Do androids dream of electric sheep? Perhaps androids could if they actually slept. There’s not a single scene in Blade Runner 2049 where a character, human or replicant, is seen dozing off. Considering the experience of the film, that might precisely be the point. Each scene is so beautifully and evocatively rendered that it feels as though we’re in a dream, which goes on to complicate what’s “real.” Blade Runner may have asked what it means to be human, but 2049 forces us to reconsider the validity of emotions and memories and whether they’re exclusive to the human experience. Because if the human experience can be manufactured, what does that make humanity other than a baseline for something better? Continue reading
One of the most iconic shots in La La Land (and there are plenty of them) comes early on during Mia’s melancholy walk home. A walk of shame. Her car’s been towed, she’s living in the city of her dreams, a city that shuns her all the same, and she finds herself wondering if she’s good enough. It’s an all-too-familiar road, one she embarks on after each failed audition. On this particular stroll, she finds music that suits her mood, and follows the bread crumbs of the melody to find Sebastian. Continue reading
What is it about dreams that make them so unbearably cinematic? Perhaps it’s the chase, the song and dance of it. The grandiosity, vividness. Or its proximity. How close it seems once we’ve projected the idealized versions of ourselves in the cinema of our subconscious. I suppose the real question is what makes us want to chase our dreams when the world tells us otherwise. When we’ve faced rejection, tasted failure. How long do we go on chasing something until we realize we’re just making a fool of ourselves? Continue reading
Legacy, in its broadest sense, is what we leave behind. It’s what we pass on to our children and so forth. The choices we make, the sins we commit, or perhaps the conflicts we leave unresolved; the things we do in our lifetime can echo across generations. The Place Beyond The Pines takes the notion of legacy and reveals its devastating impact on the lives that follow one another down a disastrous road. Using a three-part structure, writer and director Derek Cianfrance tells the story of two separate fathers, and how a small coincidence has huge repercussions for their respective sons. Think twice before seeing this film. This is not for the hopeful. Pines will take you to a place filled with guilt, tragedy, and no easy answers. It will leave you broken.