Feat. The Music of Olivia Newton-John
Welcome to Experience Film! A visceral, psychological perspective on modern cinema! Let me tell you how this whole thing works.
About once per month i’ll induct a new film into what i’ll call The Experience Films Collection.”EFC” for short. Here I’ll commemorate the chosen film by psychoanalyzing the lead characters and tenderly depicting the outrageous fortunes that encumber them.I’ll accomplish this with words, pictures, videos, and also music. That’s right, each EFC post will have an accompanying soundtrack, typically of the pop or alternative rock genre. The soundtrack is meant to provide an additional medium through which to interpret the themes discussed in the post.
On special occasions I’ll publish custom EFC Music Videos in which I make my own “cut” of the film that fits with the music and lyrics of the soundtrack. I use this combination of video, music and lyrics to try and reveal hidden information inside the plot and/or characters. For example, what are the characters’ motivations which are not explicitly stated or demonstrated in the film itself? What is she thinking but not saying? What is he feeling but not expressing? Capturing, understanding, and communicating this tacit plot and character information is my foremost ambition.
Capturing, understanding, and communicating this tacit plot and character information is my foremost ambition.
Have you ever synced up Pink Floyd’s Dark Side The Moon with The Wizard of Oz? Think of EFC music videos like that concept, but evolved to a post-modern “pulp fiction” style art form.
The EFC experience is perhaps less mellow, but is forged out of the same spirit. That is, to get you in touch with, and fascinated by your own subjective thoughts, feelings and impression.
The films that make it into the Experience Films Collection will most all be new or semi-new releases, except on a few special occasions where I may throw in some classics. The films chosen will generally be the ones that best evoke our hearts and engage our minds, for better or worse.
Good films make us think, and even better ones make us feel something. However, the best films, for me, are the ones that fundamentally alter how we think and feel about something in the first place. To do this films must successfully tie new ideas to pre-existing ones, so that we have a foundation on which to leap, so to speak, to wherever novel territory a film asks us to go.
Good films make us think, and even better ones make us feel something. However, the best films, for me, are the ones that fundamentally alter how we think and feel about something in the first place.
The Wizard of Oz not only hurls us to novel terrain, it delivers us back home with a brand
new outlook. Stuck with her family on a dull plot of farmland in Kansas, Dorothy dreams of an escape somewhere over the rainbow. Only after landing there and becoming disenchanted does she come to realize there’s no place like home. What once appeared drab and boring is now desirable.
Great films can also mix up our emotions and perceptions. Quentin Tarantino’s films, for example, are notorious for crossing our sense of humor with that of violence and disgust. Tarantino masterfully orchestrates long scenes of dialogue in order to build nervous tension in the audience, which he’ll then cut with some often benign element of humor, only to immediately follow that up with horrible, grisly violence. Often in such sequences we are so grateful for the laughter that we cannot stop ourselves and go on laughing even as the blood spatters the screen. The genius of this filmmaking ploy is that, for a moment, we affectively become the sadistic maniacs we are watching on screen.
Great films challenge our preconceived notions of the world by showing us that it operates or can operate a little differently than we initially thought. Violence (can be) comical, depending on our point of view of course. Are Tarantino’s films a danger to us for this reason? Might they provoke violence in us? I’ll let you be the judge here. And in case you are wondering, no I am not a particularly avid Tarantino fan, although I do appreciate his movies.
By challenging our preconceptions great films open doors to new possibilities for thought, feeling and behavior within us. I believe the proper term for this phenomenon is inspiration. Movies that fit this description are the ones I’ll tend to favor here. Naturally, I’m inclined to favor the movies that profoundly affect me, but might not profoundly affect or inspire you. Therefore, I need you to balance me out. Please give me suggestions for new movies as you watch them!
The best way to offer your suggestions is to post in the comments section below each episode. You can also contact me directly through Facebook or email. Remember, the greater these movies inspire you or mess with your mind the better! I will also pose questions throughout each episode and I hope you will share your answers and feedback with me and other users.
Thanks for reading!
Now here’s Olivia Newton-John with an important public service announcement 😉
About Soundtrack: “Have You Never Been Mellow?” by Olivia Newton-John