Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Recommended Watching For On The Other Side Of The Eye

To say cinema has an influence on On The Other Side Of The Eye would be an extreme understatement. To list all of the films that are alluded to or inform On The Other Side Of The Eye would take volumes.

To keep it manageable, here's a short list of films and some clips scattered around youtube that will speak to some of what we're going on about.

Ridley Scott's Blade Runner: Blade Runner will get a whole separate and long-overdue post in itself in a matter of days, especially with the release of the Final Cut on December 18th.

But for the purposes of understanding its relationship to On The Other Side Of The Eye I would suggest considering:
  • The concepts of Cityspeak, the amalgam of global languages that has become commonplace in the future of Blade Runner.
  • Director Ridley Scott's technique of layering to near obsessive detail that leaves something new for you to discover every time you watch it.
  • Themes of memory, dreams, love, the environment and the pursuit of 'a chance to begin again' that ultimately boils down to a search, not necessarily for immortality but just "more" life.
  • Themes of vision, displacement and juxtaposition.
  • Ideas of retrofitting, attaching the new to the old.

And many more.

From a craft point of view there are problems with Blade Runner's script and logic but these are easily, easily overlooked against the greater poetry presented before us. But as I said, a longer post will emerge soon enough on Blade Runner. Let's take a look at a few others.

Akira Kurosawa's Dreams. Like Don Quixote, Akira Kurosawa's Dreams is a film that should be watched and seen at many points in your life because like all truly great art it changes for the audience as they grow older. And to be honest, I love all of the dreams in this film.

But I also find something truly maginifcent in his "Village of the Watermills," that as an audience member reminds me how good it is it to be alive, and as an artist how we can speak of important things simply and in a way that gives hope.

Kurosawa's Rashomon is also an importance influence due to issues of perepective and multiple vantage points and a concern with the truth:

Peter Greenaway's loving tribute to William Shakespeare, Prospero's Books, with Sir John Gielgud is also a strong influence, a love letter not only to the Bard, but to all literature and the truly magical things of the world- hope, love, family, dreams, art. Maddeningly difficult to find for years on DVD, it seems it will soon be available for us all to see in its full glory.

Godzilla films naturally also have their say within the text of On The Other Side Of The Eye. I'll be writing at particular length on the impact and themes I find interesting in the series and the genre later on this month as well.

Heretical as it may sound, I'll throw in a nod to Tim Burton's Mars Attacks!:

We'll discuss a few more influnces in the coming months ahead, both the serious and the guilty pleasures.

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