Jeremy Renner fades to the background, at least at first, until his role in the drama is evident. If you guessed right away that the two get together, congrats. It’s not obvious and it’s not romantic. It’s always about Hannah.
The actor acknowledged that it’s Adams’ movie. And it’s a great performance.
I love that the spaceship in Arrival looks like a guitar pick that bulges.
When to cut. In a recent scene, I realized how much control the screenwriter has in the visual storytelling by stating actions. He opened one envelope, in the scene, and I would have shown him opening more. The unread letters meant more to describe his guilt in not guiding her. She asked for help and she died.
Grantchester, season two, episode one.
Not all narrators are reliable, apparently, not that I knew that when I read most of the books in my life. Some do not tell the truth.
How do I tell? Some keys, or combination of keys, convinces us.
How then to accomplish that in visual media? Don’t we assume that the memory we see is genuine, and not just the remember’s? What cues?
If a cop comes to your door and insists you come to headquarters or whatever would you trust him and go into custody? Not knowing if you were ever going to be free?
Character is programmed to have awareness for only one waking cycle. Goes to sleep and wakes up tomorrow blank. Would have to leave notes to help himself relearn each day.
The casting and characterization is racist, in the end. We create people and imagine what they do and sometimes fuck up.
We’re in a civil war that could have been resolved centuries ago if certain people had done different things. What would have happened if the thirteen colonies could not agree on slavery? That was a tough sell, even in the 1770’s, but clearly the south won. Many of our early Americans, the big ones, were Virginians. They succeeded in forestalling the debate that they were certain would be solved by a future generation. They were wrong.
“I’d like you to show me how you’re going to make me free my slaves.”
That’s basically all it’s ever been.
It’s a game, or at least an assignment. Hooded beings convince us that they can rend time and drop us into any era, any generation and locale. Bethlehem at the time of Christ’s birth, which is likely apocryphal. We can rend time so that only a moment will pass in your actual lifetime. You are dropped into a life in that era and you will live a life. But only moments pass in your real life. But then, what is real?;
What would it take before the traveler breaks whatever bargain and changes that era. It’s that what we do anyway?
Working for vacation. A job you may or may not hate but pays well so you can spend a month in Bali every year.
Those paid the least, nurses and teachers, cops and firemen, are the ones most deserving.
No one who works full time should be homeless. Veterans must not live in tents under bridges.
We’ve reached the point where only an extralegal event can resolve these issues. Government has basically failed us in numerous ways and Economy is only concerned with profit.
An unheard of Council of Presidents, men who’ve been selected to the highest office in the world, convened to close debate on Trump once and forever.
How many are there? Five? Carter, Bushes I and II, Clinton and Obama. Would you trust their judgement? I would.
Enjoying Tubular Bells and pondering the phase of solo creators who first fully exploited studio technology to create notable works with multiple dubs and almost no musicians in attendance, other than the principal.
Mike Oldfield weaves a magical blend of melodies and instruments that mix into pure joy.
Larry Fast did something not quite so ambitious with Synergy and Steve Winwood would follow with his reboot series.
Skip Spence rented studio space and expurgated dozens of tracks, all unique and touching, then simply slipped away into insanity, never to record again. The resulting work is profoundly raw and in so doing touching. Very personal, as if he had to get a few things of his mind before relenting to his demons, akin to Van Gogh.
We’re visited by a god tuned to our personal perception of god and we do whatever he tells us to do. Either that or we’re conversing with a mirage, and it’s a dissociative experience.
What if a producer shopped out a screenplay to three different crews, each turning in a unique portion of their assigned acts?
How is it the guy always catches his hat when it’s tossed? Or do they swap hats?
There’s only one who intervenes, on demand, and decides for us. And then they leave until next conjured. This someone, who everybody trusts and whose decisions are strictly followed, then judges problems we can’t come to agreement on.
John Glenn’s speed.
I have no problem with the pursuit by some to have unimaginable amounts of money but I do have a problem with those same few buying Congress to create laws to make themselves richer.
Earth is spinning through space. Let’s hit “Pause.” If we wanted to feed everyone, and I mean everyone, one meal during that pause, is it possible? If so, how much would it cost?
