David Bezmozgis | February 23, 2011
Well apparently I am also not a Talmudist. I believe I was thinking of the practice of posing questions in order to merit religious and philosophical debate. I don’t know what that’s called. As far as I remember, I was either thrown out of or skipped almost everyone of my Hebrew school classes. I vehemently protested the idea of having to sit in another classroom after I had already endured a full day of real school. I may have acted out a bit. So what do I know?
I agree with you. Film is elastic. And even though the screen is two-dimensional, the illusion is that we travel down the Z-axis and into the world beyond the screen’s proscenium. I’m thinking about the new technologies that amplify this experience like CGI and 3-D. I’m also thinking about gamers who put on those geeky glasses and sit in a simulated car seat in order to increase their visceral enjoyment of their pseudo adventure. Is that what we are after? A more intense experience? Perhaps this is why we take a book from a flat page and then send it through our mind’s processor in order to set up a blueprint of what the experience would be like? Movies can be like your imagination on steroids. Who doesn’t like that? But beyond this, if we are to move from style to substance, it could be that at the heart of any great book is a character with whom we fall in love. And when it comes to fictional characters we love, people just don’t want to buy into the old adage “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Instead, they opt to take their relationship to the next level. I loved Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, but in the end I lost her to the executioner. Imagine my delight when she showed up as a young Natassia Kinski in Polanski’s movie.