I’ve been thinking about what to say about Life of Pi for a month now… I think I just need to plunge right in.
This film is an important one in Images Cinema’s history. It was our last weekly 35mm film, and our first film screened with our new Digital Cinema equipment. I continue to be so thankful to all of the donors, technicians, volunteers and staff who made this possible. It really was a do or die situation of this little cinema, and we survived!
Our equipment and installation happened a week later than anticipated, so we had Life of Pi for one week on 35mm, and one week digitally. Is some ways, this was a gift, it gave us the opportunity to compare directly the quality of our old system with our new one. Any doubt any of us had about it was washed away the moment we saw how bright and clear the new digital projection was.
Life is strange and beautiful, many odd things happen, many painful things also happen. Life of Pi, too, is a strange, beautiful, and painful film to watch. While at the zoo, the animals in the film are shielded from life in the wild, and the suffering that might entail. Pi is given the chance to live life to the very edge, and come face to face with himself, his fear and his suffering in the embodiment of a tiger, and learns to tame it in order to survive. It’s an experience no one would choose, but one that you cannot deny once having had it. Just to survive, that is not enough, one must live.
The film is saying a lot about religion, and the question “Which is the better story?” is interesting to consider. One of the many benefits of spiritual practice is how it enables us to go on, provides a framework from which to understand our own suffering. And this, too, is the power of cinema. The experience of walking into a theater and experiencing life through someone else’s eyes, that is powerful and potentially transformational. I’m so thankful Images Cinema will continue to be that place for so many of you all, a screen on which we project our fears, dreams, joys, and triumphs.