprisoned. I mean, he was charged with what? With showing to some people that they have no ability to analyse a situation and to make a decision on their own? After all, Herr Wegner didn’t kill that student; he didn’t even suggest him to commit suicide, he never forced anyone to do anything, and what’s even more ironic, his lecture was optional…. Rainer Wegner’s imprisonment at the end of this film was the ultimate proof that no one learned anything from this experiment.

Some say that the film is “unrealistic” because everything happened too fast and was too extreme – the action takes place during a week. I reckon that the week in question is merely a symbol, and I tend to perceive the days of the week (clearly delimited in the film) as the end of a stage and the beginning of another within the whole process of implementation of ‘dictatorship’.

Another subtlety was contained in the scene where the students chose the name of their group. There was a brainstorming where only the ideas of those abiding by the rules of the group have been taken into consideration. At a certain point, Karo came up with the name “die Veränderers (eng. those who change)” and everybody else in that room rejected her idea. Pretty reluctant to the idea of change, I’d say.

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How a writer died.

May 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm (From beyond reality)

I came back to tell another story. This time the story is about another story, the kind of story that everyone carries through their live, the kind of story that is being written every day, the kind of story that someone will perhaps read after it’s done. So, once upon a time there was a writer who naturally used to compose novels, sci-fi mostly, and he was pretty good at it; not only that his stories really used to make sense, but they were also captivating and people enjoyed reading them. However, exploring his inborn talent took the writer a lot of time, it actually consumed roughly all of his spare time. The immediate consequence was obviously a defective social life, for he didn’t have time to be a nice person, even though deep down inside he craved for socialisation and the comforting feeling of fitting in a group. After all, it’s natural to feel like that, human nature demanding to be respected. So he started to tell people stories instead of writing them down. Unfortunately, the result was not an increase in popularity among his peers. They labelled him as being a lunatic. In the end he ceased making up any story, thinking that people have no need to learn about anything that he can tell and not enough good will to listen to another person getting off their chest. This is how our writer died.

The question is: whose fault was it?

The story’s fault, because it made people feel bad about themselves;

The writer’s fault, because he chose to tell his stories in a wrong way;

People’s fault, because a story cannot behave for itself.

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”I love you!”so much

January 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Random thoughts)

Is it that important to say “I love you”? There are relationships that actually rely on the perpetual utterance of these words. But when you think it through, you realise that if you say it too often, that is, in moments where you don’t really feel overwhelmed by this feeling, it becomes nothing but a mechanical habit. So why spoil it?

There are people who believe that if their significant other doesn’t say those three words several times a day, then his/her feeling is not for real. But we already know that words are not the only way to express thoughts and feelings. Sometimes non verbal communication conveys more information than the words alone; not to mention the fact that body language cannot lie. 🙂 So if you feel passion in your beloved one’s kiss, if you feel that when he cuddles you, he does it with enough strength to shatter you, if you see tenderness in his eyes when he’s looking at you, the linguistic expression of these gestures is redundant.  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t say “I love you” at all, but it’s better off to say it spontaneously than to say it as if you were performing a task from your to-do list.

In my opinion, as stupid as it may seem, everybody loves by means of “I love you”.  So because my love is different from other people’s love, I show it in my own way. And in my way of showing love and affection, the words “I love you” play a very insignificant part.

Oh, and the ‘measurements’ of this linguistic expression are… 🙂 (trying to stop laughing)…puerile.

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I. Bergman: “Fängelse”- (1949)

December 12, 2010 at 11:07 am (Random thoughts)

If there were a hell, what would it look like? Would it have monsters prone to hurt everyone standing in their way? Would it be founded on competition and segregation? Would there be an invisible fire fed by loneliness and godlessness, to burn our guilty conscience? Would people waste their energy in the pursuit of something over which they have no control? Would they deliberately mine for petrol through the pitch? Would it look like the world that we live in, as the Maths professor was suggesting in the beginning of the film? A world governed by greed, violence and lack of probity: Brigitta Carolina “works” as a prostitute, even though we can figure out that she’s far more intelligent than the normal requirements for this job. Then why is she doing that? The answer : she’s persuaded to do that by her own fiancé, a man for whom the purpose justifies the means to such an extent that he’s capable of participating in the killing of his own new born child because he sees in this child a menace for his financial situation. (The only income of this ‘family’ was ensured by Brigitta Carolina’s job). And as if this weren’t enough, the person committing this murder is actually Brigitta’s sister; she compares the act of killing a newborn to that of drowning a kitten. Moreover, Brigitta Carolina eventually gives her consent for this murder.  What can possibly be worse than that?

Do you think that Brigitta Carolina is a martyr? Some might be inclined to believe that she is enduring those cruelties in the name of love but she’s actually wandering hopelessly, crumbled and wept away, knowing that this world has nothing left to offer her. This explains her choice to return to her old life and home (her ex-fiancé and the woman who killed her baby), although she loved Thomas and the feeling was mutual. Can a martyr be a martyr without hoping?

