Today I watched a Russian film called Russian Ark from 2002. It’s a very beautiful movie, though the plot is all over the place. It tells the story of a man (from behind the camera as a narrator and, in a sense, the cameraman) who finds himself in the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. He soon meets a 19th century European man who guides him through a dreamlike sequence through different eras in the palace (at one point we see Anastasia and then we go to modern day, and back to see Catherine the Great).
It is a strange and disorientating experience, but an extremely beautiful movie with costumes and scenery that will take your breath away. And this entire film was done in one long steadicam shot. I mean, that is incredible in itself.
The film got me thinking about reality and how some authors use certain tactics to disorient the reader. Often this is done in horror novels, but it can be done in any genre (as shown by this film). Personally, I am not a huge fan of these types of plots. There is no focus, or semblance of reality. Similar to modern art, it is to be understood but not really appreciated for its composition.
It’s one thing to think about when writing. Where is your reality centered?