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.
This month’s biggest action event certainly is Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, a sci-fi demolition fest well-endowed with teenage humor and explosive special effects. Transforming robots from outer space –they preferably transform into fast cars – carry out their power struggle on planet Earth, making the whole human history a part of it and also involving a college boy and his sexy girlfriend…
A family leads a peaceful life in a solitary house situated in a rural surrounding, but just next to an abandoned highway, which they have to cross when going to school or to the grocer’s. This is the initial setting in “Home”, a bizarre film starring marvelous French actress Isabelle Huppert. When one day the highway is reopened and massive motorcades destroy the peace with noise and pollution, the family members summon an extraordinary amount of persistence and obstinacy, refusing to leave and insisting to go on with their habitual life.
In „State of Play“, a suspenseful crime story set in the world of journalism, private corporations and politics, a Congressman’s assistant dies and a newspaper reporter (Russell Crowe) follows lead after lead from a complicated puzzle of arguable information. The plot revolves not only around the review of criminal and political events by the media, but also reflects the mechanisms and difficulties at work in the press industry. Beside Saturnian motifs of social responsibility and guilt, all of the above clearly emphasizes the Gemini-Sagittarius-axis.
The remarkable Argentinean film “Lion’s Den” (“Leonera”) is about motherhood. A young woman, Julia, is sentenced for the murder of one of her two lovers and bears a child in prison. How she discovers her maternal feelings amidst the harsh circumstances of the prison’s mother and child unit, how she fights to raise her son, is the Cancer-Capricorn-story this movie illustrates in it’s own touching manner.
“Small Crime” (“Mikro Eglima”) is a cheerful, sunny comedy follows a police officer, who is transferred to a remote Greek island, but harbors greater ambitions. When a villager falls from a cliff to his death, the young policeman tries to detect a murder and falls in love with a TV actress, who is the only one showing some interest in his investigation. This likeable little film about big career dreams sparkles with merriment and – fitting the Leo-energy – celebrates the lust for life in a sunshiny setting.
How a regular, average man, motivated by his sense of decency fights a big corporation in an unequal fight is told by the (true) David-versus-Goliath story “Flash of Genius”. Engineer and college professor Bob Kearns is a neat, unobtrusive guy who likes to puzzle out practical things and one day he invents the useful intermittent windshield wiper. A typical Virgo-type, whose obstinate and increasingly obsessive, long lasting battle for his copyright also reflects Saturn in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn.
For their film “Alle Anderen”, director Maren Ade and leading actress Birgit Michichmayr won awards at this year’s Berlinale film festival. The movie revolves around relationship models, gender roles and the unavoidable struggle, if you are trying for some unorthodox concepts: While on holiday Gitti and Chris meet Hans and Sana and in the encounter prove unsure in handling their own love concept… Libra as the sign of mental constructs and the symbol of encountering the Other is in the center of events here.
A Scorpio bloodbath of the unusual kind is to be witnessed in Julie Delpy’s costume drama “The Countess”. According to legend, the Hungarian 17th century female serial killer Erzebet Bathory bathed herself in the blood of young women and girls to preserve her beauty. Trying for a less demonic interpretation of the extraordinarily powerful woman, Delpy’s film adaptation highlights Erzebet’s obsessive love for a younger man and thus strengthens the Libra-motifs of beauty and love, which are another important aspect of the story.
„Crossing Over“, a film with good intentions and a humanist message, is about illegal immigration and the search for a better life, appealing for tolerance and understanding towards the strange and alien. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent is haunted by the death of an immigrant, a fifteen year old girl is accused of having ties to terrorism and threatened by deportation, a Green Card approval supervisor misuses his position for sexual blackmail – these are only three of the many characters gravitating around the conflicted field of cultural, ethnic and national intersections and demarcations. Including some sentimentality, which is adding a bit of Cancer-quality to the Sagittarian topics, “Crossing Over” is a fervent plea for a more liberal treatment of cross-culture issues.
Finally the long awaited fourth part of the John-Connor-Saga, “Terminator Salvation”, hit the theaters with a lot of grim action scenes. The exhausting battle against the machines lead by the remains of humanity amidst a devastated, largely leaden-colored world; the emotionless, efficiency-driven extermination of human life by the machines, and the story (resembling ancient Greek tragedy) about a cyborg believing himself human, unwittingly contributing to the fatal blow against John Connor and then sacrificing himself for him – all of that makes this movie a Capricorn-film.
It seems obvious to assume Aquarius-quality in the biography of a famous revolutionary and of course Steven Soderbergh’s “Che: Part One” (starring brilliant Benicio del Toro as Che) reflects this in its depiction of Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s time as revolutionary leader in Cuba. Considering furthermore that Saturn traditionally ruled the sign of Aquarius, the motif of military discipline fits the picture just as does the relevance of responsibility and social conscience. Soderbergh refrains from sentimentality and pathos and describes revolutionary community and collective fighting from a distanced, observant point of view – thus again reflecting Aquarius.
Michael Glawogger calls his film “Contact High” a “Psychedelic Road Movie Comedy”. It is populated with stoned hot dog stall owners, demented small-time criminals and campy car mechanics, and it is laced with images straight from a drug induced trip. A film about a lost bag and the efforts to get it back. Doubtlessly including some Uranian tones, this wacky comedy mainly is a motley colored trip through Piscean poetic nonsense and surreal chaos.
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