Creativity is one of the most important things a human being can express. It’s good for our brains, our hearts, and our souls. It allows people to explore themselves and others in a deep way, something introspection and discussion can’t always do. When consuming others’ creative works, you’re getting a piece of who they are as a person, whether they wanted or intended that or not.
Creativity allows us to function as a society. We’re not merely surviving—we’re living, hour to hour and day to day. How we spend our time digesting others’ creative works—whether that’s a movie, a novel, or a collection of poems—is important to how we grow as people and a community of human beings. I hope reading about the creative content I enjoy (or don’t) gets your creative juices flowing and inspires you to make something great and uniquely your own. At the very least maybe you’ll discover something new you might be interested in.
This week I watched two movies that both did really well in reviews but I didn’t like very much. First up is Boyhood. This movie did something I’ve never seen in a film or really any medium before: It used the same cast for 12 straight years. Boyhood follows quite literally the life of Mason, a Texan boy, from 12 to graduation, and the people who play the various characters grow up with Mason. It’s ambitious, to use the same exact cast to document a character’s growth over 12 years, to say the least. What’s profound about the movie is how unremarkable it is. Like real life, there’s drama, heartache, laughs, and joy, but nothing in the movie is gripping. There’s no “dilemma” the character must overcome. Just like real life, Mason lives day to day, dealing with stuff and growing up in a changing environment. It’s nearly three hours long, and when the credits hit, I said to myself, “That’s it? Where’s the plot?” But then I realized, for better or worse, that’s not really the point of Boyhood.
Children of Men
My girlfriend and I watched this film (her recommendation) because she told me how great it is. Maybe I didn’t get it, but there was nothing noteworthy in this film besides the spectacular, unedited minutes-long shots that made up a good chunk of the movie. It reminded me of that awesome scene about halfway through the first season of True Detective—you know the one I mean. Anyway, it’s a dystopian future in England, foreigners and refugees are seen as trash, and no one has gotten pregnant in 18 years. That’s never explained, either, to my annoyance. Anyway, the main character, through terribly explained and poorly paced plot devices, ends up with the one pregnant woman on Earth and decides, for whatever reason, she’s worth dying for. Oh, and for some reason, a gang of foreigners want to use her and her baby presumably to convince the world they should be treated like equals? Like I said, it’s not explained very well, in my opinion. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention because I was kinda bored. Regardless, Children of Men isn’t bad, but there’s plenty better of dystopian fiction out there. Stick with that.