This week's post is a bit of a departure from the standard. It's more of words on something I've been experiencing (and on the mind as I make definite plans affecting my long term career).
Unlike my peers and colleagues, I don't really have a favorite movie or television show. I feel that its something that has always shifted from thing to thing, depending on its contemporary context, and my own mood too.
However one that's always stuck with me is Doctor Who. Not only is it successful as one of the longest running series' in television, it also represent a delicate balance of heritage and contemporary identity with its audience.
However, out of Daleks, Weeping Angels, and even the Ood, one episode - specifically on scene has always stuck with me: Season 10, episode 5, "Vincent and the Doctor."
The Doctor (the 11th, played by Matt Smith) and his faithful companion Amy Pond travel back to 1890 after being caught by something that appears (fictionally) in one of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings. The pair find Van Gogh troubled and looked down upon. This is not too fictionalized from the actual life the artist led, though embellished I suppose.
After battling monsters and saving the world, the last scene is what gets me, every time.
Its the words of the museum curator, though a bit dramatic that the fictional van Gogh is given the chance that very few artists ever receive.
The writers of the show are able to take the historically accurate record of an artist's tortured life, one who died in sadness and depression, who though experienced brief notoriety and appreciation, would never actually see the full respect of his work - not realized until long after his death.
In this story, van Gogh is able to understand that to some end his work lives on, respected, and understood. Though sadness and frustration drove his work, the realization of greatness is rewarded.
But that's not what works for me in this piece, not alone at least. Behind the performance of the actors, the music selected ("Chances" by Athlete) matches the pacing of the individual scenes and camera work. As the tempo of the song builds, the drama of dialogue climaxes to a breaking point and resolve, a reprieve. The camera work too, builds in pacing, growing and increasingly frantic with closeup and excellent layering of speaker vs. reaction of van Gogh. An excellent pairing of technique, auditory experience, and the visual.
And that's what I aim for. The happenstance (or skilled planning) when all the elements come together to hit the viewer successfully.