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Monday, July 28, 2014

Cloud Atlas


I have just finished watching the film Cloud Atlas in its entirety, with no stops, gaps, nor breaks, and merely a minimum of short intervals during which I could not quite get the words people were saying.

I was astonished.

I have been astonished by quite a few films lately: Cloud Atlas, The Great Beauty, Melancholia, Take Shelter,... I wonder why there are so many? Why are there so many films dealing with such important issues?
It is the time for such questions, I think, for we stand upon the brink of a vast change. But this is not the time for that topic.

Cloud Atlas; I have heard some people say that the multiple story lines were confusing, so I was sort of cringing at the start of the film, ready to be amused, bemused, and confused. Trouble is: I was not confused in the slightest.

I marveled at a film which could turn on a dime from one story to another, and yet leave me with no sense of vertigo, nor any sense of having lost the thread of meaning, for all the stories - although different - were the same.
There was never a re-set for a shift in plot: we never had to leave one group and mentally say, OK, now we back in 2012, or the future, and we must reacquaint ourselves with the characters...
Never had to do it. All stories led to Rome, as it were.
I loved the various melodies and languages coming to a complete symphonic meeting of voices.

I also heard people say it was about karma. I heard the word mentioned towards the end of the film by an inquisitor.
I also heard "karma" mentioned in conjunction with Carlos Casteneda, but I never though of Casteneda being concerned with karmic matters. There is meaning in Casteneda, but it is not at all the obvious meaning. Enough on that matter for the time being.

Karma can be a personal flotation device, or it can be a millstone tied about one's neck; take your pick.

...The official synopsis describes it as "an exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution."
Whether one believes in re-incarnation as reality, or whether it is merely a plot device, does not matter, for the continuity of a soul through time is a belief that is not quite necessary for the film to influence us, although it is rather fun to keep track of the various roles played by the actors throughout the multi-plots.

Unhappy times filled with such hopeful and happy films!


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