Empty Days

Saturday, October 09, 2004



Lovers of the arctic circle.

I've seen another one of those films that made my day for being good - though the title has snow in it, it is actually a Spanish film - except that its mythical otherworld is located in Lappland, Finland.

On the face of it it's one of those magical-realism films about a gloriously overpowering love-story. On the other hand though it's more about "meaningful coincidences" and destiny that is revealed through them. This sort of approach is always extremely poetical and makes order out of seeming chaos - basically it's a regular fairy-tale - I guess that's why I found it so uplifting: the idea that all things past and future, personal and strange, are all somehow connected by invisible threads of the "web of fate" and that you're not really completely on your own with your blind blundering mind making all the stupid mistakes and decisions - that there is some guiding sense to all of this apparent nonesense.

One key-phrase from the film, by the protagonist who is ravaged by guilt over the suicide of his lonely mother which eventually makes him abadon the one love of his life: "After I left her, life stopped making sense and I was deprived of my destiny" (not exactly, but basically that's the idea). Of course the key-word here is "destiny" - which in this case is represented by his fated love for that girl - but it could be anything, as a matter of fact - what's important is that it presents destiny as a sort of holding to something sacred - destiny is woven from some holy place in one's life - and this place is given rather than found - yet it is possible to stray away from one's true course by abandoning this place inside yourself. Then you become lost because nothing guides you anymore - life loses fundamental meaning, no matter what you do or don't do with it.

Of course this is a european film - in Amerika there are people like David Lynch or Atom Egoyan who work in that line - trying to see beyond the purely rational take on things. Perhaps it's the closest thing to spirituality we can muster today. It's not much, it's deceptive, but the poetry in it is undeniable - that longing for a deeper vision than the goddam materialistic trap we're all somehow caught in today.

So is this film about love or something? No - it's not about love or something. It's about making sense out of something that has long become shallow and nearly non-existent - life as we know it, that meaningless trap.

A good film.





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