7 Reasons Why “Synecdoche, New York” is an Underrated Masterpiece

By Juan Orellana

I’ve always considered weird the fact that a lot of people talk about cinema as if it was an entity separated from reality, operating on its own set of rules, foreign to everything else. A good character must have this or that trait, audiences want action above all else, an efficient script needs to have a clear three act division, every frame of a film has to contain intrinsic symbolism that furthers its themes, etc. “Rules” like these have always bothered me because the person who states them assumes that all great films have to be formulaic products, when nothing could be further from the truth.

In my opinion, cinema is the closest humans can get to communicating; not just in a rational way, but in a (for a lack of a better word) spiritual way. Every movie is born out of a series of experiences. Depending on the individual, those experiences can become songs, paintings or plays. However, the filmmaker chose to turn them into a movie. In a way, every movie is “based on a true story,” no matter how fantastical.

Why are most stories structured in three acts? Because that’s how our brains work, that’s how people usually tell a story to their friends: context, development and payoff. No one invented it; it grew naturally from human interactions. Same with character development, dialogue, cinematography or editing. All of these elements come from reality. What makes cinema unique is the way it can truly emulate existence. Not just how something looks, but how it feels to actually experience firsthand what happens to the characters.

Ideas like these had been floating in my brain for years because I wasn’t able to actually verbalize them until I read “Sculpting in Time” by Andrei Tarkovsky. His movies are a testament of his deep understanding → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

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