Words from a Recently Diagnosed Introvert

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What the Bleep Do We Know?

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
- Albert Einstein

I’ll start off by stating that I was intrigued and challenged by the film. I had a few rolled-eye moments stomaching the journey of lead character, Marlee Martin, but all in all, the film left a profound impact on me.

Her journey (as it was displayed) was basically the path of least resistance/creative tension model; add some metaphysics, dose of chaos theory, a classic story line, and bunch of melodrama and you have Marlee’s quandary.

I understand and appreciate why the film was structured this way, ie, the necessity to reach a mass audience. But for me, I feel like the lead character’s melodrama and less than unique experience distracted from some of the subtler nuances. I was also slightly bothered by the “single-woman-in-her-thirties-as-basket-case” cliche.

That said, if I had created the film, I think I would have incorporated the story of a character who was struggling with a slightly more provocative, perhaps even darker reality. I would ask myself, “what is the most burning question people have regarding human consciousness?” and create a story based on that. Some of my answers might be, “why do bad things happen to good people?” or “why do good people do bad things?” or “why do I do good things, but think bad thoughts?”

From there I might build off the story of the Buddhist monk who conducted his daily meditation in front of an altar with a candle and two photos; one of Gandhi and one of Hitler. When asked by a Brother how he could possible have a photo of Hitler on his altar, he responded by stating, “I believe we must spend equal time meditating on our darkness as we do our light.”

In my film the main character may be a guard at a concentration camp during WWII, a Hutu soldier in Rwanda, an American soldier in Iraq, a National Guardsman in 1968, a corporate executive at Enron…someone truly struggling on an extreme scale with something I think we all struggle with on a daily basis.

After establishing my premise, I would have many of the same quantum physicists and meta-scientists support it in very much the same way, but again, with this emphasis on the duelisms of good/evil, right/wrong, light/dark, etc. I would ask questions of these experts like, “What are the elements and conditions that have created such fragmentation in our lives?” How can a killer feel so extricably disconnected from his victim? Why do we make decisions that will offer short-term benefit for ourselves, but create long-term harm for others? Where does revenge originate? What is evil?”

I think, that the film would then develop and thereby underscore many of the same profound points as the original, only with a slightly more raw and hard-hitting illustration to support the theories.