Friday, November 11, 2016

Interplanetary Poetry Slam

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
petals on a wet black bough.

If you're watching a movie and you get Ezra Pound stuck in your head then you are watching the right kind of movie, my friends. And Denis Villeneuve's Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner and out in theaters today, is the right kind of movie. Filled with painterly images of fog and sunrise and strange smoky circles hanging in the air - filled with Amy Adams staring upwards, awe-struck and lovely, a conduit for smarts and understanding and as ever, decency and empathy.

What a movie to watch this week. Filled with a soul-deep admiration for intelligent life-forms the universe over, for love and acceptance and common ground. For making sense of time itself - we are in these moments, these seconds, immemorial, and no matter what horrors might come our way we must maintain humanity and love and we must reach out towards one another, and we must cherish what we do have while we do have it.

I have said "I love you" to the people I love in my life so many times this week, and had it said in return. We are scared. There is a great big terrifying strangeness hovering over the world, and it is unknowable right this minute. But communication, which is Arrival's main currency, is key. We must listen to each other, hear each other. We must make our voices heard. We must put in the work, the hard, long work - it is not easy but it could save us, all on its own. Sometimes a kangaroo isn't just a kangaroo - sometimes it's the infinite unknown; sometimes it's your next door neighbor.

There's so much apocalyptic doom and gloom in our science fiction - and in our real world, for sure! - that Arrival's slow steady and beautiful embrace of possibility, up and over and right through hardness, how ever fantastical it may eventually truly be, well it was inspiring anyway. It speaks to this moment in ways it maybe didn't speak to this moment one week ago. But if you can put the work in and decipher its symbols, it is a message of hope. Damaged and dinged up, wet and difficult, but stirring, rousing, affecting. 

Also hypnotic and strange and beautiful - have I said beautiful fifteen times yet? Because it deserves that word no fewer than that many. I kept thinking that this is what Interstellar could have been if Christopher Nolan actually had ideas and not just plot points - if he actually had dreams and not schematics. But we don't need him because we have Denis Villeneuve now. He will show us the way.
A photo posted by Jason Adams (@jasonaadams) on


1 comment:

Aquinas1220 said...

Great review... but I was immediately distracted by that pic of Jeremy Renner in those tailored pants