This month's silver screen stars
The Cinemascope is meant to give an overview of current movies and their main themes from an astrosemiotical perspective (i.e.: regarding film as semiotic system and translating it into the astrological semiotic system). A well made movie not only has a story and a certain theme, it also provides a special atmosphere, a certain feeling and it draws us into its very own world. This basic quality that is contrived through characters, plot, setting and many other components also translates into one or more astrological principles. Quite simply: a fast-paced action-flick confronts us with plain Aries energy, a horror-movie evokes Scorpio-like abysmal depths and fears etc. We step out of the theatre and – if the film succeeded in sucking us in – find ourselves dwelling on and engaging in that special energetic quality.
Well known for simple, straightforward action (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger), in “12 Rounds” director Renny Harlin does it again: Young cop Danny Fisher is forced into a dangerous race for his girlfriend’s life, when a criminal whom he once caught is out for vengeance blaming Fisher for the death of his girlfriend in the chase. With a twisted appetite for competition he stages a wicked game, in which the cop has to confront twelve challenges and the stakes are high for everybody involved – „if you’re still standing after 12 rounds you’ve won her back“.
Ten years back a peaceful and quaint little town provided the setting for a cannibalistic massacre between trapped miners and more brutal murders. Now the horror returns when a young man, who as a teenager was one of the survivors, visits his hometown on Valentine’s Day. Although „My Bloody Valentine 3D“ seems to convey the feeling of Scorpionic terror, fans of the slasher genre – the original “My Bloody Valentine” from 1981 being a genre classic – will probably thoroughly enjoy and relish the slaughter-scenes enacted with sensuous pleasure, thus emphasizing the Taurus-side of the axis.
„One fabulous game of Trivial Pursuit“ leading man Tom Hanks called “Angels & Demons”, the second adaptation of a Dan Brown bestseller, accurately describing the tone of this roughly cut story about murdering cardinals and an old mysterious organization of enlightened artists and scholars, about physics, a dangerous new technology and the age-old feud between science and church, which points us to the Gemini-Sagittarius-axis with its conflict between the pure accumulation of information and the claim of meaningful knowledge. The bustling gathering and hectic decipherment of signs and symbols, which is the protagonists’ main preoccupation and giving the movie the feel of a scavenger hunt, is emphasizing Gemini-energy.
“The Uninvited” is a “family film” of a special, Scorpio sort, a kind of modern fairy tale about an evil stepmother – and thus mainly a Cancer-movie. The mother of two teenage girls died and when the younger one, who was under psychiatric treatment after the loss of her mum, returns from the hospital, hoping for a secure and caring family life, she has to confront not only spooky apparitions but also the mother’s former nurse, who in the meantime married the girls’ father. A brutal fight ensues between the girls and their hard, relentless and ambitious Capricorn-antagonist…
Movies about music or about people devoted to music almost always have a strong Leo-quality since music and dancing have always been a basic means of expressing oneself and one’s feelings from exuberant joy to deepest grief. The documentary “El último aplauso” (“The last applause”) is not a glamorous film but it captures exactly this role music has, and it offers us the opportunity to share what that instrument of self-expression means for a group of Tango-singers in Buenos Aires. Once more they want to perform for the audience of their former workplace, Argentina’s most famous Tango-bar “Bar El Chino” and evoke the glory of days past.
In “Die wunderbare Welt der Waschkraft” (“The fabulous world of washing efficiency“) again a film deals with the Virgo-motif of washing and cleaning, though this time the documenting glance focuses as well on the individual stories of the Polish washwomen as on the complex economic relations between German high-class hotels and Polish laundries.
Once again Libra is represented by one of those typically easy-going and stylish romantic comedies. “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past“ also has some repressed emotions and Cancerian fairy-tale motifs like well-meaning ghosts and further a seemingly inevitable Saturnian morality concerning the basic Libra-art of truly getting involved with the “Other” (which so far has been changed rapidly by the protagonist), which means learning to appreciate its independent perspective, instead of solely using it – or rather: them – as an aid to the own Ego. It’s the whole Cardinal Cross (pun intended) – Libra-fulfillment drawing on Cancer and Capricorn to replace Aries-egoism…
„Last House on the Left“ is another Scorpionic family film. This time though, the Scorpio-quality is clearly emphasized, since it is all about the ability for cruel and brutal vengefulness. After torturing two young girls and almost killing both, three violent criminals and the leader’s teenage son unknowingly seek refuge in the isolated vacation home of one of the girls’ parents. When the severely injured and barely surviving girl is found by her parents and they understand that they are housing the offenders, the formerly harmless vacationers think of gruesome ways to let the criminals bleed for their deeds.
How a young hoodlum turns into the courageous captain of a space-ship exploring new galaxies and how the voyages of the Enterprise could have begun, that is the story “Star Trek”, the prequel to all Star Trek movies and the TV show, tells us. Throughout various generations of “Star Trek” horizons were widened and with tolerance and a thirst for knowledge new worlds were discovered, but now we witness the first encounter between combative Kirk and cool Vulcan Spock. Nevertheless Spock’s words have always clearly pointed out the Enterprise’s Sagitterian mission: “These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life-forms and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before.”
With bare and naturalistic cinematography “Boy A” tells the story of a young man, who is striving to start anew after serving a 14-year sentence for the murder of a little girl. The sentence is served, responsibility and guilt are accepted, even some sort of redemption seems possible, when he happens to save a little girl’s life. But this good deed alerts the media of his past and thus endangers his own fragile, newly built life. Social reintegration and responsibility, guilt and expiation are the weighty Capricorn-issues this small film is dealing with.
At first glance a story about a patchwork-family in French working class milieu, “Ricky” turns out to be a whimsical genre-mix and sort of a superhero-movie about being different. A single mother and factory worker falls in love with a co-worker and a child is born. When the baby shows inexplicable bruises, conflict is programmed and the pair separates. Yet soon it turns out that Ricky was in no way abused by his father, but that he is growing wings… A flying baby in a contemporary satellite town? Francois Ozon’s unusual and odd film shows us what this could look like.
When a movie is titled “The Limits of Control” it seems quite obvious to assume some Pisces-quality. When you can hardly tell what it is about, when the images consistently appear dreamy and slightly surreal and throughout the film you are wondering, if you’re following a fractured reality, a dream or a trip through the collective unconscious, and when furthermore sentences like “everything is imagined” are spoken, then the assumption is confirmed. Aquarian Jim Jarmusch has been experimenting again and with a notable ensemble (Tilda Swinton especially is fabulous!) a film history’s mystery play full of spiritual truisms came to be, calling for a revolution of perception (Uranus in Pisces!).
Vesna Ivkovic studied literature and linguistics, sociology, philosophy and history and as well took a profound interest in psychology, mythology and different belief systems. Along the way she also explored various paths of body awareness such as the martial arts of Kung Fu, Dance, Yoga, Qi Gong and several other methods of body work and motion arts. In 1993 she discovered astrology as an instrument of knowledge and graduated in 2004 in Markus Jehle's and Petra Niehaus' master class at the Astrology Center Berlin. You can find out more about the author and her work on her own website www.astrosemiotics.de