Is every hard-won objective or difficult journey worth the effort? Movies, by and large, are about characters trying to achieve such objectives or embarking on such journeys: in The Godfather, we follow the Corleone patriarchs on a quest for power; in The Shawshank Redemption, we follow Andy Dufresne’s prison journey after he’s been wrongfully accused; in the Kill Bill movies, we get to see The Bride go through hell; etc.
To what end, though? Or, is the journey itself enough?
According to Nietzsche, “whatever does not kill me makes me stronger.” This idea, perhaps popularized anew by Kelly Clarkson and Kanye West, has a certain appeal even to us here at Cellulust, but it’s not always correct in that we can easily find exceptions: diabetes, anemia, malnutrition, AIDS, head injuries, blood loss, alcohol abuse, psychological trauma, smoking, obstetric fistula, syphilis, Michael Bay movies, hepatitis, getting shot in the guts, bulimia, back injuries, periodontitis, osteoporosis, stroke, heart attack, poverty, chronic migraines, etc.
So, does any journey that doesn’t kill you make you stronger? No! Likewise, is it so important that a film add up to something in the end or that it simply moved or entertained us? Here at Cellulust, we’re all for being moved and entertained, but we hold as paramount what the work ultimately means. The underlying assumption here will be that achieving one’s film objective doesn’t necessarily mean that we or the world are better for having completed the journey (or for having endured the experience).
Let the spoilage begin!