Thursday, February 04, 2010

"Life is stranger than fiction..."

These words, taken from one of Blackmore's Night's songs depict how real life is better than world of fiction, because sometimes unreasonable and unimaginable things happen.
But the irony is - this is a song. Also work of fiction.
Why all of us love so much movies, books, plays?

I'm going to write my personal opinion on this.
I love movies. Some time ago I started to watch K-dramas (and one J-drama so far^^), and I have now few things in mind. Why I suddenly shifted from Western cinematography to Asian? Well, I'm probably mentally more Asian than Western in any case, I've been told this ever since. Then, I got my MaD in Oriental Studies (Far East), now pursuing PhD in the same field. So I have few statements to make.
   First of all, I got tired by Western concept of cinema. I have watched movies all my life, no, better - I have consumed movies. A day without one movie was a day loss. Still, there are some good movies, I'm not able to deny this, to throw away my whole experience. But my interest shifted. It started slowly, with Kurosawa Akira's movies, Mizoguchi Kenzo's movies, and finally anime. But then I stopped to watch Japanese movies. And suddenly, some time ago, I watched Oldboy. I got an illumination. It was what Western movies were lacking. This "I'm not afraid to show some ugliness" side.
   Of course, there are a lot of Asian movies I dislike, and a lot of Western movies I like (or at least they are good enough to admit it), but my interest lays somewhere else now. Asian movies are something fresh to me. They showed me life from other angles. Korean like sad stories, I know, I read, and I like it as well. I have nothing against any movie genre as long as it is good. I don't mind romantic comedy, tearjerker, war movie, drama, sport movie, etc, as long as I can enjoy. I'm not biased.
   And then I came across dramas. Knowing about man-woman relationship in any country from Confucian circle of influence, I knew what to expect. I don't mind if main characters don't kiss, just hug. I don't think this is unrealistic. Some people do this. This abundance of nudity, sex, vulgarity in Western Cinematography tired me out. It's not like this is absent in Korean/Asian movies. It is not. But still, it is not an art for an art.
I don't mind sexual scenes, I liked them in Frozen Flower, for instance. But they weren't the main axis of the movie. They were indispensable. It's like Petronius once said: You can get tired from an over-pleasure. Thousand naked women make smaller impression than one.
   There is also different approach to the feelings. Love experienced in many Asian movies/dramas is deep, once-in-a-lifetime type, unconditional. This is a work of fiction, but here lies my main point. This work of fiction describes our the most innermost desires, it draws our honne before our eyes, and we are free to watch and not feel guilty for watching. Thus, dramas/movies become our absolution. We are cleansed enough to enter the world of reality. Then we get dirty again, but in any time we can be clear one more time.
This is the healing power of fiction.
   I have enough ugliness around me, I don't feel the need to watch movies on it, to read books on it, to see it on the stage.