Friday, 26 June 2015

Kafka (1991)

Steven Soderbergh's masterpiece is rich with stunning visuals and euphonious audios. Jeremy Irons is great as Kafka. He's a wonderful actor with a charming personality and suave manners. Despite being a film from 90s it has been kept black and white which gives the atmosphere a melancholic tone. It reminds you of many surrealistic conspiracy films but by many accounts Brazil (1985) seems to be the strongest influence. 




There's certain amount of comedy but it's mostly a conspiracy thriller. It gives you feeling as if you're reading a novel--a very vivid novel. The Kafkaesque universe is nightmarish as he himself says in one of the scenes--"I write nightmares..." The dialogue in this film is very well written. The cinematography is almost perfect but it seems that there's a lack of proper development of characters other than the lead Kafka. The film is loosely based on "The Castle," a Franz Kafka novel in which a character K. tries to access a mysterious society which runs the village in a strange way for unknown reasons. As Kafka requests his friend in the film to burn his work after his demise, Kafka did request his friend to burn all his manuscripts before dying in real life but his friend didn't do that and his work got published. Kafka died before completing The Castle. Similar to the lead in the film who starts coughing blood in the end he acquired tuberclosis which caused his death. I feel this strange surreal mystery is one of my favorite films.

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Revenge and Vigilantes



It's kind of synchronicity that in the last two days I've seen movies which touch the issue of revenge. The first was The East (2013)--which has an anarchist group trying to send messages across the world to deter wrongdoers. They give pharmaceutical companies a taste of their own medicines with lethal side effects; and their other jams are also along similar lines. 




The other film Red Road(2006) is a sensitive film touching the subject of personal revenge. I am sorry to spoil it if you've not already seen it--but the lead character forgives the perpetrator in the end--even when she had contrived a great deal to exact her revenge. The happy ending is a usual occurrence but kind of unexpected for this film.



Personally, I feel I don't remember having done anything in my life to exact revenge. I have done things in my power to point to people around me at times-that something seems "wrong" or "out of place,"(And yes, even this 'pointing' might hurt sometimes or might be considered as "patronizing"--but it has never been a calculated revenge.) --when I felt that it didn't feel right--but it hasn't been a revenge. Maybe I've been fortunate till now that I didn't feel the need--I thank existence for that. I don't think I can speak for society or people in general--but at this point I don't see need of revenge in my life.


The problem with Karma, reincarnation and other metaphysical and esoteric things is--they're dependent much on your intuition and gut feeling than on pure logic and reason.


In last few days I've conceived a few ideas which suggest that reincarnation is a myth. For a personality reincarnation doesn't exist and it can be proven by pure reason--but otherwise reincarnation exists only for those who believe it does. For me it exists no more. It's like one day I conceived that death exists no more for me--a profound realization---similarly reincarnation doesn't exist for me anymore.

I feel if you're an intuitive type you've clearly observed Karma working in your life. For example--people who arrogantly drive faster than limits soon meet fatal accidents. When you yourself or anyone around you stretches their body, mind or power beyond a certain limit they soon meet fatal ends. I have personally observed this in my life--I've myself suffered and seen others suffering in such ways which might be called Karmic--but my observations might be too few in number and maybe I am just "deluded."

In many cases it might be that Karma doesn't seem to work and people doing wrong live happily. But do they? Or they just seem happy? Since there are no measurements possible in this regard only speculations are discussed. Existence is too vast and our minds are too limited.

Since I feel that reincarnation doesn't exist( which I used to believe in for the greater part of my life.)--which most of the Christians and Muslims never believed in--in the first place. laughing--Karma becomes even more difficult a concept.

Now coming back to Vigilante action--A sage said that you should be beyond the need of help to truly help others. His definition of help is also different than our definition. He suggests that if you solve a problem of a person he finds another and another and so on. Further, by taking example of a moss he suggests that if you're outside the moss only then you can really make someone get outside the moss. Most of the so called gurus and vigilantes are themselves in darkness---they've not really transcended the ego-therefore they can't really help others transcend the ego.


An enlightened person--if such a person really exists or ever existed--has transcended the ego and he doesn't need to do anything at all--but he could be a true vigilante because he would not fall into karmic booby traps. If something wrong comes under his observation it becomes right. Merely his presence removes the darkness. But these are all kind of speculations.

Yes Vigilantes are bound to be fallible. We've seen in fiction that Spiderman and Superman and other superheroes have moments of tests of conscience.

But you need to be exceptionally powerful in one way or the other to play a Vigilante. More than that you should be beyond corruption. We've seen enough in the history--Hitler was also trying to purify the society--he was a superhero in his own eyes--so concentration of power is almost impossible to exist without corruption. The theory of enlightened man is one suggesting a superhero who is beyond being corrupted. But it's just a theory.


Another idea is related to the totality of improvement. I personally feel aligned to ideas of some sages of the past in this regard. Some people who are compassionate feel that darkness of the world should go away altogether and anyone who is a sage or enlightened person should be able to do so. But the Truth is that there's not going to be permanent harmony ever. Some periods of harmony follow periods of chaos and so on--it has been so and it's going to be so always. So many Jesuses, Krishnas and Buddhas have come and gone away--but the age old problems of humanity still remain--you see glimmer of hope for a while and then again disappointment and then again hope and it keeps going like this. Knowing that fully leaves you an option that you find your own peace. This is true for those who are detached and spiritual but those who are very much attached to family and friends are indeed compelled to play their role in whichever way possible. All movements are by people who feel that they can execute  "permanent" changes in society but there are no permanent changes only temporary shift of power.

So should you sit idle and search the Self? Should you exact revenge in your power? I don't know--everyone does what he or she must do. I feel destiny is a super-force and you're bound to do what you're destined for. I don't feel that there's any free-will whatsoever. So those who are inclined to take revenge might take revenge and those who're not might never take it. 


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