And I headed to Nova again yesterday to see another film — Mood Indigo. This is a French film, starring Audrey Tautou and one of the main actors from The Intouchables, and I thought the plot sounded quite wacky and poetic and an escape from all of the nonfiction works I had been reading/watching.
Mood Indigo begins with this quote, from the author on whose novel the film is based:
This story is completely true, for I imagined it from beginning to end. (Boris Vian, Froth on the Daydream)
My initial reaction to the film’s opening scenes was one of disbelief. This couldn’t actually happen, I thought. Not in real life. Clearly I was still climbing out of my nonfiction bucket. Once I had processed that this, believe it or not, was actually a made-up story, I really did enjoy the artsy, poetic nature of the film, with its obvious stabs at Sartre and constant, jarring computer animation throughout.
Ultimately, the wacky, not-quite-realist film made me once again consider the “truthiness” of fiction. In the film (and presumably the novel on which it was based) the emotions of characters are translated to visuals in a way that is impossible in nonfiction. In nonfiction, a doorbell can’t scuttle along the wall to signify loneliness. Two kinds of weather can’t fall either side of a table to show character’s true feelings. We can imply it, but we can’t (or shouldn’t) create unbelievable details to better emphasise a mood or a point. In this instance, nonfiction is harder.