Written by Ibby
Ibby here, allow me to nab 5 to 10 minutes (depending on how quick a reader you are) of your time and take you into an interesting pocket genre of film. I’ll be doing this once every 2 weeks, taking a couple of films and looking into them, maybe coming away with a thing or two.
Are we free?
Is it indeed true that each of us are the masters of our own fate? That the system around us has been facilitated in order to give us opportunity to explore our potentials? Or, was the wool pulled over our eyes from the very day we were born?
Films thrive on pushing our buttons, on forcing us out of our comfort zones and into much deeper waters of thought. None more so than those that implore us to question the very nature of the world around us.
The Truman Show (1998)
This film is such a favourite of mine. A film about a man who’s life is at centre stage for all to watch. I often feel the starting credits should feature a disclaimer warning that anyone suffering from any forms of paranoia, however mild, should reframe from watching. Directed by Mr. Peter Weir, ‘The Truman Show’ explores the nature of human relations and questions their integrity. It has a running gimmick which it employs throughout to push our buttons the way it does. It plays on our self centred natures as human beings, on our ever delusional notions that the world revolves around us, but is to think that really so delusional? Technically and physically yes, it would be slightly mental to suggest that the world is subject to your personal gravitational pull. However, unsurprisingly and practically speaking, the world unfolds itself to us through our eyes and we see the world at large through a continuous stream of personal experiences. So in a sense we’re always at the centre of our own “worlds” so to speak.
The Matrix (1991)
A phenomenal film about how we as humans are entrapped within a system that we do not know exists, it’s another one of those films that really does need a disclaimer, a film that for all intents and purposes pushes our buttons, it throws us un-apologetically into a universe of rational irrationality that leaves you genuinely at a loss as to what to believe. It’s sinister, we’ve become the slaves of machines, ‘The Matrix’ may be slightly over-pronounced in drama but are we not indeed highly dependent in many aspects of our lives on a clever combination of wires and electricity? Is it not true that without them life would be far more difficult? In fact it would be more than fair to say that many aspects of society as we know it would simply seize to exist.
Looking beyond the obvious:
I suppose the question that these two films want us to ask is how we define the idea of personal freedom. Is it the idea of complete independence from everyone and everything? Surely not, we all need people to populate our lives, people to depend on and build lasting relationships with, we all need things, possessions but the question is; have we overdone it? Become overly dependent on society? Become overly materialistic? Overly mechanical? I’m quite weary of talk regarding spirituality and the idea of the soul; it’s far too easy to sound preachy. That being said, when someone asks me what it is to be ‘free’ I don’t find myself thinking about breaking from the ‘shackles of society’, ‘freeing the mind’ and other such clichés. Rather, I see it as a juggling act between pursuing the tangible things that we want from life and having the ability to sit back at times, peep out and look around at all the other little creatures trying to make sense of it all, empathise, get perspective, be content and carry on.
What inspires you?
I’m not used to doing this but my very wonderful (no sarcasm) editor insisted that I suggest that you get interactive, tell us about the movies that inspire your thoughts, what you’d like to read about in the future, like, comment, rate, and all the rest of it. You really don’t have to if you don’t want to and if you thought it was all a load of poo then that’s also more than fine!