Andrew over at Encore's World of Film and TV is bringing back his popular blogathon Motifs in Cinema He's chosen 13 motifs and ask that we pick one and use at least 4 films. I picked Reality vs Fantasy. Last year I chose Appreciation of Life. Thanks for hosting this again, Andrew! I hope this isn't too much of a jumbled mess.
Motifs in Cinema is a discourse across film blogs, assessing the way in which various thematic elements have been used in the 2013 cinematic landscape. How does a common theme vary in use from a comedy or drama? Are filmmakers work from a similar canvas when they asses the issue of death or the dynamic of revenge? Like most things, a film begins with an idea - Motifs in Cinema accesses how various themes emanating from a single idea change when utilized by varying artists.
Falling in love with someone that isn't "real"
I don't think there was a film that captured 'realty vs fantasy' in 2013 better than Her. You have Theodore, who falls in love with his operating system, Samantha. It's pure fantasy. He can't hold her, can't "see" her. He only hears her voice. The interesting thing about Her is that I don't think it's too far fetched. So many of us are addicted to technology. I enjoy talking about movies with my online friends more so than I do my actual friends. (How's that for sounding like a film snob?) Living that sort of life online, almost like Theo was living through his relationship with Samantha is easy. It's easy to get wrapped up in your fantasy, and I think Her did a good job of showing that it can actually be beautiful and therapeutic, and not toxic or dangerous like most people would say. Though it can be those things too, but I like Her's version better.
2) The Wolf of Wall Street
What do you mean I can't live my life as an insufferable douche without consequences?
Oh, Jordan Belfort. The life you were living really was a fantasy. You were screwing people over, snorting way too much coke, and making too many awful decisions before you got the ultimate reality check in jail time. Lavish lifestyles like that always seem like a fantasy to me.
3) The Bling Ring
We just wanted to be like them.
These girls loved the way their favorite celebrities dressed. They wanted to mimic that fantasy life so badly that they actually committed burglary against them. They stole their clothes, shoes, and jewelry and wore them to bring even more attention to themselves. The Bling Ring offers interesting commentary on how celebrities can really affect the lives of some people who dream of being them. The reality for these crimes? You got it. Jail time!
4) The Lifeguard
I'm not ready to be 30.
gif via colbertsreport
When I first picked this topic, this film came to mind right away. Leigh is a semi successful 30 year old living in NYC, but she's not happy. So she goes back home to her parent's house, to her old job as a lifeguard, and tries to reclaim her old life. Her quarter-life crisis is a fantasy in itself. Especially when she thinks it's okay to start a relationship with a minor. Luckily for her, the reality of that situation could've been much, much worse.
What just happened?
Trance really blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. Simon using hypnotherapist Elizabeth to help him find out what he did with a valuable painting is a very significant step. How can you fully trust something like this? What if you're being fed lies instead of remembering what actually happened? Trance had so many twists and turns that you could easily lose track, but that's also what makes the reality vs fantasy element in this movie so interesting.