I haven’t really delved into too much chatter about anything other than my personal filmmaking experiences, but I just have to digress for a moment because what is about to happen has been in my thoughts since 2004. The TV series LOST comes to an end tonight and after being hooked simply by the captivating teaser trailers before the series even began, I have yet to miss an episode; a trend which looks likely to continue until the end!
Many people say living in Perth has its downfalls (which are well documented) but my main gripe is with the time lag between the show airing in America and us down under. The LOST series finale has obviously been attracting all sorts of attention and since it has already aired in the States, many popular movie and news websites such as IMDb have had stories running through them like rivers for the past couple days now, so I feel like I’m creeping around the web trying to avoiding being caught by the police!
But all whinging aside, LOST has been the most complex, postmodern TV show that I have had the pleasure to follow and whilst these traits set it apart (and above) from other programs, it has also been its downfall in a way. The general public enjoy watching TV & movies for entertainment, and whilst most shows can live up to this expectation, they are
also very user friendly, feeding the answers to the questions and connotations of them by the end of the episode. LOST is a character based drama (to me anyway) as it has taken these characters out of their normal existence (one of which we can identify with) and placed them in a new context (or in this instance, life) which forces us to make our own assumptions because we are unable to draw upon the usual ideological connections. These two traits (not supplying all the answers and meanings) is what makes LOST so postmodern and whilst this is the reason I call it the #1 TV show of all time, its also the reason why its ratings continually dropped off since the first season.
I must admit that at times it has often been hard keeping up with the show and its flashbacks, flashforwards and sideways glimpses of these characters lives. Nevertheless, it’s for this veryI must admit that at times it has often been hard keeping up with the show and its flashbacks, flashforwards and sideways glimpses of these characters lives. Nevertheless, it’s for this very reason, how it makes you an active participant in the show, that the program is so rewarding to view. I often wish more series could be done like this but I know film & TV is a business and people need to get ratings in order to pay the men in suits. This very business like approach to the creative field of filmmaking is also why I have so much admiration for the creators of LOST, because it appears that they were allowed (for the most part) to do it their way.
As a major character in the series, John Locke has also taken many hours of my complete attention, as his struggles and truly mysterious yet simple agenda have made me come to the decision that he is the best written and acted (thanks to the Emmy award winning performance from Terry O’Quinn) TV character I have ever come across. I think he has always been at the heart of the show, especially when we’re taking about its theme and the ideologies it has questioned. These strong meanings were confirmed when I made the connection of the character to the real life John Locke, a philosopher from the late 1600’s. His main idea was that every person had equal rights and should be judged fairly, even if the person had done something ‘wrong’. This confirmed a connection for me and a major theme I take away from the show; that people and events are never so black or white, this way or that, but rather something or someone which has chosen a specific path at that point in time. What I’m trying to get at, and I think the show too, is that a person in our society is instantly judged bad or evil if they do something against the grain or law. We pass judgment so easily, labeling them as an ‘other’ without thinking about the conditions and context the person or events occurred within.
But Locke doesn’t stand alone in this category of characters which have real life doubles and/or mysteriously mythically ties. Everyone on the show is connected and has an important part to play in the story, and the same could be said for our own lives and the people we’re connected to. This is part of the reason why I have such a strong connection to LOST and its truly intriguing ways, because to me, it’s much more than a ‘show’. People categorize it as a Sci-Fi and many other genres, but for all its complexities, to me it’s a drama about a bunch of people that need to communicated better with each other in order to better themselves and the place they live in. Of course there are many more deep and meaningful ideas which have been played around with on LOST, but I wouldn’t do them any justice if I keep waffling on about them in my blog (plus I don’t want to miss the finale as its 30 minutes away!).
On another note I’d like to quickly (times running out!) update people following the journey of my latest Contempovision short film FRACTURED. It has recently been selected for two more film festivals; Awareness Festival 2010 & Vesak 2010 International Buddhist Film Festival. If you’re able to attend any of these festivals, please do and enjoy the film. And again I would like to thank the wonderful cast and crew for making it was it is; you people are the greatest!