“Harsh reality beats future fantasy at the Oscars,” one of the quotes the morning after the Oscars when the Hurt locker was awarded more Oscars than Avatar, which I believe was expected to take home quite a few shiny golden statutes. It is one of those statements that jumps out at you and stays for a while, maybe having a deeper meaning than just about film awards. I’ve been thinking, probably too much as usual, whether that is true and that the human race does prefer to focus on the harsh realities of life on the planet rather than any future ‘fantasy’ or mystery.
There certainly are harsh realities going on and war zones are more than ‘harsh’, the depth of pain, misery, trauma and shock cannot be understood even by those in the midst of them. Ethics and debate aside, the reality is there are men and women risking their lives every day for motives such as honour, justice and freedom. And in the midst of the harshest of realities the human race is stuck in its paradox of showing the very best of human nature, hope, compassion, sacrifice and love and at the same time the worst, pain, misery, humiliation and hatred. The world is a messy place, it is full of harsh realities.
In the fantasy world there are happy endings, the good guys win, time travel is possible, basic laws of science and nature are bendable if not removed, there is harmony and order, happiness and fulfilment. Children’s fairy tales, clear cut stories of good vs evil, where good always wins and evil is easily identifiable, unless they are Roald Dahl’s. Fantasy films are characterized by highly imaginative and often supernatural elements. The harsh reality is swept away in favour of limitless possibilities. I enjoyed Avatar, I like films that have happy endings. I personally don’t go to the cinema to be traumatised I go to be entertained, the whole cinema experience is about entertainment and I tend to be pretty miffed if I’ve paid to be made miserable. I can stay home and watch the news about the state of the nation, everything is bankrupt apparently, the economy, morals, education....there’s all the trauma’s in the world to watch, wars, famines, disasters or even think about some of the life journeys my friends are on, there is enough harsh reality to engage in sitting in my front room without going to the cinema to see it.
So for film choices I would always choose future fantasy over harsh reality. For my every day existence I choose the time travelling mystery. I can turn my focus from harsh realities to another reality a more powerful one, full of limitless possibilities. Where the laws of science and nature are bendable, if not removed, where there is order, liberty, joy and fulfilment and where best of all the good guy always wins and so ultimately so do I. I think from this focus I can be more effective to change the harsh realities rather than getting in there with them and shift the human paradox from hatred to love.
Easter is nearly upon us and what a story of past present and future mystery. The Word made flesh and making his dwelling amongst us, dying on a cross to pay the price for us, rising from the dead!! Come on I’m choosing this story, this reality, this victory.