Friday, March 02, 2012

"Praxis" gets a lost young writer going again with friendship (and a little astronomy).

The little film “Praxis”, filmed (2008) around the DC area by Alex Pacheco, seems a bit like a downer as it starts out with a young man Brian (Tom Macy) wallowing in a near-empty (but neat) apartment with drugs and depression. We learn, with a choppy narrative, that he’s an author, has a successful book “Europa” on relationships, but has writer’s block for his next deadline. (Why did he sign a contract then?)  His physician prescribes pills, but wants him to find another doctor.

What rescues him and the movie and Brian is an old friend Joe (Andrew Roth).  The contrast is remarkable: Joe has one arm and both legs covered with tattoos, whereas Brian still looks like physical perfection, despite his drug problems (actually unlikely).  The two men go on an little adventure and swim, in a scene that reminds one of “Old Joy” (Dec. 4, 2011). The film meditates with some interesting images from astronomy (the moon Proteus of Neptune, and pictures of the real Europa, moon of Jupiter), and this, no surprise, helps give Brian his future topic, life on a future Europa (maybe that happens one day when the Sun becomes a red giant).  There's a reference to the meteor that landed in Antarctica after bouncing off Mars and the possibility that it shows life. 

The film interrupts itself in spots with chapter headings and little inserts, such as a TV broadcast “Inside the Mind’s Eye” discussing a “fragmented identity”, which Brian has.

The film, at the end, has the effect of a minor “Tree of Life”. But very small.

The movie comes from “Damaged Films” (link) and Ariztical.

YouTube has a short on the making of the film, also on the DVD.

The word “Praxis” happens to be the name of teacher certification tests given by the Educational Testing Service!

Wikipedia attribution link for NASA diagram of Europa. 

By the way, remember that "2010: Odyssey II"  (1982) based on Arthur C. Clarke, has Jupiter becoming a second Sun and Europa having life.  It also had some great aerials of Mars. 

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