Praxis: A Painful, Yet Beautiful Lesson

| April 13, 2010

Praxis is beautiful: exquisite in its pain, intimacy, and simplicity of style. It illustrates the struggles of Brian, a young writer who is lost amidst the turmoil of his depression, desperation, and identity crisis. He is plagued by scattered thoughts which lead to a complete shutdown and inability to differentiate between his mind and reality. He is conflicted with his decision to take psychotherapeutic medicine and attempts to cling to reality by musing on the intricacies of astronomy and its stability. His strongest tie to sanity is Joe, his supportive friend and perhaps philosophical mentor, who tries to offer Brian a grasp of his ability to change.
The film is shot simply, utilizing many techniques to take the audience into Brian’s warped perspective. Playing with color and black and white, blurred visions, and snippets of images convey Brian’s own fragmented sense of reality. The images sometimes appear so quickly that they are impossible to hold onto. This may put off some film watchers but it seems like a great display of Brian’s shards of fleeting memories. The storyline is also very disturbing as the story is told out of sequence. The shots and cinematography are stark in appearance which are jarring and in contrast with a glossy, mainstream film. It is not conventionally entertaining but is rich in its artistry and presentation of the depth of the human struggle for awareness and identity.
Praxis is not for the lighthearted or the conservative. It is explicit in its nudity, which is done tastefully in its portrayal of intimacy and also of the soul which is left bare when one is stripped of his ego. It is reminiscent of Charlie Kaufman as it delves into the mind’s distortions and emotional turmoil. It explores a bit of philosophy and, briefly, spirituality as it melds one man’s inner struggles with the solidity of his interaction with others. Praxis is satisfying artistically, emotionally, and intellectually.

About the Author:

Alicia Ayoub has been published by Filmmonthly.com and "Verve" Magazine of Hendersonville, Nc. Her passion for the entertainment industry does not end with the pen. After working as a theatrical stage manager for over a decade, she is trying her hand at film making; having worked for Dreamworks, PBS, and Stormcatcher Films. Currently, Alicia is revising a screenplay in between movie gigs.
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