On the Everyday

A couple of nights ago, Lisa and I saw Dear Frankie, a beautifully touching film, and while walking home we were discussing how wonderfully the characters developed through out the movie. As we walked, my thoughts drifted toward how characters are presented within the framework of a movie’s storyline, and how the presentation of the characters and the story contribute to the experience of the movie.

In some movies, characters are presented early on in the movie in full. They’re there as the medium by which the story unfolds, the focus centering on the action of the movie. The characters as people take a secondary (if any) importance to the experience, and development of the characters isn’t as much a contributing factor to the experience as what they do within the context of the story.

In other movies I’ve seen, characters are introduced into the story as they are in every day life, with only a hint of who they are, and as the story develops, the details of the person are slowly fleshed out. Who the character is is revealed as the movie progresses, in their actions and reactions to the situation that is the issue of the movie. The actions of the movie serve more then to illuminate and explore the characters; the experience as a whole is synergistic as the situation and the characters illuminate each other.

These characterizations are somewhat towards the ends of the spectrum, with many movies falling somewhere in between, their focus split between the exploration of the characters and the exploration of the story which is the action of the movie.

The movies I’ve found myself appreciating most usually focus very much on the development of the characters. A good story is required for a character to develop well, so that too is a necessity, but I walk away from the movie with a strong sense of who the characters are and how they deal with their situations and might deal with others.

Of these movies I often find that the ones I enjoy are often rooted in reality in some way, whether it be an actual or possible reality(one which that may not be real for me, but one in which I could imagine could be true). The situations of the story touch on the everyday (or at least, something one could imagine happening to oneself or to someone one knows), and the characters themselves are a reflection of what someone sees or can imagine seeing in the people around them.

Perhaps it is not that these experiences are necessarily about or within the context of everday life, but that the experience can be translated and brought into the context of my everyday life…

…I’ve always been fond of the idea that should one find themselves in need of change, that perhaps it is not the environment one must move away from but rather one should move closer to it to observe more closely, such that the desired change is within one’s self. There is fascination there, in the quietness of action in the seeming regularity of the day to day, that upon closer viewing perhaps it’s really not so regular, and that there is a much deeper richness in it all…

Thinking of the movie and the unfolding of these characters brought Feldman’s later music to mind, how his music too has this quality of an exploration of an idea whose character is slowly revealed as the piece continues on. The situation of the music, the interaction of these different musical ideas, illuminates the ideas themselves as they grow together and alone, a synergistic experience. Something very human to these ideas, as if they were all individuals interacting in such a lovely way, and how these ideas develop over time, repeating but not repeating, the motives returning but always altered, bringing with them something new to the group, yet clearly growing from where they themselves came from…

I’ve found Feldman’s music is very much rooted in the every day experience of life, in observing the everyday and finding a simple thing become much more interesting in quiet observation. Like a movie who’s characters are developing in time, the motives within Feldman’s music too develop as the piece progresses, slowly growing and illuminating themselves, their interactions with other motives creating an identifiable experience, yet, without sacrificing the individual idea’s identities.

Thinking of my own music, of where I am and where I’m going, I am once again pondering its relationship to the everyday, and how its own characters are developing in time…

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