Monday, March 9, 2009


While watching Blow Up, you can’t get used to any of your surroundings because as soon as you do, they’re all going to change. The movie, much like its main character, Thomas, was in constant motion, making the watcher wonder what’s real and what’s just a figment of Thomas’ imagination. Sometimes it all seems real, much like the dead body in the park, and other times you think it can’t possibly be real, like the sounds of the mimes playing tennis. In the end you have no idea; it’s all just a matter of opinion.

The overall feel of this movie reminded me of the 2007 movie I’m Not There about Bob Dylan. That movie was filmed in a similar matter, leaving your mind reeling and thoughts wandering in every direction. Between the six different actors, you get six different perspectives on Dylan and the world around him. If you’re anything like me by the end of the movie you can’t imagine living a life with so many personas and varied ideas of your surroundings. Dylan was a lot like Thomas in that he was always on the go and almost always wondering what was real. The tagline for I’m Not There showed this concept perfectly: “All I Can Do Is Be Me, Whoever That Is.” Dylan wasn’t the only person who’s ever struggled with that conflict; whether Thomas realized it or not, he was too. His life was nothing but conflict: his role as a fashion model conflicted with his desires to show real pain and suffering, his busy lifestyle conflicted with his desire to freeze the world around him, and his ideas of reality certainly morphed once he participated in the mimes’ game of tennis. These searches for truth and self were main focuses of the 60s, and perhaps that why two movies made decades apart seem so similar— they were both set in a time of self-discovery and utter confusion for cultures all over the western hemisphere.

The works of M.C. Escher also play into the ideas of Blow Up. Thomas was trying to capture the real world in his photographs, and what he got was a lot of mixed signals. In the end he had no idea what was going on; his world was turned upside down because he had been searching for something that kept eluding him and finally got so caught up in it that he lost all sense of reality. This is what happens when you look at any of M.C. Escher’s works. The optical illusions trick your senses and make you constantly question your sight and rationality. That’s what happened not only to Thomas, but to everyone watching his plight as well. We were left with more questions than answers at the end, much as someone looking at Escher’s drawings is wondering what’s the top, bottom, beginning, end, etc.


  1. Another move that gave a loop-t-loop version of reality was Across the Universe. I think that reality is an undefinate thing. I think that is waht the directors, writers, artist and charecters are trying to get across. The best example that comes to mind is money. If you gave a 100,000.000 to a person that had no idea what it was they could use it as paper, for fire or for wall art. I think that the point of it all is that we should really step back and say "is this real in my eyes or just in societies."

  2. Also, once we know all of this we can then begin to ask ourselves what we want reality to be. We can then shape it into something of our own, and in doing so we can often become cooler for it.