Title: The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Director: Philip Kaufman
Review: A magnificent and epic tale of love, being in love and how to stay in love. Set in Prague during the era of the Soviet invasion, this tale puts an innocent and quirky young woman with a charming sex activist and sees them through freedom, marriage, invasion, abandonment and Russian dictatorship; always longing to change, to be happy and loved alone. Really an amazing movie with fine acting from all involved, particularly Juliette Binoche who is so beautiful and Daniel Day-Lewis who carries an air about himself. 8/10 and a must see.
I and my neighbor have been randomly picking out movies from my collection and watching them. It’s odd that this film should echo a phrase I heard only once before a few days prior thanks to the Shining album: “In the kingdom of kitsch you will be a monster”. When the film finished I decided to read up about this phrase to find it’s origins. Surprisingly neither google or answers.com had any information about the particular phrase, but I did find some interesting information about the word “kitsch”. Quoting wikipedia:
“Kitsch is a term that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior copy of an existing style. The term is also used more loosely in referring to any art that it is pretentious or in bad taste, and also commercially produced items that are considered trite or crass.
Because the word was brought into use as a response to a large amount of art in the 19th century where the aesthetic of art work was confused with a sense of exaggerated sentimentality or melodrama, kitsch most closely associated with art that is sentimental, mawkish, or maudlin; however, it can be used to refer to any type of art which is deficient for similar reasons whether it tries to appear sentimental, cool, glamorous, theatrical, or creative, kitsch is said to be a gesture imitative of the superficial appearances of art. It is often said that kitsch relies on merely repeating convention and formula, lacking the sense of creativity and originality displayed in genuine art.”
It also mentioned that the world of pop culture is essentially entirely “kitsch”, all commercially produced music, movies and art falling under this category. My interpretation of the original phrase “In the kingdom of Kitsch you will be a monster” is that the kingdom is essentially pop culture or pretentious art and the object of the phrase appears ‘monster’ like to those who live within the Kitsch realms. i.e. To someone that enjoys the simplified “kitsch-art”, true art would seem like a disastrous horrible montrosity. Much like trying to introduce a fan of Will Smith to the poignant work of foreign language indie cinema. Also; “The term “kitsch” was selected in June 2004 by a British translation company as one of the ten English words that are hardest to translate.”. My new favourite word.