Two Opposite Symbols of What Films Can Be/Are Today
Canadian Sunset / Gene Ammons
I somehow convinced my wife Stephanie to attend the first screening in Columbus of the new visually spectacular The Creator. Made by an indie filmmaker, it achieves the look of a film that someone has dropped maybe a couple hundred million into. The visuals are specular but there is almost zero empathy or emotion in us both for the fate of the characters in the film. The images placed in front of us in The Creator are incredible and tremendously realistic. For example, the image of Los Angeles after having been hit by a huge bomb in a great war between AI and humans. For about thirty years. It’s 2050. Not all that long into the future so one expects change but also familiarity.
The film attempts to pull at our emotional heartstrings by making the history of the world held – in large part – inside this young girl. The young girl might be that missing daughter that the hero of the film needs to find after his wife was killed in an explosion. But then, was she? Was she human or was she a robot? This is how bad things have gotten over the years with AI.
The Western world was in conflict with the Mideastern world over AI. The West represented a certain type of AI. Yet the East knew how to use it most effectively. The Eastern culture via images of Buddhists and other populace photos against the high tech west. It all relates to the battle between whether a Masculine or Feminine archetype symbol dominates the period of time. All is cycles. Always a change from birth to death, youth to old age.
The same with cultures and moods and so many other things in life. A cycle in a particular sequence. This sequence is that magic “trail” so many in Hollywood sell access to. The secret keys to communicating one’s ideas into screenplays. This is really what the growing screenwriting instruction market is all about.
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Or so the underlying, subtle propaganda of the film goes. Propaganda for the Eastern and Mid-Eastern views of AI and their “humanity” against the Western, non-empathetic use of AI. Interestingly, the film does not confront the challenge of AI from a global perspective. Rather, it offers a divided perspective at first as a perspective at first. It’s a premise of the film. A setting in time. 2050. The great battle between humanity and AI is at hand. It might come to a head by the actions occurring today in this area.
There is dramatic power between Western and Eastern (Masculine or Feminine) views of AI. As people like Carl Jung pointed out, there will always be this basic duality in the world. To think that there is other than this is to fool yourself into thinking this. And being a fool in the end.
The idea not explored in The Creators is that the West and the East might be united against some common enemy. An enemy this large. A true threat to not just the West or East. But really, the world. And no more genders than this symbolic duality.
Anyway, much subliminal things like above going on in The Creators. A brilliant vision of not too many years in our own future. The search for the little girl by her father. This should inject strong, dramatic elements of storytelling into the narrative.
And, almost in a direct symbolic contrast with The Creators, comes one of the greatest performances in a mini-series in memory. I’m willing to argue it contains some of the greatest performances in modern TV series history. Not only one of the greatest of modern scripts, but a script woman also (the feminine archetype) might support.
The mini-series is streaming on Amazon Prime. A review is brewing. I began watching this series while babysitting for my step-grandson one night. The episodes were like a particular dramatic whirlpool, pulling the viewer or reader or listener along with it. I watched two episodes at while babysitting at their home and the rest at my home.
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One of the great “get back” at that “guy” group (groups) of women out there today who have experienced dating or marrying the guy in one form of that guy presented in the mini-series. A mini genre of film that focuses on this spot. In the Fatal Attraction genre of films where a woman gets back at a man in the most intense (yet many would argue just) ways imaginable.
Watch the short mini-series Wilderness. Some of the greatest dramatic acting to appear in a TV series. Whereas The Creator was all action above land, Wilderness is all about action below the land of consciousness. More the unconsciousness of the lead character in Wilderness. Yet an unconsciosness brought to life so brilliantly by the actress Jenna Coleman. An incredibly believable scenario of how a nice English girl in New York City might become a psychological killer. How many side with her husband? How many with her?
The productions of The Creator and Wilderness watched just a few days between them. The Creator was a heavily advertised film. Wilderness was something I just put on haphazardly while baby-sitting my grandson. Got increasingly engrossed in it.
Offering – in many ways – two grand scenarios of the coming world to the mass audience of film. The Creator a totally visual film which depended on a regular injection of action into any scenes of the film. On the other hand, Wilderness more non-visual and sensory in nature. A film exploring the psychological depths of female rage at times against male dominance. Now, I understand it really for the first time. Like perhaps many other men.
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Two grand symbols in conflict with each other today. Usually, one symbol dominates a period of history and then declines with the rise of the opposite symbol to the symbol dominating. The brilliant Wilderness allows viewers into a wide female and feminine psychological perspective on life. A film that many can root for the killer in the film. A brilliant Hichcock interplay at work here the Hitch would have loved.
There was/is little doubt in my mind that the mini-series was so much more powerful and memorable for me than the theatrical release of The Creator. Although it was hard to deny the spectacular effects of The Creator.
October 7, 2023.
The Creators is currently in theaters.
Wilderness is streaming on Amazon Prime.
Watch them and then join any conversation you want to start or join in.