Art imitates life, but life also imitates art – and when we examine both, we come to find a broader perspective of the human experience as a whole.
Documentaries and fictional cinema, while different in genre, may find a common thread in the morals/lessons that are woven together through their articulation and delivery. Pairing documentaries and “blockbusters” from the same consciousness can help us come to understand and “see” with a new vision.
Below we’ve chosen three documentaries, and three blockbuster films that are surprisingly synchronous and if paired together allow for an expansive experience and new understanding of the world.
Check out the list, and let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
Pururambo + Avatar
Pururambo – In the era of satellites, this country of mysteries, myths and undiscovered secrets hides behind green walls of impenetrable deep forest.
Avatar – A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.
Both Pururambo and Avatar leave us questioning our evolutionary trajectory, and if our “progression” into a more technological/logical world is actually a regression, which is leaving us disconnected from our instincts, and our connection to nature, and community.
Project Nim + Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Project Nim – Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes – A substance, designed to help the brain repair itself, gives rise to a super-intelligent chimp who leads an ape uprising.
Who is more animal, ape or man? Both films pose the question of ethics, consciousness, and nature vs. nurture. Is humanity humane, or are we actually the lesser evolved species? The video below solidifies the space between Project Nim and Rise of the Planet of the Apes…
Century of the Self + They Live
The Century of the Self – A 2002 British television documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis. It focuses on the work of psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Anna Freud, and PR consultant Edward Bernays. In episode one, Curtis says, “This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.”
They Live – A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.
These two films explore the subconscious programming laden in the media, and how our culture has been hypnotized by tactics which play to our baser instincts and prey upon our sexual, and material desires. While They Live is classic camp, Century of the Self shows the power of the psychology beyond the veil of our cultural hypnosis, which controls and inspires mass consumption.