Today, we’ll address the water situation. Certainly you have noticed over the years that when someone cries in the movies, it rains. When they sob, it pours. When they wail, it torrents. Got the symbolism, right? The noted exception is, of course, Gene Kelly. This week at Sundance has been a lot of water: pools, puddles, oceans, rivers, waterfalls, raindrops, mists and sprays, snow, ice & etc. There has been so much water that my favorite Q&A question for the director has become “Please talk about the use of water in your film and what does it mean to you?” Here are some of the responses (paraphrased):
As the boy lies in the puddle he is cleansing his soul and we see swirling around him the wash from those he has followed.In French, “la mer” is “the ocean” and “la mere” is “the mother.” The ocean is the source of all life. It is our mother. It represents our ability to be and in this film it intensifies the existence of the character, who is trapped. And because water is always active and moving, it contrasts with the imprisonment with the characters who are all constrained either by physical walls or by the thoughts of their own minds.We can only see the the portion of her body above the surface of the pool. We are cut off from her inner existence and know only that which she exposes superficially to the world.It is pretty and I think it looks cool.
#14 – A River Changes Course: A documentary which follows three rural Cambodian, exposing the effects of deforestation on their lives. Avoiding formal interview and explanation, the story is revealed through daily life as recorded by the camera. Beautiful cinematography. The water metaphor is embodied in the title.
#15 – The Meteor: A very strong story line with potent characters, and an intense script heard through narrative voice over. However, minimal action. Instead, long (really long) (as in 3 – 5 minutes long) shots of flowers, buildings, water (in various forms) & etc. When asked why the visual did not illustrate the narrative, the director replied that that would have been so usual, so boring. This is a film for art-film lovers. For water references, see “la mer” above.
#16 – Mud: PG-13 coming-of-age action adventure. Two 14-year-old boys meet up with a criminal in the backwoods of Alabama. They risk their lives helping him reunite with his one-true-love and suffer inequities of life in the process. Shoot-em-up is reserved for the end. Great film. Lots of fun. Take the kids. Water reference: Mud, the main character, is simply the dreck of humanity.