There’s something about movies that fascinates us, likely because we’re so addicted to dreams we need them even awake. Whether laughing, crying, thinking, or longing, we need these special lenses to show our individual places within the world, to shape, guide, and make us — for a couple hours — want to be more than who we are.
Let’s look at a few movies that do precisely that so well, they transcend their medium.
Life perplexes. Life mystifies. It teases, enraptures, amazes, enrages, and ultimately silences. The best films to capture the messy grandeur of life do all those things. The endings may not be clear-cut, the scripts at times largely improvised, characters will behave in ways we might not have predicted, but we love these movies for the heart they provide in an often uncomfortable world.
If you’re one who never thought they’d see Amelie featured on Black Gate, welcome to Zig world. Everything is chance, even when we plan. Everything is wonderful, even when we cry. What if you could ensure that a life here and a life there would turn out a little brighter because of something you did? Would you do it? Amelie, by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, is a delightful fantasy of questions accompanied by a sense of wonder, one that reinforces the truth that just because life isn’t tidy doesn’t mean we can’t tidy our corners of it.
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The Coyote Kings, Book One: Space-Age Bachelor Pad (Narmer’s Palette, February 2013)
In a career that has seen the author tackle fan boy culture (both the good and the bad of it), superhero deconstruction, immigration & enculturation, and gritty space opera that fixes what George Lucas tried to do with the Wars prequels, The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad (since re-released as The Coyote Kings, Book 1: Space-age Bachelor Pad, as the author is currently working on the hugely-anticipated book 2) began author Minister Faust’s cult journey, and he’s blazed new indie trails ever since. Are you a fan of smart and subversive? Faust is one of the best in the business. One line into Kings and I was hooked.
In advance, shut up. I know epilogues go at the end. My point here, which should have been obvious in my opinion, is that I am telling you some of the end of this story so as to get you to comprehend the mindset under which I am currently operating and during which I am escaping.
Here’s a writer who manages to pack more imagination and mega-wattage of writing into a single page than most writers get out of an entire series, turning every book he writes into a full-body experience. Also? Humor. Faust is funny as hell. Even in what I consider to be his masterpiece, The Alchemists of Kush, a book that can shatter and rebuild you if you let it, he’s fully aware that the broken and confused laugh on the darkest of days. Maybe especially then.
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