Those are the two most important questions we’ll ever be asked.
Everyone is my equal. Carried to infinity.
Defenders introduced a role I’d not seen during my formative comic book days: the healer.
Rosario Dawson fits the bill nicely. There were mad scientists but they didn’t patch anyone up and send ‘me back into battle.
Perhaps because they became truly vulnerable and the story calls for a healer.
In the end, life or death comes down to resources. He’s dying of thirst, they’re starving, the machine ran out of fuel. In the 21st Century, we have abundance in most of these resources, but we either waste them (swimming pools in the desert), can’t get them from A to B, or the technology is not there yet.
There’s more than enough
I learned that creativity was largely happenstance. You listened to the muse, spoke from your heart, or received divine insight. Don’t think about it too much.
Juxtapose that with reality: lots and lots of editing. But as a photographer, and generally visually oriented, I thrive on the moment’s capture. That fleeting moment that only I saw. Or only I photographed.
Analysis of Moonrise over Hernandez
Henri Cartier-Bresson once sailed across the Atlantic without taking a picture. Master photographer, but he saw nothing remarkable. Prime examples of his work could only have been shot by him, in a split second.
How to write like that? Blogposts, columns, short stories/films. That seems to be where I’m suited, at least for now.
What’s the origin? Did someone do all this or was it created by no one? Seems a straightforward question but it defines the dynamic.
If I have someone to thank or blame for everything, I have zero control. “It’s God’s will,” vanquishes all hope. If the jerk ahead of me in line at Target takes too long, it’s god’s will again. I get mad, it’s someone else’s fault.
If I do blame myself, how then to deal with the resultant trauma? “I fucked up,” can go a long way, from death to rejuvenation. If I credit myself, I can be either saint or despot.
If I live in a world not created by someone, simply exists, all blame is internalized (I fucked up, guilt) or anthropomorphized (fucking traffic, rage). As I discern this cosmos, am I empowered or am I made inconsequential?
Do I take solace from this awareness, that I’m beyond microscopic, inconceivably minuscule, or despair? Can I share my cosmos with others?
Heptapods go into our past to save their future, while Louise goes into her future to save mankind’s, and the Heptapods, futures.
Hannah is Louise’s reward.
They’ve found a way to remove short term memory via a drug. Mankind lives day-by-day, never knowing a past or future. Have we found nirvana? Isn’t that what Buddhism teaches? Living in the moment.
The presence of an unarmed woman is the highest evidence of a civilized society. If she feels safe, society is civilized, because she is safe. No one would harm her, even if they were more powerful.
Force does not equal strength but rather weakness. If you have to hurt me, you’ve lost.
I drift through my brain like a spirit, watching as sounds, words and sights trigger flashes as the neurons fire, different places for different inputs.
Music flashes one, a conversation another. I feel as one with my brain, as we dance with the universe.
The brain is always active, flashing continually, but this intensifies as context changes from stimuli to stimuli.
An old friend’s death, the song of a bird, the tears of my children. Anger, despair, longing, ecstasy, insight.
Is he there? Is the bird here? Where is my mother? I see her and know she’s with me but I can’t find her.
Time collapses and distorts. Is this memory or prescience? Now, then or soon?
The ideal is peace, a peace that saves all of our children, not just the ones with status.
I shed my skin periodically, dropping a facade, in exchange for something newer, fresher.
A small child is welcomed, grows and then dies as a young adult. If the mother had known that she would outlive her child would she still have conceived her?
That’s the basic story but told so deeply, movingly. The mother can see into the future and knows the child’s life will be brief but has her anyway.
A European film approaches the audience in a different way, with clever audio cues and subtle balances and harmonies, some only grasped after multiple viewings.
The sound, music, photography and pacing lull us into a soft place to spend a few hours experiencing first contact in its best context: they mean us no harm, rather benefit. What more could one ask?
The heptapods are wonderful, rich characters, one of which sacrifices themselves to advance our society. If only we knew what they were saying…
Dr Louise Banks gets the written form of language they use, coming to her vision-like. Not only can she see the future, she can shape it as well.
And yet knowing the future, she does not change it. And when she changes the present, she’s helped by herself in the future. Changing future and past, that’s an accomplishment.