Friday, April 01, 2011

Arty Farty Friday: At the Movies ~ The Adjustment Bureau & Limitless

Arty Farty Friday this week features a couple of movies instead of paintings or photographs. It's all art, n'est-ce pas ?

While we were out of town last week we saw two movies: The Adjustment Bureau and Limitless.

I've been digging around my memory cells to discover why I found a certain similarity, or even continuity in the movies' themes, in spite of the fact that we saw them in the wrong order for any thought of potential continuity to have immediately kicked in.

The realisation that, in both stories, adaptations of literary works: a Philip K. Dick short story, and a novel by Alan Glynn, a lead character of senator is used, at the beginning of one and at the end of the other. I fancifully imagined that with a little bit of re-writing the two might easily dovetail: Limitless coming first, with The Adjustment Bureau carrying on a sequel to the tale.

Before going off at a tangent though, a bit of astrology. I'm posting the natal chart of Philip K. Dick (data from Astrodatabank with a AA rating (the most reliable of all). He wrote The Adjustment Team, the short story which provided screenwriters with the basic premise for The Adjustment Bureau.

How's about this for the chart of a sci-fi writer!? Classic!

Uranus (planetary ruler of everything futuristic, unexpected, eccentric) smack-dab on his ascendant. Moon and Venus in Aquarius (ruled by Uranus). Venus and Uranus in harmonious sextile and linked via two quincinx aspects (150*) to Neptune (planet of creativity and fantasy). But there's more: another, similar, formation (these are called "Yods" or Fingers of Fate). The second one has Neptune linked by sextile to dynamic Mars, with the pointer hitting Venus ( planet of the arts). There's even a third Yod: Moon and Saturn in sextile pointing to Pluto - not quite as obvious a connection as the other two, but still significant because Saturn rules career, Pluto rules darkness and secrecy. Astrologers consider that, in a Yod formation, the "energies" attributed to the two sextiled planets are blended and funnelled through the energy attributed to the planet at the apex of the formation.

Back to the movies:

Both films are what I call science-fiction-lite. No aliens, no transformers, no spacecraft or time travel. Situations are abnormal but play out with normal-ish characters and backrops.

A quick run-down in reverse order of our viewing: Limitless is the story of a down-at-heel writer (very well played by Bradley Cooper), a self-confessed loser suffering a mega-dose of writer's block. He has the opportunity to try an experimental drug which enhances brain function. He does so and in a flash attains the IQ of a genius with engaging charisma and boatloads of self-confidence. Of course, to maintain this wondrous mental capacity he needs to continue taking "the pill". Thereby hangs this tale, adapted from Alan Glynn's novel The Dark Fields. I haven't read the book but researches confirm that the movie is a close match apart from the ending. As it happens both my husband and I agreed that the movie ending was contrived at best, phoney at worst, and left quite the wrong message. Without giving away more of the plot, and the reason why the two might possibly dove-tail, I'll move rapidly on to:

The Adjustment Bureau is adapted from a short story by sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick. I haven't read the story, but understand from those who have that the movie bears little resemblance to it, apart from using the barest bones of the story's main proposition. Still, it was an engaging enough movie, we thought. Matt Damon plays the lead: an inspirational and honest congressman (a rare enough breed for sure) running for the Senate, but badly defeated due to some saucy revelations from his past. However his concession speech at defeat so inspires his audience that a come-back seems assured, even progress past the Senate to the presidency is whispered as a likely outcome - in time. But then love comes along and hits him between the eyes. He meets a dancer (Emily Blunt) - they are soulmates at first sight. The fun begins. The Adjustment Bureau's people take over.

This film, on one level, is a story concerning the different layers of reality, and fate/destiny - how they might work in a sci-fi-lite world. On a whole other level, though, the story could be seen as explaining that what we choose to call "fate" or "destiny" is nothing more than the consequence of our using free will to its fullest extent.

No more detail so as not to spoil the fun for others. Both movies are well worth a look. On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give them both a 7.5.


g said...

Like your detecting Yods and using them in your astro-interpretations.

Always very telling. at least when you do it.

Twilight said...

g (gp?) thanks!

Among the many "patterns" the Yod and the Grand Trine seem to work most often as they are supposed to do. Grand Square works in some ways too, not always quite as astrologers describe though - and T-square. The rest are far too complex to be clear about I've found. Over-egging the pudding doesn't help!

Wisewebwoman said...

I've put them on my list, thanks T!

anyjazz said...

Lots of real parallels in those two movies. Perhaps "Source Code will somehow make it a trilogy.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Good!

anyjazz ~~~ Maybe so. We shall go see.