Friday, September 07, 2007

Things That Change Us

This past summer I did a post on the movies of Robin Williams and how life change will happen through interconnected relationships. I still believe that. But I also wanted to present an abridgement to that idea as shown in last years academy award winning The Lives of Others (winner of best foreign language film, from Germany).

In the film (spoiler alert) an East-German secret police man overseas surveillance over a dramatist in the years prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Yet while this secret policeman, Wiesler, performs surveillance his very strong pro-GDR stance is weekend, largely by the power of art, music, and the written word.

This is a beautiful moving, and very deserving of all the praise it's received. And I believe in it's thesis that art can change us. The movie draws forth a Lenin quote saying, "If I had listened to Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata more, I might not have finished the Revolution." In this way, life imitates art in the film and over time someone who wants to protect the state interest, suddenly is willing to go against the state to protect something that he thinks is beautiful.

Is the idea that art can change us real or just a romantic notion?

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3 comments:

Jordan M. Poss said...

Agreed--The Lives of Others is one of the most subtle, beautiful films I've seen in a long time.

I think art can change us, though only in so far as it relates to our real-world experience. I'm not sure quite how to illustrate what I mean, so...

Good post.

kat said...

Funny timing. I just saw this movie myself and was going to write about. A truly remarkable film. So awful to hear about Ulrich Mühe's death a few months ago.

Lorna said...

Yes, I think so because when i saw this quote:
The movie draws forth a Lenin quote saying, "If I had listened to Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata more, I might not have finished the Revolution."
I thought of John Lennon, and it still worked. That is not the me of my youthful belief in the benefits of communism....

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