Sunday, July 5, 2009

Unleashing the Beast

One of those nights where the dreams are powerful and you wake up brimming with new ideas.
I had just had the most fruitful creative sessions I've had in a long, long time and I wasn't even awake for it.

Had a dream that Parminder from Films Rajendraa (she's the one who stole my film to get a seat in the Osian's Cinefan workshop) was presenting a film somewhere. As the film started playing, I realised it was brilliant. It was a film of photographic stills and collages that came together beautifully and had this quietude to it, the kind of deep, internal calm one feels when one witnesses the sun set over the beach...I can't tell you how wonderful this film was.

But before I could seethe with jealousy, I realised this was a dream and that it was, in fact, me who was creating the film. Unfortunately, as soon as I realised this, I woke up and promptly forgot everything about the film except the way it had made me feel.

As I sit here, upturning the junk in the garage that is my TV-addled brain, I'm struck by the fact that it is capable of extremely subtle thought that I've never given it credit for. I spend most of my time lamenting the fact that while I have good ideas (or germs for ideas), I lack the skill to develop them into whole and complete works. That I lack the ability to fill in the details with any kind of maturity. With last night's dream, I realise that I'm wrong. But for the life of me, I have no idea how to unlock the skills.

That is why I keep returning to 'The Hours' - the film more than the book. Each time I see it, I marvel at David Hare's ability to translate existential dilemmas as internal and ephemeral as a woman's struggle to reconcile her place in a world where she just doesn't fit - a feeling that even she can't articulate. Hare doesn't fall back on the luxury of long, explanatory monologues to explain what's going on inside these women. After all, if they can't explain themselves, how can the screenwriter? Yet, he does it - many times wordlessly - avoiding the typical filmmaking cliches of long silences and even longer close-up stays on the 'tortured' soul's visage. He creates the dark turmoil through moments (which is what the 'Hours' signify anyway) - when Kitty comes to visit Julianne Moore's character, when Clarissa seems to 'unravel', when Virginia and her young niece give the dead sparrow a funeral. These are gems of celluloid moments as far as I'm concerned and when they're woven together as masterfully as Hare and Daldry do, it becomes more than a movie. It becomes a song that resonates in the innermost chambers of my being.

So, well, there's no use whining about it. I don't live in my dreams (well, I do, but that's a whole other discussion) and I definitely can't summon up creative genius at will - in my dreams or otherwise.

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