So I’m going through as many of his films as I can…right now watching La Jetée and it’s phenomenal in its minimalism and it’s very interesting, philosophical approach to time travel itself. What a fascinating movie.
Right before I found out about his death I was trolling through Netflix looking for something to watch. I kept giving movies here and there different tries, different approaches, trying to find something recent and good and interesting. I’d already watched alot of the movies I was interested in for awhile, but the more I wander and look the more I see a pattern. More and more grasping for high concept, more and more drilling things down to simple, cardboard premises. More and more movies rely on plots that are just bare structures, characters that don’t exist except to say the same basic things all characters in all movies say at the same points in all plots.
And just watching La Jetée is like a breath of fresh air.*
Why have we done this? Not just with movies. Why have we let our culture become so simplified, so bare bones, so cheesy and cliche and repetitive? Books and movies and music…it’s like everything is boiled down to the simplest common denominator, to appeal to the largest crowd of people…
Too many people see dollar signs when they’re making things these days that we want people to buy, and it seems that is the only way we give value to anything these days, is how many people will slap down bills to take a part in it. Money is all that matters. I hear writers and others all saying the same thing…money is what gives you value, money is what gives your work strength and purpose.
Side note: one of the things I love about this movie is how it circles around returning to childhood, a way of seeking a shelter in the innocence of the past…and not being able to do it.
*and 12 Monkeys, which is based on this, is shallow and plot pounding explosive and thriller laced compared to the quiet melancholy, the feeling of loss that this movie gives you