Thursday, 31 May 2018

How far would you go to get what you want?



Old European port town, here from the very dawn buried in reading. Seagulls break from under the feet of passers-by and fly away gliding between the sky and the sea. The sound of the morning bell is heard. Along the street, there is a row of coffee shops, umbrellas, tables. The rustling of freshly printed newspapers. The light reflects from the walls and windows and forenoon becomes more alive and saturated. The town slowly and lazily wakes up. 

It is difficult to underestimate the influence of the atmosphere on us. The best books we love for the atmosphere in which they immerse us. The same about films and photos. The role of the setting in our lives is often overlooked.

Sending the letter from the old post office, so old that it smells of sealing wax and has ancient doors, and when you look out the window, you could even spot the distant past. Well, the same past from childhood, when it is still unknown what lies ahead. My attempted to be neat handwriting on the envelope will fly to Saint Petersburg, one of my other pasts. My dear ones are scattered all over the world, they live their own fortunes, and we are affixed with thin red threads, keep moving away from our collective nodules - intersections.

Everyone in their childhood admired how patched cloud suddenly changed its shape, how the bark of the poplar is so warm, the sedge is sharp, the wave is salty and we lived in this delight of discoveries. The process was all, not the outcome or its expectation.  Everything is bewitching in nature, and nothing is superfluous. In childhood, the magic happening depends on your imagination. The magic window, the courtyard of the house with twisted staircase, a cliff overlooking the silhouette of the city where the clouds are born. And through all this, suddenly recurring entrancement, by a fine thread - we grew up. A consoling cognizance - that when we are adults, miracles return by themselves, when we replace most fears with courage and nerve.

Reading little messages left in iPhone's notepad. A Twitter-diary of life. Quizzical sometimes to peek into the past, dig in these archives and suddenly find that some of the circumstances that you considered bona fide, in fact, had a completely different chassis. Remythologizing. We, after all, tend to embellish, percept something as more dramatic or beguiling, while time erases figments and states the reality.  The people around us become what we look and not fail to find in them. Gaining a valuable skill not to confuse illusions with fantasies. Creativity with an effort to please.  And above all -  sending all the fears and limiting beliefs away.

"The place" - an ambitious and metaphorical film by Paolo Genovese (director of "Perfect Strangers") makes burying your head in your values, perusing how justified are some of our craves. If you really think about it, most of our arcane inward escapisms, fortunately for us, are impracticable. A conceptual "huis clos" and a dialogue film with one but relevant question: how far would you go to get what you want? 

© Elin Vidoff