Monday, June 13, 2005
Mystery and movies
Barbara Nicolosi has a 4 june 2005 post up on her Church of the Masses blog that addresses the concept of mystery as an essential element in a film, along with theme and plot. In a discussion of Cinderella Man (which, a friend argues, is lacking because she doesn’t understand boxing), she concludes that one of the things she doesn’t like in Ron Howard movies is how overly resolved they are:
What’s missing in Cinderella Man, that keeps it from brilliance, is mystery. . . . Stories are supposed to acclimate us to the omnipresence of mystery as our lot in life. They are supposed to lead us to the peace that most things are too big for us, and that that is okay. . . . As C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we aren’t alone.” And this is what we get from stories too. That somebody else has encountered a particular mystery. We are all in this together. So, you don’t have to jump off a roof.
I dunno about her understanding of stories, but it’s at least a good conversation starter (hint). Interestingly, we have an 12 June 2005 interview by A. O. Scott at the NY Times with Hayao Miyazaki:
In an interview last week, on the morning before his latest movie, Howl’s Moving Castle, had its New York premiere, he spoke about the new technology with a mixture of resignation and resistance. “I’ve told the people on my CGI staff” - at Studio Ghibli, the company he founded with Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki in 1985 - “not to be accurate, not to be true. We’re making a mystery here, so make it mysterious.” That conscious sense of mystery is the core of Mr. Miyazaki’s art.