The american film "Pleasantville" ran here just again in the television and brought me on some thoughtful questions:
David (actor: Tobey Maguire) and his sister Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon), first were normal viewers in this film. Suddenly, they are moved into this clean, adrette, black-and-white television soap "Pleasantville" of the 50's.
Here in this city all ways only lead around in circles and to no goal outside. And there is neither annoyance, controversy still misfortune. Books contain empty sides, but no texts, and the local fire-brigade did not have to do it ever with a real fire. Everyone is nicely to each other and everything runs smoothly and smoothly.
The lifes of the inhabitants are rather shallow and without depth. Any crises, but also genuine passions are unknown to them. Each human meeting runs according to the rules of an well-arranged, civil life. Thus their everyday life remains homogeneously and boringly, grey in grey, but without that they noticed this at first.
But soon Jennifer leaves free run to its feelings, by getting involved in strong affairs with some boys. She has to teach them kissing and more, because so far this was unknown in the clean black-and-white world there. She thereby brings color into the banal everyday life of the inhabitants.
Some rose blooms radiate suddenly just as red as the heated up cheeks and lips of the fallen in love ones in Pleasantville. Particularly Lover's Lane, the meeting place of the youth something outside of the city, lights up first in full-colored splendour.
Fun, alternation and fantasies change increasingly the remaining monotonous-grey world of Pleasantville. Arts are created and colors sprouts out everywhere in the city. It is like an invasion, which cannot be stopped any longer. Texts and pictures suddenly appear in the formerly empty books and people eager for knowledge form long queues in front of the public library.
Jennifer's brother David worries about the city, whose traditional order dissolves at the same time more and more. But Jennifer shows up unimpressed and finds sympathies and imitators within the inhabitants, who - in the meantime - are curious.
Naturally, this development does not go on without conflicts. Anxious and reactionary forces on the one hand and such humans, who summon up courage and dare to follow their desires, their feelings and their passions come across into serious arguments. Colored painted shop windows become destroyed and books are burned.
However, the colors win the upper hand and nobody can anymore oppose the pulsating life, which conquered the city. And finally nobody seems to suffer any damage.
I was very much impressed about the style of this film, where first only some very few colored objects appear in the black-and-white pictures, later more and more, and finally all pictures become full colored. Inevitably I had to think of the hand-coloring techniques in photography. One small detail within a grey-in-grey background, emphasized by color stands out and affects the viewer very much.
In 1998, Gary Ross obviously availed himself of the computer engineering in order to create exactly the same effects in his film. It thereby supports very impressively the contentwise statements of his artwork visually. The changes between colored and black-and-white pictures happen again and again, depending on which it concerns just at the moment. To a certain extent the film lives of this central effect.
Life of the city initially shown reminds me of the soap series I saw as I was a child: "Lassie", "Fury", "Flipper", "Bonanza" or "Our small farm", and so on. At that time they all pulled me into their spell.
"Which is the Pleasantville, I actually live today?", I suddenly heard me ask myself internally, when I watched this impressing film just again. However, one other question seems still more important to me: "Which is the Pleasantville I would like to live actually?".
Natually, I can only give one answer on that. Who would really like to live durably in a world, in which the roads lead in circles around and in which books only contain empty leaves?
At the same time, this film clarified me one thing again: I must be ready to enter risks and to leave the withdrawn paths of my daily practiced rituals, in order to be able to enter into this different, colored and passionate world. Crises, fears and conflicts are thereby not to be excluded. I must be able to bear uncertainty. If I fear, if I try to prevent changes or if I do not want to accept them, my life remains grey in grey...