I am not a movie person. You can ask any of my friends or any of my ex-boyfriends, as soon as you put a movie on, chances are my eyes will start closing and I will be passed out before the opening credits end. I don’t know what it is. Blame it on my constant exhaustion or the fact that I just get bored easily, regardless, movies are just not for me so I was a bit hesitant when Jonny Darko invited me to come to see the premiere of his movie, ‘Symbolica’.
I was introduced to Jonny through Jaguar Jaguar, a local group that I did an album review for earlier this year. Although Jaguar Jaguar’s music was a bit more electronic-indie-pop than I tend to go, there was something about this group that had me stuck so, when Jonny invited me to the premiere of his visual album, ‘Symbolica’, who was I to say no. I knew it wasn’t going to be quite my normal thing but I also knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed.
Although I had no clue what I was getting into, I, thankfully, have some of the best friends on the planet who are willing to do just about anything with me so, after a quick (and delicious) dinner, we made our way through Minneapolis and landed at the beautiful Trylon Cinema. I’ve probably driven past this theater a million times but just never noticed. It’s a bit of a hidden gem but has such a huge heart and you feel that the second you walk through their doors. Small, quaint, and cute with the perfect level of popcorn smell in the air, I was instantly in love with everything about the evening.
The 90 seat theater was full by the time the lights went down and the countdown to the film started. My friends and I felt a little out of place just due to feeling like the elders in the audience (and the fact that one of my friends pointed out we were the only three with glasses out just strengthening the feeling of being old) but there was just something so comfortable about the setting that we didn’t really mind. There was a palpable sense of anticipation in the air and, as the countdown got to the 10-second point, the entire audience chanted down to one before plummeting into a deafening silence as we waited to see what ‘Symbolica’ was all about.
I’ll be honest, I know nothing about writing reviews of movies (and honestly know very little about the “correct” way to write at all) but I have a feeling I’m not supposed to give the entire thing away– so I won’t. I honestly don’t know if I could if I wanted to. ‘Symbolica’ is very, well, symbolic. Flashing images, lyrics typed out on the screen, a burning piano, a giant diamond– I mean, really this film is all over the place. I loved how, without a super “in your face” storyline, this left you to be the one to decide what the film was all about. Regardless of what you took to be the meaning of all of the images throughout this film, there was something absolutely striking about every movement and setting throughout this visual album. I honestly never made the connection before but, like music, I loved that you could take from this film what you wanted. There was nothing to tell you how to feel or what to think– the point was more to just make you feel and think.
Although I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about the music just because there will be a full album review coming (spoiler alert!), I would be remiss to not mention the genius that came with the connection between the music and the more artsy visuals. Everything just fits like the most satisfying puzzle on the planet. One of my favorite elements of this film was the way the lyrics came across. If a line in a song was repeated, the lyrics were pasted on top of each other as if emphasizing the words. It was just a small piece of the puzzle but a piece that I found super powerful and perfect.
My friend described the music style in the most perfect way and I just can’t get her statement out of my mind. It was a mix of Post Malone’s rap style with Bon Iver’s artistic side. I’d like to expand on that and throw in some broader terms like cloud-hop and indie-electronica but really, that Post Malone meets Bon Iver may be the most perfect description I could come up with. The music was just as dynamic, if not more, than the visuals and, again, it all just fit so perfectly creating a whole mood that was felt throughout the theater.
As the visual album came to a close, the entire audience erupted into a round of applause complete with hoots and hollers. What Jonny pulled off was a feat and a beautiful one at that. The creativity and talent that it took to pull off not only the music but also the visuals were impressive to say the least and it was nice to see that everyone in the audience appreciated the time and energy he put into this beautiful project. Jonny seemed shy at the end quickly thanking everyone for taking time out of their busy lives to come to check this out but really, I think it was all of us that owe Jonny a heartfelt thank you. He made the entire outside world disappear for everyone in that audience if only for forty-ish minutes and that, right there, was all that any of us needed.
Check out the whole visual album HERE:
You can check out the individual tracks’ visuals on Jonny Darko’s Youtube page HERE!
And be sure to show him some love on his social media:
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