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Joss Whedon's Poetics of Space
    Joss' commentary for "Objects in Space", the concluding ep of "Firefly", offers a much more convincing case for the impossibility of carrying Buffy into two dimensions than any of the elaborate arguments against canonicity have done.

   He talks, first, of his own sort of epiphany concern the way objects exist in themselves without any relation to consciousness, that they exist whether we wish them to or not, without meaning, while watching "Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Director's Cut" as a 16-year-old in London. Those who experienced the movie in those pre-cineplex days will recall the impact that the mother-ship's descent had, and I wonder whether his realization came before or during those late sequences in the film. He realized that he had no belief in a divine or universal intelligence giving things, objects, meaning -- and a friend gave him a copy of Sartre's "Nausea", which helped him key on his understanding. His commentary for this ep -- after he says he doesn't want to be considered an intellectual -- is a fascinating meditation on emotions, on the way we impart meaning to things, and on the difference between the way River experiences objects & is distanced from their common meaning, and the way that Early, in his opposite way, does so. 

   He als offers an anecdote about how he spent a Saturday actually in the Serenity, passing through it, in order to get the key to the character of Early -- and all this truly lit up the importance, for Joss as a writer & dreamer, of working with actual sets. The relation of so many of his other shows, and the importance of the sets of the library, the Summer house, of the Factory, of Spike's crypt & the Magic Box, the Hyperion, of Serenity & the Dollhouse, appeared in a very new light. Joss' imaginative life was truly born during that experience in the theatre, -- he suddenly had access to all the questions about life & death that he'd previously taken for granted or simply not himself thought about -- 

   Whatever can be achieved or not in graphic form, Joss really made it clear, by his intensity & by his emotion, especially in light of other commentaries (like his explanation of how Xander actually moves through the standing sets of Buffy in his dream in "Restless" or his commentary on "Hush") what activates his creative vision, his feeling for the world and for his characters . . . and even if he's a comics fan, the source for inspiration isn't there. The whole conceit of using comics-style superpowers & references in comic-book form doesn't hook properly into the way he works, the way he works with actors, the way he works with set designers, and then the way he works with a camera. The power outage, the strange sloppy lack of principle in the comics, comes simply from someone who has revealed for anyone who cares to listen his own processes, motivations, even his imaginative birth, in the commentaries to his filmed work.

   If Joss never does television (or film work) again, he won't really ever create again.


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