Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Goodbye, Dragon Inn ★★★★★

No one comes to the movies anymore.

Hypnagogic bliss, a somber meditation on loss and an interrogation of art as a individual/communal experience. On why we choose to experience art in the presence of others. A period piece made decades ago plays in a theatre captured decades later as we watch it decades removed, time and space are condensed into one instant. It is always now.

What we see on-screen exists in the present; it has never existed outside of our subjective experience, our context, mood, setting, medium. What the artists created and how they felt about it is borderline irrelevant. The art is subject to the individual.

Even among other people, no one is seeing quite the same thing. Eureka moments come in the instances of crossover; the communal reactions and mutual observations, the acknowledgement that one experience somewhat corresponds to another.

And then there is the processes of labor, mechanical actions divorced from textual motivation, necessitated trips to the bathroom. Drawn out moments that invite projection, as rife for frustration as interpretation as meditation. Just as the minor key is not inherently sad, these sparse images, this skeleton of a story, the empty theatre and the pouring rain mean only what they mean to us: right here, right now, as we bare witness.

Are the emotions we experience created by art or is the art simply a vehicle we use to get to them? If the latter is true, and I believe it is, then there is no wrong or right way to get to those emotions. They belong to us, in this infinite present.

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