Part 0.5/1 – Apocalypto

This is the start of what I hope is a really epic writing project. Yeah dude. Not really, it’s really because have to sort out this tiredness. This lazy mental block which inhibits constructive thinking: forming connections, creativity, creating solutions, linking… neurons. This grey cloud which inhibits my creative mind. 
The last time I was imbued with any kind of creativity was at the end of 2014, where to be honest it was probably down to a couple of factors such as modafinil mixed with lots of coffee, removing myself from social media and one of those rare bursts of emotional energy which was involved with meeting an amazing woman. Sparking a brief, amazing adventure. A perfect storm.

Now I’m just in a sort of malaise, drifting into a convoluted form of escapism, which in itself is not all bad, although at the same time escapism is somewhat ‘hedonistic.’ 

Even with this in mind I’m more worried about my striking inability to form connections with what I’m seeing. To make intelligent propositions out of the narrative in front of me, to form a cognitive and spectacular world view (interesting: I hadn’t considered that my inner life is considered by myself to essentially be more ‘real’ and is more important to me than the outer world (which isn’t mine) however, out of this world it is important to me to be able to construct for example the most beautiful and remarkable aspects of it into my own inner world, or an inner world.) ‘The Dreamscape’ a conscious dreamscape.

However, in my mind that must also always be linked with a conscious ability to draft that out onto paper, into words or into pictures and paintings and drawings, to make it more tangible and physical and real. This is my frustration: that my conscious dreamscape isn’t in some sense a physical reality.

To be fair, this would also explain the precipitous amount of literature, escapist and other media purchased. It is – a false – physical manifestation of the dreamscape, to try and own it and control it and make it somewhat real. Fascinating. Like the ‘great red dragon’ it is in a sense not just about escapism but about becoming. This also explains the physically tortuous narratives prevalent in my stories. It is about ‘feeling.’ Pain and dirt, is associated with the physical realm. It’s about feeling inspired.

The writing project as I’m going to loosely call it, is the somewhat ambitious analysis of 365 films/TV serials and 52 books in as many days and weeks. I’m not entirely sure how I’m to facilitate this, as an analysis also requires background reading and well, most crucially, time. It’s more a loosely knitted exploration of media.

The first film is an interesting one. Mel Gibson’s Apocalyptico. The wilderness and the sense of fear seem to actually be a good place to start for where I feel I’m at with my life right now. 

However, that’s largely where my gonzo piece ends, the movie focuses on a tribe of Mayan hunter gatherers and in particular one young man amidst an inordinate amount of historical inaccuracies. The movies early promise in that it would deal with something interesting like manhood, tribalism, impotence quickly give way and little more than twenty minutes in, we face our first narrative collapse when the majority of tribe are slaughtered brutally during a raid and the pregnant wife of ‘our hero’ is ostensibly left to die in a well. Brutality overtakes storytelling. The violence is typically in line with much of the castle scene in Braveheart, however rather than where in Braveheart where he is atleast motivated by his wife’s murder, here our main character is tied up and barberously tortured with little hope of escape and whilst the visuals are at times stunning and even captivating in themselves, a narrative collapse illicits consequences. There must be a price to be paid. 

Probably the most promising sequence which ultimately amounts to well, almost nothing, is the creepy little psychic girl with the facial disfiguration. This is followed by a sequence in a quarry – where all of the Maya slaves are covered head to toe in white chalk dusted symbolising for all intents and purposes the coming of the white man. In conjunction with the ‘sacrifices’ being covered in blue paint to represent the sea, it’s a nice bit of foreshadowing.

The sequence leading up to the temple is both dark and aesthetically beautiful. A stunning piece of cinematography and almost certainly the highlight of the film.  

Then there’s a little more foreshadowing as the Mayan priest talks of “The sickness.” Right at the start of the movie, fear was associated with sickness, the collective subconscious foreshadows the end of their civilisation. 

This is followed by a tediously long chase sequence, considering the movie has just spent the past forty or so minutes alluding to the fact that the Mayan civilisation is about to come to an end anyway, it’s low stakes. It’s difficult to invest in the prospect of Jaguar Paw dying at the hands of a bunch of nutters when, well, you know that inevitably he’s going to die at the hands of a bunch of nutters, albeit Spanish ones. 

This is torture porn. You really have to beat the movie hard to get to a generous analysis like this.


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