Earlier tonight I unexpectedly climbed an inner mountain thanks to Alex Garland, the writer and director behind Ex Machina. His new piece, Annihilation, is a clear spiritual successor to his last film, in that it is clearly focused on human dynamics, and has a lot to ask about changes to the human condition. It has been an hour since the credits rolled, and I am still physically and mentally unsettled (which is a good thing in this instance).
Given my difficult relationship with our increasing state of complexity, I appreciate media that provokes my mind into exploring its construction. The form of reflection that this film invokes is both a result of, and an exploration into, the powerful forces that shape our narratives and sense of self. Wildly chaotic, the world portrayed in Annihilation exists as a haze of abnormality that flows across several dimensions, and the journey through this carefully crafted portrayal of change leads to deep-hitting existential questions. Ultimately, the film calls into question definitions of who you are, and we are, and the nature of the world we inhabit.
The gratitude I feel this evening is an odd one, as its similar to the gratitude you might feel after a friend has snapped you out of a dreamy spell. Alex Garland has designed this film to deliver a non-tangible slice of humble pie. His deliberate depictions of fragmentation suggest that we exist as an expression of complexity, and asks the watchful viewer to consider what that actually means for their lives. To me, it serves as a reminder that I am a part of much bigger story that is extraordinary in nature, and that grounding effect encourages me to re-localize my mind and discover opportunities to build in depth of connection with that which makes me who I am.
If you find yourself wanting to discuss this film, don't hesitate to reach out!