The most powerful moment in recent film memory for me was the last scene from the brilliant movie Heriditary. I can’t recall any other time when as powerful a pices of spiritual jazz as Colin Stetson’s “Reborn” has made it into a film. Music and images have seldom been matched in such a natural way Invoking a powerful symbolism. This reminds me of the early work in the career of the Australian film director Peter Weir. There is a direct connection to the spiritual power I felt in a film with these early films of Peter Weir and this particular film. The same sense of a direct emotional connection between a film that effected me in such a way many years ago.
More related to the mystic and visionary Peter Weir when he was still searching for ways to tell his stories. Picnic at Hanging Rock. The Wave. The films before The Year of Living Dangerously. And then Witness.
An interesting story idea rears its head in my mind. Can the search for ways of telling this idea become something political which cuts through any old bonds of family or friends?
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Can one’s story be the story no one ever realizes? That particular surrounding atmosphere of one’s life during all those years. Something like the smog of LA during the 80s. Sometimes people come to realize this at a later point of time in their lives. It sees to me, few realize their particular truths as they live out their lives in real time. In LA like I did for a long period of time. In other places readers are from.
Perhaps at the height of their wisdom, they might come to understand this at the end of their lives. The power of images and music I receive from the above piece of art is worth it’s weight in gold it seems to me. One has true emotional experiences few times at modern movies. Is it me? Or is it the movies? I knew after I saw the movie Heriditary. Here was a filmmaker that had a direct connection with Peter Weir although Weir has retired from making films many years ago.
This is the type of passion I need to move towards, shape, and bring forward again in a type of spiritual film with music similar to the powerful music of Stetson. Perhaps, the music from the brilliant London-based ground A Comet is Coming. I move towards creating a scene that has a part of the emotional power of the above scene for me. A scene that involves a search for something rather than the discovery of something.
A search to find a new structure for screenwriting. Combining our ideas on symbols with the ideas on screenplay structure. Now, a matter of matching structure with symbolism movement and correspondence. The vertical and horizontal chart I have developed from all my research superimposed over the leading film structure theories.
that plots the symbolic movement of the context of stories rather than just the content of stories in story action, characters, events, things and places. Here, the study of the contextual symbols that contain the content symbols of popular culture. An easy to understand chart and way of applying symbolism to one’s script and story.
A goal of mine. It seems so natural for me to do this. Moments like the above iwake up my slumbering dramatic sensitivity.
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It matters little to me whether all of this moves the dramatic sensibility of anyone else.
The fact that it does this for me is enough.
I think I’ll be pounding out this new strcture in a few weeks. It makes sense as I’ve assembled all the pieces. The structures from Hollywood and the structure of the movement of symbols and dynamics of symbolism in a story. The movement and opposition of contexts from the beginning to the ending of a particular story.
The opposition of the opening symbol of the story to the closing symbol of the story. Blake Snyder calls these the opening and closing images of his key parts of a screenplay in his well-known Save the Cat series and theory of screenwriting. I’ve bought and read all of the STV books and they are right behind me as I write this tonight.
They represent the first and last scenes in his step process of writing sreenplays. It is perhaps the most popular all around in Hollywood at this time. Perhaps replacing Chris Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey applying the great mythologist Joseph Campbell’s ideas to Hollywood.
Yet, perhaps more than anything else for me, it is the music of Colin Stetson that really created the power of the final scene of Heriditary. The music of Stetson using the low droning effect so popular on the Coltrane school of spiritual jazz. It is directly related to powerful snake-charming music of the East. It incorporates some of the aborigine sounds of Australiam instruments within the musid above. Music that Coltrane was the greatest explorer of. Coltrane’s music put to film. Colin Stetson in his “Reborn.” A brilliant match of image, action and music.
The music played by Colin Stetson, so much like John Coltrane on his First Mediations album, understood so well by the London group The Comet is Coming. The powerful drone of the East used in the piece. A certain universall call to come together in a universal music. Again, the composition and music of Colin Stetson is brilliant on this last scene of Hereditary. It helps create the most powerful, spiritual scene I’ve seen in a long time in a movie.
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And, the young man in the film, bewildered by the whole thing. There is the look of Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate on his face. He is the modern hero looking into the scary space of the future. He observes things around hiim as he moves towards the big treehouse in his families’ backyard. Naked people appear on one side of him as he moves towards his treehouse destination. A woman in front of him floats up to the bottom door of the treehouse. This seems to have little effect on him as he moves forward against the world.
It is not much different than Conrad expressed in his story “The Shadowline” and its subject as the transition between boys to men. But, it is also that same fear young women also have in moving to various new eras or phases, stages of their lives. Of really anyone moving from one period of life to the next one. Both characters in the two films have the look on their faces of moving from boyhood into manhood. This seems to be the purpose of the ritual as much as anything else.
But he cannot believe that he is their new king, that they have gathered to worship him.
A turn of events when everyone is gathered around someone else in life. And suddenly, they are all gathered around you.
Additional Notes: Listen to the close connection of the above “Reborn” by Colin Stetson to the opening piece “Vorspiel” from Richard Wagner’s The Ring.