Is theory futile?

 Cate Blanchett in Julian Rosefeldt film "Manifesto"

finally a film about ideas fueled by ideas and yet the one that puts ideas where they properly belong namely somewhere after the visible, after the felt, after the lived and experienced. 

it is a quite disquieting proposition: it seems to show immaturity, limitations and well… idiocy of any attempt to formulate a formula. 

does it show the need to transcend the urge to put things into a set of theoretic assumptions and scoldings toward reality in the name of a newly discovered “truth”? 

if so to transcend it with what?

does it express the failure of all attempts “to get things right”?

an amazing rhythmic feast, to say the least.  a wonderful acting presentations (who cares that a few of the vignettes could be critiqued as overdone - the totality of the piece if alive and moving)

my favorite one is of course a classroom scene with quotes from recent film manifestos. 



Self Immolation

 "I, an ordinary, common man, urge you - wake up!"
 "Wake up"

This is the site of the self immolation in a political protest of a 54 year old man.  The man, Piotr Szczesny,  before setting himself on fire passed around copies of a letter which listed 15 areas of his protest.  They included: limiting individual freedoms, destruction of judiciary system, breaking constitution, centralizing law, rampant nepotism, disastrous foreign policy, waging cultural and emotional warfare, encouraging anti-immigrant and anti-minorities attitudes, ignoring tremendous medical service needs, ruinous educational reform, destruction of nature.  Mr. Szczesny writes that we should not fight with the supporters of the ruling party because: 

they are our mothers, brothers, neighbors, friends and colleagues.  It’s not about fighting them (that’s exactly what the party in power wants), and it’s not about “converting them” (because that’s naive), it’s about convincing them to realize their views in a lawful and democratic way.  Perhaps a change in the party leadership will suffice.”

Even though the above paragraph seems to be directed to those who are personally responsible for the current disaster in Poland, the rest of the letter addresses the people and not politicians.  At the end of this letter Piotr writes “Wake up.  It’s not too late yet.”

Those who aren’t sensitive to the idea of democracy and a true common good society shrug their shoulders and go about their business.  After all economy is in great shape.  The government belittles Mr. Szczesny and paints him as a victim of the opposition which, according to the official party line,  just wants to maintain the old, bad way things were.   Others are terrified by the gradual but steady disintegration of freedom, democracy and decency very often done in a manner recalling worst ways of the previous Ruling Party.   Both sides call each other “commies.”

Piotr Szczesny is dead.


Screenwriting workshop

An insanely ambitious film-making workshop has begun with writing three short scenes.