The film is not a cliffhanger; in fact it has a predictable end: Brigitta Carolina’s spiritual cancer finally kills her, in the climax of the atonement for her sins.

One last point: what would Freud or Jung say about Brigitta Carolina’s dream? 😉

 

To the memory of Brigitta Carolina:

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We can be aliens

December 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm (Random thoughts)

Well not proper aliens, but more like the alleged alien from K-Pax. At first I thought that Prot was a schizophrenic, but actually he was nothing more than a person with a higher level of enlightenment of the spirit than the average. It’s funny how sometimes the two come to be confounded, isn’t it?

Coming back to the term ‘alien’, in my opinion, its meaning was restricted in this film to a superior state of the spirit that is able to cure and to change things for the better. In other words, when your mind would be strong enough to identify the problem and to realise that it can also solve it, then you’ll figure out that a doctor, however good he may be, cannot do the job better than yourself.  “All beings have the capacity to cure themselves.” But we kind of seem to have forgotten it and prefer to put our blind trust into a person whose only advantage is to have read a bunch of theory and performed some exercise to see how it works in practice; a person called ‘doctor’. See, what people don’t understand is that a doctor does not cure you; he only shows you how to cure yourself.

Another interesting idea in this film is the questioning of some principles that we take for granted. An example of the kind would be the so-called policy ‘an eye for an eye’, which happens to be the principle on which our society was founded and which according to Prot ‘is known throughout the universe for its stupidity.’ This makes anarchy, which is in fact a pretty nice regime, unsuitable for the human community because people are still scared of the absence of laws, instead of that stupid duo – reward & punishment – that unfortunately has deep roots in their minds.

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Footrace from the pavement

November 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm (From reality)

So today, November 13, was the ‘Footrace November 15’ competition in Brasov, following the same route that the workers from Brasov took on November 15, 1987 with the occasion of the anti-communist revolt. Since I was a lazy student and didn’t take the trouble to enrol in any sporting activity, I decided to fill my sports attendance paper by participating in this event (the participation in this footrace assured me the exact number of attendances I needed for passing the Sports exam).

All in all, it was a pleasant experience, even though after the first 2 kilometres (out of the whole distance of 5 km) I gave up and alternated running with the simple walk. In the end I had to be satisfied with the 334th position (out of around 550 candidates), which in my humble opinion it’s decent result for an amateur, considering the fact that I was competing against professional athletes. The other surprise was the perfect organisation of this event: the whole traffic has been closed in the entire town during the race, although it took place on a short distance that would have needed the cancellation of only a few buses, there were enough t-shirts for everyone, the police and the ambulances were scattered along the entire route, making sure that everything was going fine, and last but not least the amateurs were treated with the same respect as the professionals.

There was only one thing that pissed me off during the footrace: the people standing like vegetables on the pavement and criticizing the people involved in the race, especially those on the middle and last positions. Some of them swore us; some others called us lazy because we are not as proficient as the professional athletes are (but you know, it’s easy to laugh at the other when you’re nothing but a piece of shit who never took the courage to accept a challenge. Those losers by default are better than you are for the simple reason that, although they never won anything and they never will, they never failed either, which means that they have never felt the sensation of being defeated, which in its turn means that they can pull the leg of those who have felt it).

However, we mustn’t forget that we (unfortunately) still dwell in Romania, a country where ‘one would rather seek for holes in the other’s statue than look at himself to see how little he is, compared to that statue’, to paraphrase Mr. Plesu.

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The Doll

November 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm (From beyond reality)

When I was a little girl, a doll pleaded with me to buy her. It was the greatest doll I’d ever seen and consequently I fell in love with her from the very first moment I held her in my arms. I never felt the necessity to change her in any way, like to create new clothes for her, modify the clothes that she already had or to make her a new haircut. Nothing to be added, nothing to be removed. She was simply perfect.

I spent my childhood playing only with that doll, and even though I used to have a few playmates back then, I was always coming back to the doll to confide all of my secrets, my passions and my doubts to her. This friendship was a bit reinforced by my introvert behaviour, I have to admit it.

One day, by accident or by design, the doll went up in flames and turned into ashes. Those ashes… they eventually spread somewhere or took other form, but seeing them on the floor was the most depressing thing a child could see. And it was not the fact that I had lost my doll that made me suffer, but those ashes who were trying to suggest me that the relationship between me and her was not only gone for vacation, but completely destroyed.

Days went by, with my pain growing less and less obvious, until everybody forgot about the whole story. Except me. The feeling of missing her was still rambling through my mind. Then people thought that it was not normal for a person not to have a doll. So they bought me one. When I first saw the new doll, I thought that it was very lovely, but when I figured out that the doll was supposed to be mine, I rejected it immediately. It’s not that the poor doll isn’t big enough to fill that void in my spirit; it just doesn’t have the jagged shape that would fit in there.

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