Wednesday, August 29, 2007

fascinating viewing

One documentary I have been meaning to comment on for a while is Flight from Death - one of the most gripping cultural commentaries I have had the pleasure of viewing. The recipient of a modest 5 reputable awards, I am surprised this text has not been included in any of our lectures to date.

Based on a bestselling book by Ernest Becker, the purpose of this documentary is to examine the fear we have manifested within ourselves as a race of the very inevitable - death. Even though the film is of the ominisciently narrated variety (by Gabriel Byrne), I found the visual playbacks to be sufficiently enticing and did not feel that the content was subtracted from in any way by this. Both thoughtful and thought provoking, it really did a fine job of resonating with ontological reasoning we have been conditioned by since day 1... and what it also cleverly managed to do was turn that reasoning around into something more questioning of our everyday existence, highlighting just what lengths we have gone to in order to prevent the natural act of dying.

Without giving the game away too much, I will just say that everyone reading this blog needs to check out this film. From the beautiful prose and accompanying, moving nature photography to the insidious commercial profiteering (signposted by a wicked soundtrack), Flight from Death contains both rich, complex mind-material as well as a beautifully balanced audio-visual treat. Something to extract ideas from as well as broaden your understanding of the genre as a whole, and possibly come to grips with the way you see your own life (or death) headed in the years (or moments) to come.

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