Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reflections On Passing Scenes

I am an outlier in that I am a fan of the original DUNE movie. I like both the original cut and the director's cut. One thing that sets the film apart from the book is that the religious message is less ambiguous. In the book you can't tell if the religious talk is all political subterfuge or genuine faith. In the film the faith message is more straightforward. I love this scene at the when it is clear that Paul has fully grown into his messianic persona. There has never been a single drop of rain on Arakis but in this one moment the full breadth of what Paul really is becomes clear. The Messiah changes everything. Before he comes we are on a planet where it never rains. Afterwards, the water flows.

While we're on this film, we might as well add this one as well. This is what freedom and the human spirit are all about to me. We can transcend all that seems to limit or hold us. People seem to be able to endure the unendurable. When you read the lives of the early Christian martyrs or the more recent martyrs surrounding the Nazi takeover of Germany, you see people who simply CAN'T exist, but they do. The reduce these obvious acts of faith or will to some kind of activity of memes I find absurd. They hold us in awe for a reason.

People often miss the profundity of this moment. Superman is defined throughout his history by his willingness to limit himself. He doesn't fully indulge his power for fear of interfering with our freedom. It is the choice to limit against the backdrop of limitless power that makes the character rich. Here we get a glimpse of the full breadth of that power. The reversing of the earth's rotation is only a visual symbol, the point is just the power to turn back time. And that Superman has chosen to do this, against his father's instructions, for the love of Lois is a devastating thought. The entirety of Superman 2 really works out the repercussions of his choice here. And they are terrible indeed.

I love this moment in RANGO. Rango essentially meets God, who isn't the all-powerful in-control king that most people envision. He doesn't help Rango by fixing Rango's problems for him. Rather, he gives him a purpose, and connects that purpose to a higher purpose ('searching, same as you'- I love this). The mystery of the moment, the nature of the way God interacts with the hero, I just love it all. And the essence of the entire human experience is summed up so beautifully: 'its not about you...its about them.' It is beautiful beyond words.

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