A month or so ago I went to see the Coen brothers' film 'A Serious Man'. Its a great film about a man who's life is less than perfect (I won't go in to too much detail, I'd rather let you see it). Before the main body of the film starts there is a prelude in the shape of a short 'film' (about five minutes in length, but it could stand as a film in its own right). It is entirely in Yiddish and is a mysterious folk tale.
For me the short film was somehow connected to the main feature. I felt they were complimentary - each informing the other, but there was no real need to explain the connection. (Although, there were many possible options to explain the connection).
As I left the cinema I listened in on people's conversations discussing the film. The general theme seem to be that people felt baffled by the short film, what was it there for? what was the reason? what did it mean? how did it connect? why? what was it trying to say? The answer inside my head (obviously wouldn't have been great to butt in their conversations...) said 'maybe it just was. No reason'.
A couple of days ago a friend of mine in Germany (things come out even later there..) went to see the film and we were discussing the preluding film, and the responses it created. He told me that he had read an interview with the Coen brothers who said they put the short film because they thought it would be a nice thing to have before the main film. Simple as.
For me this idea is of wanting to know is how I feel about dance sometimes. A difficult part of being a dance student is wanting to know everything now. And accepting that you won't. Dancing takes a lot of time. Its almost like you have develop a different type of knowing. A 'just-knowing-not-trying-to-understand' type of knowing.
Sometimes information has been given to me, about technique, and I've tried to use it but it doesn't really make sense or work for me. Months later I start to realise 'Oh, now I know what they meant about such and such..' Its a very hard concept to describe. Which is why the film is useful in describing the process.
Dancing is like watching the short film, and struggling to connect it to the main feature. But you don't try and force meaning. Its just is, and on a subconscious level you know the two films are connected somehow. Then months later it pops in to your head that the story in the short film could be the curse of why they main character in the 'proper' film gets all the bad luck. And there you go. It makes sense, you have a connection.