I’m just trying to tell a joke, man
The scene below involves two characters in the film, ‘The Children of Men.’ Some days I feel like I am Theo, despondent and despairing. Some days I am Jasper, living with full knowledge of the whole catastrophe and (at least internally) living with contempt for it all. Some days I feel like a mixture of both. Some days I spend a lot of time amusing myself in a seemingly nonsensical manner and amusing those around me as a result. Some days I am a purposeful clown. Some days I am overwhelmed.
Jasper is my fantasy character, nestled away in a hidden lair away from most of the madness. As an introvert, I embody the hermit archetype in a lot of ways, sometimes the joker too. I think that is why he appeals to me so.
The world Cuaron created in ‘The Children of Men’ reflects some aspects of the current condition of the planet and the human race and perhaps is a foreboding of what could be coming. One could argue how accurate its portrayal is. Some might say it might not be as bad as all that. Others might say it will probably be worse. It ends on a hopeful note but not before he immerses us in the dystopian horror of a world gone mad. Each character trying to survive, or trying to make a difference inside the machine that is eating its own in order to stay in control.
His latest film, ‘Gravity’, made its U.S. premiere this weekend. It tells a more personal story. Taking place high above any environmental, political, economic, or military crisis – it is a story of survival and courage of two people stranded above the planet and trying to get home. Cuaron has already said what this film is really about.
“You can see this film as just a big metaphor. This is a film about a woman. Forget about space. It’s a film about a woman that is drifting into the void. It’s about a woman who is a victim of her own inertia and who lives in her own bottle, and she confronts all of this adversity that brings her further and further away from human connection, and a sense of life and living,” Cuaron said.
“All of these other elements are voices that are part of her own psyche. They represent that surge of life. Even as she’s despairing, there’s that part of you. Your brain can be telling you, ‘I’m giving up,’ but there’s something that makes our species keep on going. Life keeps on going.”
Jasper Palmer’s persona is a part of my psyche. After watching Gravity, I am reminded that there is another voice inside as well.