A personal trail of synchronicity

Tag: movies

Identity: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bats and Summer Love

Inadvertently watched The Dark Knight Rises again and (500) Days of Summer for the first time today. Little did I know Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be the vibrant connection between both movies. And he has a similar character too. Hope is what binds both flicks together. Levitt hopes for the Batman to show up to save Gotham. Levitt also hopes for Summer to show up and be more than just a platonic friend. Both show up and both exceed those expectations.

However, both also end up leaving him. And they also leave something behind for Levitt: An opportunity. It’s a special chance to adopt a new identity. Bruce Wayne leaves behind more than just a lair of military toys, masks and gadgetry. He awakens Robin. Summer leaves behind more than a 24 karat wedding band of rejection. She awakens the architect. And that architect “just so happens” to meet Autumn, his competition at an architecture firm.

During the rolling credits, my lips pursed in the agreeable gesture (you know, that ugly frown you make while unconsciously nodding your head). I thought, “Yep. That’s my life.” From my first love to my last breakup. From my first internship to my last freelance project. That’s my life. I will have to meet Batman before I become Robin and Summer will have to break my heart before I fall in love with Autumn. By now I’ve been through many a Summer. (1,000+) Days of Heartache to be exact. And Summer has once again arrived. Maybe this is the season my luck’ll change. Maybe not.

One thing I’m still learning to do is to simply enjoy the seasons as they come—and go. Levitt couldn’t control Summer. He wanted consistency and the assurance she was committed to an exclusive relationship. She couldn’t promise that. I remember being with a friend just like that. And I remember once wanting such assurances.

She had a fear of labels and messing up a good thing by tying down the wings of love to one cardiolocation. And then, just like Summer, she found herself in the arms of someone else—committed and locked in for life. She found the answers of certainty in someone else, which she couldn’t quite discover with me. And while I may have been right about synchronicity and love, I just wasn’t right about her.

“She” could be anyone or anything. For Gordon she was Summer Finn. For me, she was a friend, my professional narrative, spiritual journey—damn near everything. But what she’s always left behind is an opportunity. A chance to become bolder. A chance to be more resilient—to believe wholeheartedly in someone or something one more time, regardless of the outcome. A chance to rediscover my true identity. A chance to live (again).

Summer, I love you. Autumn, looking forward to meeting you—whenever that may be.


Synchronicity: Inception and Inside Out Movies

The other day I inadvertently saw both Inception (2010) and Inside Out (2015) movies. One is a Christopher Nolan thriller masterpiece, the other’s an animated Pixar perfection and both deal with the psychology of the mind. There were similarities I hadn’t expected, like both Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Joy (Amy Poehler) being lost in limbo in the recesses of the “subject’s” subconscious. Another direct connection is both films portraying the ability to implant an idea in the subject’s mind. What are the odds I’d watch two related films?

After seeing Inception again (for the 6th time), the message I got this time around was learn to let go of the past. It’s so fitting, because of what I’m doing with the Antihero project. Nolan artistically illustrated how damaging holding on to the past can be, as it eats away at your subconscious, affects those around you, and impacts your external reality.

The first impression I got from Inside Out was that sadness rocks! More specifically, it’s a linchpin (in moderation) of the human experience that creates opportunity for Joy to be much more meaningful. In essence, all of the emotions in this human experience are necessary—and none should be negated.

What was crazy was when the remaining emotions in headquarters—Fear, Disgust, Anger couldn’t control their subject. She was—emotionless. And it was portrayed by blackness taking over the control board. What does it truly mean to be emotionless? Is that even possible? Could that be the epitome of the living dead? Perhaps.

I’d definitely recommend scheduling a movie day and seeing both back-to-back, or at least in the same day. You’ll come to find there’s not much difference between Nolan’s 40-year-old senior executive and Pixar’s 11-year-old hockey player.

*The main writer/director of Inside Out is Pete Docter, but it was easier to refer to Pixar. Just thought you should know this guy (and Ronaldo Del Carmen) are great at what they do (Up, Wall-E, Toy Story, Monsters, Inc.—by the way, Toy Story 4 is in pre-production)

Mastery, Identity and Design: One Key Movie Element

Why does The Devil Wears Prada, Julie and Julia, October Sky, Pursuit of Happyness, Whiplash, The Matrix, Billy Elliot or even Edge of Tomorrow align with the Mastery, Design and Identity trifecta themes? Because screenwriters crafted scenes solely dedicated to the protagonist perfecting their skills (mastery) and then wielding their newfound prowess aesthetically and functionally (design), while discovering who they are and want to become (identity). You seem them run errands, chop onions, build a rocket, close sales, double-time swing, leap and plié, annihilate aliens over and over again until they’ve got it. And that gets me.