In the Cut - by Jane Campion and Nicole Kidman

This is one of the most interesting films I've ever seen. Every detail is given attention to, the filming is terrific, with every seen having a deep impact and adding meaning to the story. Although as a mystery movie, it is a quite alright thriller, what interested me most was the (almost) subliminal messages that we are free and life is beautiful. To make myself clearer let me say that I interpreted this movie in the following way:

First of all the expression:

"The still waters of the water under a frond of stars
The still waters of your mound under a thicket of kisses"

Or in Garcia Lorca's original:

"El remanso del aire
bajo la rama del eco.

El remanso del agua
bajo fronda de luceros.

El remanso de tu boca
bajo espesura de besos."

In one interpretation , the poem by Frederico Garcia Lorca speaks about the stasis of the mind, heart and soul under what reflects it. We are grasped by what is similar, and yet, somewhat beyond us. Being similar we can see the transcendental beauty of it. A kiss, or a thicket of kisses, as an inner beauty so strong, that reminds us of an ancient past where we were so happy. Like a door to eternity, a door also to a part of us, an inner us, perhaps forgotten in the strife and trifles of daily life.

It is also something that transcends us, like if we see a part, but the rest is missing. When Frannie witnesses a fellatio her mind and heart are captured by it, like if it is something awful and beautiful at the same time, she feel excited (she comes alone with the thought), the rest of the movie might be seen as the development of that feeling, an analysis of what sex means or entails, a "sense of cock", or of what means to be in love.

But, even before we get into this, just another thought on Lorca's poem: we can interpret air, water and mouth, as thought, emotion and heart&soul respectively. The air or thought is captured by its eco: what it can understand like a mirror image. For instance science captivates nature and the world, by seeing in it a true reflection of what the mind can understand: numbers and figures and relations of cause and effect. In this reflection mind understands the world, understanding in it what the mind can understand, what the mind is: well defined relations between well defined terms, regular and unexceptional relations of "if...then...".  The mind gets caught in this, that's why it stays there, deepening even more the sense of reality it can capture through the mechanisms she sees reflected «outside».

Water can be seen as feeling, emotion, and emotion is captured by beauty. A frond of stars is just what we need as an image of beauty. The heart feels captured by beauty, it likes to contemplate it, and, just as the mind gets a deeper sense of reality by watching the mechanisms of nature, so the heart gets bigger and more profound as it stays related with beautiful things, as if their nature, energy or vibration, pass into it, and make it grow. The heart can also reflect beautifulness, and perhaps that is the reason it grows.

Now, the mouth symbolizes also the heart, but in a different sense, for it implies the soul, the mysterious nothing that we are. Now the mouth is not attracted simply by a beautiful thing, but by a loving, alive beautiful or at least enchanting / mysterious thing. It is also a reflection, but this time a reflection of some other, an individuality.

The mouth stays enchanted by a thicket of kisses...  of some other saying "I love you". But these kisses, as they are invigorating, they are also destroying. And here comes the great "lesson" of this movie. As Frannie says to her student right in the beginning:

"it should not be about you, that is the point of the all assignment"

Love kills us. It is true, as Cornelius replies, that every coma tell who we are, that we, as we understand things, as we make a picture of the world, this picture talks about us, it is the expression of who we are. And nevertheless, and we paint, when we write, when we understand, we have to get the "I/me" out completely. It should not be about "how good I am" but about that.

Being an absolute mirror means also being totally transparent. Reality should simply flow, in out, through us, in a completely trans-lucid manner.

Now this is precisely what fails in Frannies case when she gets involved in Love. She cannot easily be lost, in Love's arms. When the police men ask her if she was at all times in the upper part of the bar she cannot reply the truth, even when a life was at stake, a murder. She is unable to let a spot ruin her white figure in front of these men. If she had been sincere from the start there would have been much fewer communication problems, everything would have been simpler, and the murderer would have been exposed and out of the scene in relatively no time at all.

But the lack of communication reveals something much more interesting: fear. Fear of being exposed, fear of being abandoned, fear of being alone, confusion at being in the gargantuan the world (so many images expressing this)... This fear prevents understanding, understanding of the people that surround her, especially in this case, in the fellatio case that almost starts her unbalancing.

