Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dreamleaks 5: Challenging Film

Phyllis sighed and checked the time again. Yup, as she feared, barely a minute since the last time she checked. That makes the the third time she checked in this scene alone. If she could even call this a scene.

She glanced around, and nearly everybody in the theatre was as restless as she was. Everyone except Avi, her date, who looked ready to burst into tears. She didn't want to interrupt whatever moment he was having. But five minutes later, she couldn't stand it. “What exactly is going on?” she whispered to him.

Avi just glared baack. “Don't talk during the movie,” he muttered.

Phyllis insisted she wasn't the kind of person to do something that. Normally. However, it's not like there was any dialogue to interrupt. Or action. Seriously, they'd been watching a tree grow in fast-motion for the past ten minutes now. It was a very nice tree, with certainly expensive 3D effects on the branches and whatnot. But still, just a tree.

“It' just … I don't have any idea what's going on?” she persisted. “I was into the movie at first, but then it got … weird.”

Avi was about to shush her again, but even he had noticed the whispered conversations throughout the theater. “Looks, what's not to get? This is supposed to be the world as it would be without the characters, or anyone else. It's supposed to be a serene contrast.”

It almost serened Phyllis into a nap at that point. But no! Finally, the interminable scene ended and they could go back to the actual characters … as animals. Animals dressed up like the characters from the first part of the movie, just milling about in silly characters.

“Okay, so what does THIS mean?” Phyllis asked, just as the movie theater's staff burst in as a massive swarm. For a moment, Phyllis panicked, certain that the ushers were going to throw her and the other chatting viewers out. But no, instead they started to act out a dramatic battle, right between the rows of seats! This might make the slightest semblance of sense, if not for the fact that half of the staff were dressed like 1920's gangsters, and the others as giant cats.

Before Phyllis could ask, Avi beat her to it. “Obviously, this is supposed to represent the battle between authority as a form of corruption and tyranny versus the amoral freedom of primitivism. Cats versus gangsters is as blatant a metaphor as you can get!”

“Okay, fine, but what does it have to do with the movie that we're ostenably supposed to be watching?” Phyllis argued back. “And just think how much it must have cost to get costumes for every theater in the world.” She shuddered to imagine what the home version of the movie would be like. Maybe the Blueray would come with hand puppets.

Avi refused to answer. He was too entranced with the best acting a bunch of projectionists and ticket-takers could offer contrasted with the actual movie going on, which had switched from animals dressed in costumes to babies dressed in costumes. After an eternity at at least 15 more time-checks, the staff finally went away and the lights came on.

“Oh, thank God, it's finally over?” Phyllis shouted. The actually plot of the movie hadn't been resolved, or even addressed for an hour now, but she didn't care.

“What, no!” Avi admonished her. “The best part's coming up.”

Sure enough, the theater staff burst in, still adorned in their goofy costumes. But instead of acting out another scene, they came bearing pens and paper for the entire audience.

“The best part is a quiz?” Phyllis asked as she stared at the page dumped on her lap.

“It's the interactive part of the movie!” Avi explained. “It lets you reflect on the movie as it has presented itself and how your nature filtered that experience.

Now Phyllis was excited, eager to have an immediate way of venting her frustrations, until she saw the questions. “What exactly does my relationship with my mother have to do with a movie?”

“Ah, the real question is, doesn't your relationship with your mother have to do with everything you experience, INCLUDING the movie?” Avi said. After seeing his date's blank expression, he just grumbled, “I don't even know why agreed to come if you were going to be so critical. The art of cinema is meant to challenge you like this.”

“Well, I certainly didn't expect it from this movie,” Phyllis said. “I can appreciate being challenged by some weird indie film, but this is a big summer blockbuster! I can't help but feel they let their success get to their heads. I was looking forward to this movie for years, but a movie like Avengers 2 needs more superheroes fighting robots and less still images of trees and psych evalutions.”

“But,” she relented, “the puppy dressed like Iron Man was pretty adorable.”

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