"Oh, how I *heart* this film!" says a text message I composed while in the theater.
I have noted in here before that the year 2004 meant a whole lot of things to me mostly because of the art I experienced. It was a whole lot of art and a whole lot of references. It was also the first year in which the sacrifices I made were specifically art-informed.
Ars gratia artis?
Pretty much, yes.
And even though I get a whole lot of artistic references on a daily basis, there's something inimitable about those spaces in time when you know you're getting things for the first time. Things like what it means to be late for an important meeting but deep down you're not harrowed by the usual sense of guilt/duty you've known your whole life because, after all, you were doing something great: you were watching a limited release indie film and while you were doing so you were "feeling infinite."
I had to insert a "Perks of Being a Wallflower" reference here, didn't I? It seems like the paragraph asked for it.
There's something to be said about films made by or for performers who either get music or make music. A cinematic artist with an informed interest in music is powerful. S/he begs for attention. I, at least, give them all the attention I can. And that's not a small or insignificant amount.
For instance, when Garden State first opened, I remember feeling the need to see it. Alas, it wasn't opening where I lived so I flew to a place where it was playing. You know those times in life when you don't know what you are experiencing or are about to experience and yet you get this 'sense of possibility' in the air that you don't know how to explain but are very happy to have?
Consider it a rhetorical question.
Some context here might help.
I first flew to Seattle and then to Minneapolis. I saw Garden State and when Zach Braff was letting the soundtrack do as much of the storytelling as his language/script, I recognized a feeling I only get when in the company of the kind of art that's congruent with my own essence. I, as a fellow art lover, felt 'gotten.' My edification was sort of the kind I get when at a Verdi opera or during the last leg of an impeccable dinner where all the right things are uttered at the right time and with the right tone
I should have reviewed 500 Days of Summer earlier but I needed the right kind of language and the right kind of space to come my way. And they did. Just as I was catching up with my favorite cousin while randomly rocking out to Deep Purple, the Stone Temple Pilots, and naturally, The Killers. The musical references are nothing if not relevant here.
For one thing is certain, if music doesn't mean a whole lot of important things to you, you will not get the point of this film.
500 Days of Summer is delicate, musically informed, fragile, existential, and beautifully played by two spot-on performers: Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Incidentally, if you didn't see Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Brick, I'd recommend that you do. He has this weight of innate melancholy about him that comes out occasionally in 500 Days of Summer but the viewer cannot be fully aware of it if s/he has not seen it in its full glory. Brick wasn't necessarily my cup of tea but his acting made the film-viewing experience noteworthy.
This is a beautiful picture. It will make you feel. It will make you think. It will make you feel even luckier to have the gift of music. It might make you think, but for a fleeting moment, of Shopgirl, the Science of Sleep, and Garden State.
Ah, and this: