dresden as a catalyst for heightened sensory perception
In general, we are lazy. Much of our life passes in a blur. We crave dynamic distractions so that we can experience new pulses of excitement. But when we truly learn to live, we have accepted that by putting forth a bit of extra energy, we can continuously feed on our senses. We can fight the tendency for our brain to slur the details of daily life.
Walking home from a screening of dresden, I noticed things. How could a movie make the sound of a truck's screeching brakes bring a smile to my face as I stepped off the curb to cross the street? Dresden was an intense audio/visual experience; drawing on what are normally seen as non-romantic and ordinary sights, sounds, and moments. For each scene, the viewer is given enough time to lose the sense of his/her immediate surroundings, and to then exist in the world being offered through the tender focus of the director. Once transported there, one naturally begins to absorb all the details. What is often mundane and overlooked, becomes exciting, and one anticipates the chance to gobble up the next sensory packet that happens by.
Speth's treatment of his lead character is equally as loving. Scenes in her life as a single woman and dancer weave in and out of scenes of the city's life. The pacing of her scenes and the honesty of her performance invite you into her existence.
Speth facilitates the process of draining out the unimportant, and filling up with bits of life-affirming sights and sounds. As a New York viewer, he gives you the chance you take for granted many times in a day to fall in love with the city once again. He also makes you take notice of small bits of being human; bits which provide a link into the realities of strangers. I never felt so much a part of a greater networking of life than when I left dresden.
We are lazy. I've had to constantly remind myself of the way I felt just before I crossed the street that day, and try to take notice of, and appreciate small stimulants easily overlooked. And I try to relax myself into a state similar to the one I was guided to when in the theatre that day, so that on my train ride home, when I look across the way, I notice a woman's toes curling up inside her work pumps. For a moment, I know her. Isn't it amazing that a film can be such a constant source of inspiration?
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