Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Bad and the Ugly

I just heard of this Mexican film maker about whom there was an article in yesterday’s papers. Arturo Ripstein is the name. The movies he has made include “No one writes to the Colonel any more” and “Time to die”. In the old days I used to watch a whole lot more movies than I do today, and used to be better informed about directors and their work. No longer. In any case I am not sure if I would really have wanted to know about Senor Ripstein, even if the information had been available to me back then, because here is his philosophy of life:

“I believe in hate, revenge, sin and guilt … happiness is a ray of light you see from a taxi. Happiness is very boring…” etc etc.

Maybe I should first see a film by Ripstein before commenting on his values but I am impatient to share my thoughts about his views on life right now, and what I think is, that he seems to live on the planet of overgrown schoolboys.

In a way his philosophy helps me to understand the world and the way people react. It brings with it an insight into the violence, the greed, the fear of happiness in fact, which we mostly experience on earth. People are afraid to be happy because they imagine that it is boring to be happy. Which only proves how silly they are, and how little they understand of happiness. Or how little they see that it is hate and revenge that are boring in the long run because there is such a sameness to feelings like that. The energy they bring in their wake is enervating and monotonous. It is the sort of energy which kills – sometimes slowly, sometimes directly.

Is it that people are too stupid to see beyond their fascination with hate and guilt and associated feelings – too mesmerised by it to want to go beyond it? Are we mostly going to be stuck at this level of intelligence and to be condemned to live and re-live stories based entirely on the most primitive aspects of our psyches?

Of course the encouraging part is that Ripstein's work is not hugely popular. He is apparently funded by the government and claims not to be concerned by the fact that nobody sees his films. But then there are so many other film makers whose concentration on the gory side of life brings massive returns and a great fan following.

Maybe it will really happen some day. The earth will go up in a cloud of fire and poisonous gases. And a few of us who did not want it to end that way – if we are lucky – might be able to migrate at a speed faster than light to some far away planet and start a new species of life, (name yet to be decided) - devoted to that wonder called “awareness.”

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3 comments: said...

Can't stop myself from naming my favorite movies ..!!

Woman on Top (starring Penelope Cruz)
Holy Smoke (starring Kate Winslet)
MonaLisa Smile (starring Julia Roberts)
Blue Lagoon (starring Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins)
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (starring Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan)

Stardust1954 said...

Is it that people are too stupid to see beyond their fascination with hate and guilt and associated feelings – too mesmerised by it to want to go beyond it?

I think a lot of this has to do with the "indoctrinations" children go through as they are growing up. Many are taught in their religions, etc. that they are bad...they are raised with a guilt complex. This in turn I think creates humans who need to vent their built-up hostilities and it comes out in violent ways, either as spectator or agressor,(or martyr/victim). Too many people do not feel themselves to be worthy of happiness.

Am I way off base here?

umarang said...

Stardust,you're right!