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Monday, 26 September 2011

If fictional characters could live in our world...

I recently watched The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985, dir. Woody Allen) and afterwards got to thinking about the concept of the film: a character steps out of a cinema screen and becomes part of the real world. It's certainly a very intriguing, thought-provoking idea and there are so many possibilities to be expanded upon. I thought I would share my thoughts on the whole, crazy idea with my readers because it fascinates me and I'm sure some of you might be equally fascinated.

From The Purple Rose of Cairo we know that the character entering our world is capable of leaving more than one screen, which begs the question, what would happen if there were several dozen identical people walking around in the world? At the least, it could make for some awkward, paradoxical situations (or not, because, if the characters aren't actually real then there can't be any contradiction!). And nowadays, when there are so many screens both large and small for the characters to emerge from, I'm sure within the matter of a few weeks the world would be ridiculously overcrowded. Unless there is a way to stop them from passing through the screen. Maybe they would have to go through customs first!

Another thought I had was, would the characters coming into our world bring with them troubles/problems peculiar to them? If so, I can only imagine the madness that would ensue. Imagine dozens of Melanie Daniels wreaking havoc in every town that she (they?) appears in. And, if they do bring their own problems, they would be introducing fantastical creatures, aliens, demons etc. onto the world. In essence, we would be unleashing our own nightmares upon ourselves. Madness!

And then there's the question of whether or not only fictional characters could "come alive", so to speak. If any character on the screen could be introduced to our world, then we could very well be welcoming, among others, infamous dictators back onto earth. The fact that, as revealed in TPROC, these characters can't actually be injured presumably means they can't die (either of natural or unnatural causes) which, in turn, means that they would just stay as they are... forever. I think that's a pretty terrifying thought.

Of course, as well as contemporary film characters coming into our world, there would also be characters from things like period dramas wandering around. How would an 18th century lady-in-waiting, for example, cope in our modern, technologically advanced world? In TPROC, the fictional character Tom Baxter kept mentioning how he didn't know about this or that because it wasn't written into his character, but at least he was a contemporary in the world which he stepped out of the screen into. I'm sure it would send the 18th century lady into a state of shock.

All in all, I think it's probably a good thing that film characters can't come to life because it would probably cause quite a disturbance. I always thought that it would be wonderful if some on-screen characters could come to life so I could be friends with them (or marry them.. *cough*) but now I'm not too sure. Well, as long as it was just one character who was very well-developed by his creator, I think it might be OK!

I could talk about this topic all day as it's taken over my mind a bit, but I'll finish now and I urge you to share your thoughts because I want to discuss this with you all!

I thought, as final, fun thing to do with this post, I would make an only partially serious list of 10 film characters I would love to meet in real life.

Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)

After seeing the film and reading the book both for the first time this year, I can honestly say that Atticus is one of my favourite fictional characters of all time. The gentle way that he fights for what he believes in reduces me to a gooey mess. 

Mame Dennis (Auntie Mame)

OK, technically the character of Auntie Mame is based on a real person but... no one in real life could possibly be so fantasmagorical as she is. I want to be her!

Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man series)

There's no party like a Nick and Nora party!

Winifred Banks (Mary Poppins)

The real question here is, why wouldn't you want to meet her? The woman is marvellous!

Mother Superior (The Trouble With Angels)

There's something about Roz Russell's Mother Superior in this film that reminds me of a nun I know, so I instantly loved her. I greatly admire both the fictional and real nun.

Golde (Fiddler on the Roof)

Golde's resilience in the face of poverty and the fear of being Jews in Tsarist Russia is remarkable. She's such a strong woman and she's been one of my favourite characters since I was little.

Maxine Faulk (The Night of the Iguana)

Oh, Maxine! Lost, lonely Maxine. I want to give her a hug.

Margo Channing (All About Eve)

Who doesn't want to meet Margo Channing? I would constantly be trying to make her mention seatbelts. 

Baroness Elsa "Fabulous" Schraeder (The Sound of Music)

Because there was actually no Baroness Schraeder in the real Maria von Trapp's story (although there was another woman, but she wasn't a baroness and she wasn't called Elsa Schrader), I think she counts as fictitious. When I met her, I would first tell her that I was too old to be shipped off the boarding school, then I would creepily touch her hair because it's gorgeous, then I would steal all of her clothes... and Captain von Trapp.

Mama (I Remember Mama)

I love Mama! I think all mothers should aspire to be as caring and sacrificing as she is. 

Which characters would you like to meet?

Oh, and just before you go, some shameless self promotion: Waitin' On a Sunny Day is now on facebook! I'd really appreciate it if you could all click the little 'like' button if you're on Facebook.

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