I say almost because it started of a little before: when her student asks, by studying these things (slang) aren't you dissing us guys? And she replies y dissing him (are you asking for an extension?) - that's when the glass breaks. That's the beginning that leads him to reply, that leads her to hide in the bathroom, that reveals finally that what we desire the most is also what we fear the most, what we can't deal with yet.

What is so dismembering, hurting in the relations in the movie, is the lack of real communication, understanding. There is a sort of dissing, that is motivated by fear and also by despise, and also by something else (inexperience or lack of vision perhaps). They see the surface, but it hurts, for the center is ignored and driven badly to wild places.

The men in the movie express different facets of man in all relations. The angry, revolted one (Cornelius), the passionate (Malloy), the dependent (Zach), and the socially correct (Rodriguez). Now, as Frannie tries to get a "sense of cock", a sense of men, she gets in touch with all these facets. And she knows, she can feel it in her skin, that one is killing her (and her friends).

Girls want love, men want love. Her friend Pauline is desperate for love, her mother was desperate for love. And both of them were killed (more or less literally) by their love. But which part of men kills, and which part nurtures? Which part of the dick is to be avoided. Is it the part where he grabs her head by the hair, or reveals her mouth sucking to the unexpected women in the lobby, showing disregrated and uncontrolled love/passsion/desire?

The answer in the movie is far from socially accepted, but I think it is true. What kills in a marriage is not infidelity, or the showing of unrepressed passion or lust or bad temper or dependency. All these people, they are hurt, they are suffering, but all they want is compassion. Their heart is bleeding and they want a cure. All of them need a kiss, they search for love.

But the socially controlled is a far greater menace to love. For him, the whole world is a prison, and "heart" is just a name of something deep down on the edge of memory, he wants to destroy everything, he wants to destroy himself. The only way a socially controlled person is kept alive is by being surrounded by other equally "inept for living" persons, who distract themselves from their horrible lifes by killing whatever has pleasure and is on shooting distance.

In more general terms, the problem is the "mind". That's why the introductory and final music is so important. "Que sera, sera". One who has no future also has no past (Osho). Just drop the mind altogether and live the passion. The anger, the guilt, repression, all this is not dangerous if dwelt with truthfully. Dependent persons will have eventually to learn to carry themselves, or drop the weight altogether, the revolted ones must be taken care of, the passionate ones should be well received with kisses and tender lips, but for the ones living in the slavery of appearances, only death can bring peace.

What are appearances? For the deep soul, immersed in Beauty, appearances are the Whole World. Reality is given by consciousness, although it is beyond consciousness. Consciousness should be our light, our lighthouse, what guides us, what shows us what reality is. That's why the origin of the murderer is found in the lighthouse. We should not confuse the

"stream of conscience
with the
stream of consciousness"

It is, in some ways, "a logical error". For it results from the confusion between what is real (given by consciousness) and what appears only to be real, an image of reality (conscience, morality, physical reality, rules, what should be, what should have been, etc).

What is consciousness? It seems a go-between between what we see and what we are, it's main goal, to make briges, connections, synthesis betweeen the visible and the invisible (being with numbers, beauty or the hungry heart). Going back in the movie "to the point of the all assignment" we should not place ourselves in the picture of the world, for our true "self" is not there, in the picture. The work cannot be about us, for only an appearance of us is in the picture (it's nothing but pictures there), we are not depictable, for we are real. If we try to say who we are we diminish ourselves. The best way to say who we are, is to talk about the world , for whatever we might say about the world will reveal a part of us, will say something about who we are. For what we see, what we understand, what grasps our attention, is also part of who we are, it is the part of the mirror that holds us still, that which we are as yet unable to fully understand, but on our way there.

Consciousness is perhaps a mystery that cannot be told, a go-between two worlds, the visible and the invisible, and the connections it establishes between them give an invisible trust to consciousness about what consciousness is...

In the cut: one of the best movies I've ever seen, beautifully written, filmed, and, seemingly, tenderly caressed from its cradle to its end... A cut in the superficiality of what is yet unknown.