FutureStates Season 1: Plastic Bag

20 Apr

Plastic Bag, directed by Ramin Bahrani, is one of the more familiar films of this series, to me. Even from the start, the film glimpses reminders of film’s we’ve watched during class. The first thing I noticed is the unmistakable tones of Werner Herzog, voicing for the main character of the film – a plastic bag. Like many other films we’ve seen, this film follows an object rather than a person; much like Paddle to the Sea.

Unlike Paddle, though, the plastic bag in this film has a personality, a voice, and quite a bit of determination. The film doesn’t specify when exactly the events occur, but it is easy to assume that it is after all life is gone on earth, left for trash to roam free. The bag hopes to find his master, the person who first took him home from the store.

The film follows his journey, and even though it is usually difficult for me to relate to films lacking human characters, it was surprisingly easy to get into this one. Herzog’s voice is perfect for the role, and while some of his dialogue is depressing and hopeless, you do see a glimpse of comedy and humor from him as well.

Eventually, the bag lets go of his dream to meet his maker, and journeys to the Vortex instead, a place for bags to roam free. He meets various trouble along the way, and spends much time waiting in bushes and trees. At one point, the bag finds himself underwater, thinking that the jellyfish are his relatives.

I really enjoyed this film, and I thought a lot of what Bahrani decided to do with it was really creative. I liked the idea of using the holes in the bag as means of transport, and I especially liked his concept of using the breakdown of a landfill to show the passing of time, without using valueble seconds of film. I would definitely recommend this to those interested in film.

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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Future States, Post 2001


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