(unfilmed movie that never will be made)
The film studies have turned into dream interpretations. Cinema itself has become an electric shadow of the World Illusion building.
The unfilmed sci-fi movie “The Illusion” by nonexistent director Alex Munk is set in an endless shopping and leisure center. The consumer, aka user, aka viewer, voter, or author ranks as a deity or a Buddha statue in this temple. The main protagonist of the unfilmed movie, scriptwriter-director Paul, wanders through the countless floors of the temple-mall. The illusory nature of this status is apparent to him, as well as the inhumanity, alienation, and automatism that lurks behind the image of comfort, security, and serenity of the surrounding order. The Ulysses character is in a perpetual quest between truthfulness and illusion. Paul discovers that in Illusion there is no difference between author and spectator since there is no being, but only the game of authorship and the commodification of art, the design of thought defined by the architecture of the mall. Cinema loses meaning as far as the projection of projection is meaningless. The horizontal screen gives way to the vertical, the endless stream of feed, that is the reflection of the consumer-narcissist’s digital soul. People’s attention, feelings, desires, and consciousness have become a balance sheet asset, an object of investment, and an instrument of profit.
Cinema is a reflection and extension of World Illusion Mall. The distribution hypermarket takes center stage, along with genre stores and major brands. The perimeter is given space to boutiques stocking smart arthouse, trendy festival films. Farmers’ flea market and craft stalls line the entrance. Everything from underground, zero-budget to vintage punk can be found there. Trading space is reserved for any marginalized or revolutionary manifestation. Getting on the counter is a chance to become a subject or an author. The great deception and manipulation is that the category of “big cinema” and the right to make history has been assigned to those films that hit the long shelves of the distribution hypermarket.
In the genre of dystopia, an incident must occur that has the potential to bring down the system. In Plato’s Cave, a philosopher urges people to turn away from the theater of shadows and turn to the source of light. But he fails, as the bright light causes sharp pain to the eyes of the chained spectators accustomed to the darkness.
Paul talks to sellers and buyers who dream of making their movie. He finds interlocutors in food court bars among the merchandisers-priests of the mall, including film critics and film historians, dream interpreters.
The Illusion regular has gotten used to the pain and forgotten about it. So much so that he has stopped noticing his thoughts and actions, which daily, minute by minute, are aimed only at drowning out or ignoring this pain. It is the fear and the worry of not being heard or understood. This is where it stands.
Cinema is a visible projection embodied in digital or film, as is any artifact of art expressed in text or stone. But it is necessary to destroy the invisible, unrealized projection for Illusion to fall. Director Paul comes to think of the unfilmed movie as a direct way of communication between people without involving an intermediary, an outside discourse. He comes to think of a movie that will never be filmed. He learns to listen and teaches it to others until a more radical idea comes to him. He begins to address his feeling directly to the feelings of people. He learns to understand and be understood.
Paul’s illusion disappeared like a mirage. The immanent pain disappeared along with the fear of not speaking out and not being heard.