“that’s a weak hypothesis…
So.. you’re probably a betting man.”
-Satan, as played by Tom Wait’s in the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnessus
“.There is no black magic, only cheap tricks..”
-Doctor Parnessus, in the same movie.
The old yarn “life imitates art” makes no logical sense, of course waking life cannot imitate art, the work of an imagination, the work of fantasy.
But let me ask you a question, is it not so that art and life intertwine, that both reflects each other and sometimes feeds off each other, that our societies, our cultures, are molded by our art which in turn molds our art as well? Is not art a mirror through which we see ourselves? Both the good of our selves, and the bad?
The power of the imagination is one of the most powerful things that mankind possesses.
Think about it for a moment, look at our humanity. Does not every man and woman, of every race, from 40,000 years ago when our species first walked an earth as Man, as homo sapiens, and not some ape like beast, up till today, have an imagination? Does this not distinguish us from every other animal on our planet? Not so much our intelligence, or the fact that we make and use tools, but our imagination – by the fact that we possess an imagination so powerful that we can create in our minds, in our intellects, things that do not even physically exist. We can create entire worlds, times, objects, and beings, epochs through the ages, all inside our little heads.
The most private and intimate of spaces, and though it may have some chemical analogs, electrical signals and reactions inside a lump of mundane looking, but utterly remarkable beyond comprehension, fatty tissue inside of our thick little brain cases, in truth, something we all know, the imagination and mind are intangible, entire worlds and epochs that never even exist are created inside our heads, every time we sleep and dream, when we daydream, when we drift into a reverie while driving, when we see an attractive stranger and imagine in our heads an entire seduction, from wooing to consummation, when we sit before a drafting table or CAD tablet, and pour out, from sight unseen, entire skyscrapers, fortresses, homes, and bridges, to the most minute detail.
Do see it, it is quote good.
There are some critics who thought the movie made no sense. Perhaps it is not for everyone, however I assure you that the movie made complete sense, if you watch it with open eyes and an open mind.
Movie critics tend to sadly lack imagination and foresight, which oddly enough is one of the points of the movie.
The movie has many morals and lessons, beyond being a more sophisticated example of an essentially classic Monty Python movie, Terry Gilliam’s imagination loads this movie with an intensely symbolic aspect. But at the root of it are some common sense ideas about mankind’s good, and evil. We should not give away the cat with the cart, see it for yourself, it is a creative, imaginative, powerful and subtle movie. Two common sense take home lessons from it.
One, If you find a man trussed up and hanging beneath a bridge, it is possible that he is there for ..
Two, making bets with the devil is not a bright idea, even if you win the bet. In particular if you win the bet.
Three, stealing is a bad thing.
Espescially if you steal from children.
Espescially if it’s organs that you steal.
Movies are often potent in their ability to use imagination and symbolism to teach us lessons about our own human nature, both good and evil. Art is a mirror through which we see our own banal and yet magical souls. We are capable of so much, individuation and becoming who we truly are, instead of hankering after a false idea of what we should or could be. We are also capable of monstrosities greater than any beast walking on four legs. We can choose many paths in life, and ever so often
We choose the gilded shiny path leading to a gilt and glittering bridge
built with dry rotted timber.