Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"The Truth Will Set You Free"

Throughout the film, I felt there was a clear tension between fantasy and reality. The first example of this came in the visual style of the film. As Shane mentioned earlier, the look of DV is very different from film. I felt that digital video made the movie seem less glamorous. This treatment of the captured events is contrasted with images that are shown projected on a screen (audition, screening). In the scene where the aspiring actress (Selma Hayek) and her lover are hiding behind the projection screen, she is literally "off-screen."

Selma Hayek's character is especially complex in blurring the line between fantasy and reality. In her audition, the other actor in her scene ironically asks "but after all your lies, do you even know who you are anymore?" She performs her craft so much off-screen that she can not distinguish between the fantasy world that is captured on film and reality.

The concept that we are watching the events of a production company shows the audience what the film industry is actually like. Whereas the movies that are typically captured on film instead of DV are idealistic and formulaic, this film is constantly grounded by reality. The focus is not on a single character. The story is not linear in that every event is significant to the story. The frequent earthquakes have a limited impact in the overall story. Unlike most Hollywood films, this film shows an uninterrupted sequence of significant as well as insignificant events.
Alex represents the ultimate conflict between fantasy and reality. He is a dreamer. He proposes to his girlfriend (not Selma Hayek) that they should move to Tuscany knowing that this is not realistic. Even as he is bleeding to death, he makes plans with her for dinner.

Some other scenes that embody the conflict between fantasy and reality:
- When the pretentious screenwriter/director tries to give a practiced and dramatic speech, reality rudely interrupts with an earthquake.
- The first song performed by her and her lover is blaring contrast between a talentless rapper and the singer with a heavenly voice.
- During the love-making scene, there is the contrast between sex on the screen and reality.
- Throughout the movie, there are varying genres of music. There is the simplistic techno beat contrasted with the typical orchestration that would be in a big budget film.



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