Tuesday, 2 October 2012

We Are Infinite

My first premiere ever! And it seems quite appropriate.

I have never had the opportunity to be part of a premiere before. My idea of premieres were of formal wear, red carpets, cameras and posing nicely for said cameras. But maybe that was impossible in this circumstance considering that none of the cast or crew graced this specific premiere.

Never the less, it was a memorable one as I not only attended but also helped organize and execute it along with my, now, former office mates. We had been planning this for some time before I left so I was invited and helped out with the registration. I had been away from the office for about a week and yet I felt nostalgic all the same.

Disclaimer: the following photos are not mine, but from Tumblr. So many awesome works over there!

I was properly freaking out when this film was first announced. I read the book by Chbosky about a year ago and thoroughly fell in love with it. I even thought that the casting for Logan Lerman and Emma Watson had been a hoax because of the teaser poster which (and I still maintain) too look awkward and strange-looking--like it had been poorly photoshopped. 

But once it had been legitimized with a Christmas photo from production and a teaser trailer, I was so thrilled and could not wait to sit in that theater and revel in all it's poetic, musical and emotional glory. 

I think the reason the book resonated with me so much was that, aside from being full of quotable quotes (which it really is and I love each of them immensely), it was something I could fully relate with. No, not with the plot twist at the end, but just the idea and being of a wallflower. 

During separate conversations with my dad and my mom, I told them that unlike my brother, I could be left alone the entire day at the mall or out of the house and not be frustrated to go home. I could spend the whole day just sitting at a comfortable coffee house or cafe and do whatever it is that an introvert like me would do to kill time. Not only that, I find that I often take pauses from whatever it is that I'm doing at these coffee shops and look at my surroundings. 

This goes all the way back to high school, but the moment that it was engrained in my being (the observing-the-world-around-me thing) was in college. A professor of mine in NARATIV (the professor that would also be my mentor in screenwriting) once gave us an assignment in class. The assignment was to simply observe the world around us and, in five separate index cards, write about five different people that we observed that we took a particular interest to. Ever since this assignment, I have been doing this often. In my mind, I would watch them, how they spoke and whom they spoke to and of--I would then etch out what kind of backstory they would have and what kind of events in their lives led them to this very moment, sitting at a table across from me. 

Yes, it is a strange hobby, but one that I found taught me a lot of things. This observing and trying to understand was how I latched on to the character of Charlie, and how what he learned during the book made me learn along with him in real life. Learning about how to participate in life was something I did not expect to learn in a book. I, like all people, had thought that it was romantic young adult fiction. To some extent, it was--but it was also so much more.

A lot of people would be surprised to know that while this particular quote was mentioned in the book more than a few times, it is perhaps not the most popular line from the book. However, in the film version, I noticed that this was given more emphasis and the love story in the book took more prominence. 

Perhaps the limitations of how to translate innermost thoughts of Charlie into actions without as opposed to making everything into voice over was difficult for Chbosky's  directorial debut. I mulled it in my mind during and much after the film. 

Never the less, I enjoyed how in the film adaptation, this had stepped forth as the predominating quote. To be honest, to fully understand the quote, you have to repeat it over and over in your mind. For myself, I had to di-sect it and even look at each of the characters and how it played into their story lines.   

When I read this for the first time, I took a while to understand it myself. In the end, to make it simpler to explain to others, I would say that it was something along the lines of "The Law of Attraction." If you think you don't deserve a good and caring relationship, then that is exactly what you will never get. In the case of Sam's character, although she knows that she only gets into horrible relationships and attracts horrible men, it was because she didn't think she deserved any better or that she had done it onto herself. 

I wondered though. If that was how it actually went, what if the thoughts were skewed from a different perspective? What if, you thought the love you deserved was grand, Hollywood-like and severely romantic--would that explain why some girls never seem to find the guy that would make all of that come true? It that because, in their minds, it is extremely rare and thinking that makes it exactly that?

Gosh, see how this book/film has made me think?

This particular line from the book is not really one that makes me think. I like it because it is a fact and it is stated straight-forwardly as such. It doesn't take any interpretation such as the other two lines that are my favorite in the book, but something that can apply to everyone. I don't know why, but this line makes perfect sense to me. I can't say that I have been only extremely happy or extremely sad in my life or any moment in my life. There has always been a mix of both and I always did wonder how they are able to co-exist. 

Another realization about life that is brought forth by Perks. Truly, this is something that everyone innately knows, but every now and then we need some reminding. Reading this line really (just like the succeeding quote) makes you focus on that very moment that you are thinking and experiencing. I suppose it's something akin to Y.O.L.O. but on a more meaningful level. See, "you live only once" has an underlying tone of "do amazing things with your life" or "do all good and memorable things in your life" but we all know that the probability of all amazing things is unlikely. 

This quote makes you realize that not everything will go your way and you will also have to experience some difficulties and hardships, but regardless of whether those are wonderful or dreadful moments, we all know that they will be just another story someday. Its relieving and disappointing at the same time. I love the complexity of all these lines!

And finally, my favorite quote which, in my opinion, was the quote from the book (not greatly translated into the film):

Talk about "living in the moment." Not only are you in that moment, but you have immortality, invincibility and infinity in that moment. 

In both the book and the film, Charlie only ever mentions this line. He never really goes into depth about why he feels infinite. You will only be able to grasp his words as you read through the pages, or observe everything that is going on in that very moment that he says that line. But the moment you read through that specific passage or imagine yourself in his shoes and place yourself in his mindset, you understand what he means to be "infinite" and you, yourself, feel it too. Then you feel the power of those words and, whew, what a feeling. 

I would like very much to go into detail about this feeling of infinity--about how I know what if feels like and how I would very much like to feel it again as a new moment is formed. But I believe I have gone on and on about all the quotable quotes in this film that I might not have left any for you to love and discover on your own. 

Though, I wouldn't worry too much about that--the book is amazing. And if you have watched the film or have never read the book, read it please. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, along with The Fault in Our Stars, is one that I believed changed the way I think about life and love. So, I suggest you read it.  

One last note about the being infinite. I have an example of this feeling. And, I swear, I'm not just saying this to suck-up or be cheesy.

Taking that Team Photo during the premiere was one such moment. At the back of my mind, I was thinking that technically, I was no longer a part of the team because I was no longer part of the company. At least, that was how it was on paper. But somehow, I didn't feel that at that moment. Although it was my last team effort with them, at that moment I "am" part of their team. And taking that photo--made that feeling infinite. 


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