Movie : Dazzling
Director : Catherine Gropper
” Only connect !” Howard’s End, E.M Forster
Dazzling is a tale dealing with movement and stasis, a journey beyond time through memories. Through various pictures and videos we are shown a story. A story that is enhanced through our visions and interpretations.
Dazzling is also a tale of connections. The link that would evade the mind of an ordinary individual busy in his daily chores has been profoundly established in the movie. The idea of movement and stasis is also an indicator of the significant role memory plays in our life. Some of these memories refuse to disappear and we are somewhat stuck in time while some of the others dexterously beguile us when we look for them, they pretend to be non existent.
The photos in the movie would provide us with an insight into the tale constructed by Catherine Gropper. The title itself indicates a sense of surprise, as if one must imagine the face of a baffled individual looking at something extraordinary or mundane alike. The interesting part however is that they might be the same person or object.
We see fireworks on the screen, lights adding bright colours to the black sky. A message perhaps about light trying its belligerent best against the humongous darkness in the world.
We see portraits painted by individuals/ individual. The mystery around the pictures and the painter (s) painting them takes us to the domain of the eternally unknown. Mysteries lost in the ravages of time.
We read lines from poems about life, some seeking inspiration, others seeking solace. We realise how poetry becomes the mortal’s answer to every ominous impediment thrown at them from the beyond.
There are beautiful shots of nature in the movie. Nature that brings both chaos and order in our lives. Nature that is terrifying yet beautiful like William Blake’s ‘Tyger’. Nature that has most of the answers to the questions that take us away from the colours of life. Nature that has the ability to consume everything once and for all.
We also see children playing on the screen. Perhaps this time similar to Blake’s ‘Lamb’. Children who signify innocence as well as deceptively practical insights about life that evade the grasp of grownups most of the time. They play like there is no tomorrow, they play like life is the most beautiful gift that one can have. They play like there is light and light alone. Perhaps they tell us that mankind might still have a chance against the great unknown.
We see pictures of people dancing. An expression of freedom as sharp as precise as a needle. Their expression on the faces, their steps , elevate them to the status of birds, soaring near the gates of heaven.
We also see birds doing things human beings fail to decipher. An indication perhaps to our limited knowledge of occurrences around us.
We see people walking, enjoying, doing things or sometimes sitting still and doing nothing. Somehow we relate with each and everyone of them. Like Veronica in Kieslowski’s ‘Double life of Veronique’ we locate the uncanny in the visuals. Like we are a part of them, we are them!
It reminded me of a line by Nadeem Aslam that went something like :
“Pull a thread here and you’ll find it’s attached to the rest of the world.”