Reflex, reflex, reflex…

thoughts about cinemas

Well, I might like it more if it had been, but post-modern smut is really difficult to find. Second, it’s pretty fascinating. The reflexivity, not the sex. But seriously, I’m getting a little tired of the concept. There are now movies which are about the making of a movie, or in the case of King Kong, about the making of a flop. Plays that are about the making of a play. Songs that are about the making of a song.

I was going through my DVD collection several days ago, and everything I pulled out seemed to be rather reflexive. Memento, a movie which was about the uncertainty of memory. Pulp Fiction, which is reflexive because the chronological order is all confused, intentionally. 12 Monkeys, which is one of the few shows Bruce Willis does well in.

Even Sixth Sense is also slightly reflexive, as it would have us believe that the main character or author is unaware of his own status. Or The Village, which really is magnificent in its setup. Or EdTV, which is all about movie made real, and made false again. Of course, most recently is Rent, which is about the main character making a movie, which is the movie you’re watching.


The good thing is, my Literature lecturer will be happy to see that the whole post-modern concept has really reached the rest of the world. The bad thing is, we aren’t learning anything from it. So what if you use a third person angle to film a first person angle? Does anyone get exactly what that means? In fact what is reflexivity anyway?

What it really means is that if you look at it from one point of view, art is rather an imitation of life. Very much sounding like Hamlet, I know, but there is a method to my madness. In that case, how real is your life?

To an onlooker, your life is just another movie show, except you don’t get to wear Blahniks, or have about 100 of them in your wardrobe, or have a complete set of Hermes luggage bags, or rent an escort for hot, hot sex for a week for six grand, or look like Matthew Mcconaughey and earn millions in the meantime.

It’s not a concern with physical reality, but more of a crisis of meaning. How often have you looked at a movie and compared your life to movie life and found it wanting?

When Jennifer Garner falls in love with Mark Ruffalo after sprinkling dust on her head and wishing she was 30 seems more likely than you ever finding love in your life, it really is time to do something about it before you become one of those sad couch potatoes that sit on their sofas watching some TV soap and checking your phone every five minutes for messages, and finding you have none. On reflection, doesn’t all these seem like stuff you’ve seen on the big screen?

What then should we do about this crisis of reality? In truth, there is nothing much you can do, except stop taking a passive role in your life, and start making your life more meaningful. Learn to appreciate it better. Then perhaps your life will stop seeming like a B-grade movie like Rambo, and more like something that Akiro Kurasawa made.