STORY BY NED LEEBRICK-STRYKER
I find that movies are best when you are still thinking about them days, weeks and years later. Yes, strong direction, action, cinematography and all that junk are important, but I’d be willing to trade that in if I can have a worthwhile conversation about a film in a coffee shop with a few friends.
Obviously, these things aren’t mutually exclusive. But something that profoundly moves me or gets me thinking is what I want from a picture.
This weekend, I watched a movie called “Snowpiercer” on Netflix. I loved it.
It reminded me of a Terry Gilliam film and a Korean action flick rolled into one.
The plot wasn’t too complicated, but it was incredibly original. A train in the not too distant future holds the very last survivors of an apocalyptic environmental event that froze Earth.
The poor, lower class lives in the back of the train and the rich live in the front. I’m sure you can imagine the political themes involved. But regardless of subtlety, it was incredibly interesting, both visually and conceptually.
The ending twist really had a lot to say about society right now in a scary way.
My friends weren’t as enthusiastic about “Snowpiercer” as I was. They thought it was silly and corny. I just thought it was intentionally surreal.
But we still talked about it for a good while. It was polarizing and fascinating. That’s why I loved it so much. There was a lot of meat on that bone and regardless of how well my friends liked it, we wanted to have a conversation about it. That’s a sign of something special.
There are a lot of movies like this. In 2011, Terrence Malick released “The Tree of Life.” It was the very definition of polarizing. I sat in the theater with my father that year, watching the amazing images the movie flashed at us.
There really wasn’t much of a plot. Just a family in Texas juxtaposed against images of prehistoric Earth and the cosmos.
My dad wasn’t incredibly amazed by it and called it pretentious. I found it incredibly beautiful.
But, still, to this day, in 2014, we talk about that movie. Not all the time, but it’ll come up and we’ll still chat about it. We’ll discuss the visuals, the themes and the ending.
It’s something that hasn’t left me, and I’ve only seen it once. The profound images are still burned in my head. That’s what’s so powerful about the medium of filmmaking.
So my message to you is don’t be cynical about movies, or art for that matter.
Thinking is fun. Conversation is fun. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Leave your comfort zone. Then come find me.
Let’s have a conversation.