I’m currently watching the film Bronson, and it is awesome.  The film loosely details the life and imprisonment (which has been most of his life) of Charles Bronson, born Michael Peterson, labeled Britain’s most dangerous prisoner.  Other than the great acting and amazing artistic direction, the story offers an interesting insight into psychology, as well as the premise of long-term imprisonment.  For instance, the broad subject, for which I cannot think of a better word to describe than ‘time’, is gifted to this man in a way that his full potential, if you want to call it that, is allowed to be met.  He is a violent man, prone to fighting and immune to compromise.  Yet, from all this, he wrote eleven books, one of which is a virtual manual for semi-advanced physical training while confined in small spaces.  He painted and wrote poetry, creating more art than most aspiring artists can achieve.

Why?  Well, my theory is time.  With nothing productive to achieve, due to his strict imprisonment, Bronson put forth an artistic effort only possible with the gifts of basic needs, for which he did not have to work, and endless time, which continues today.  In some ways, this correlates with my theory of Henry David Thoreau’s success with his experiment at Walden Pond.  He lived in an environment of little resource and minimal assistance, but assistance nonetheless.  Thoreau could not have feasibly completed his self-reliance experiment without aid from his mother and the town nearby.  And he too had time on his side.  But without this assistance, whether it be help from one’s mother or daily meals provided by the correctional facilities, neither of these ‘experiments’ would have been as fruitful as they turned out.  There seems a certain degree of creative ease when one does not have to toil with the everyday struggles of making a living, dealing with society, and being bogged down by mass-media.  I believe this helped along the creative flows of both Thoreau and Bronson.  This connection may seem far fetched, but to me, it makes perfect sense.  What would you do if all you had, rather than stress, grief, obligations, responsibilities, or profound life-goals, was time?  We are rather convincingly led to believe that this amount of time is finite, so why waste something so fleeting?  Some of us have no choice, it seems, and therefore we fall into our daily routines, destined to die before we realize our lives have happened.  This is what intrigues me.  I’m not saying I’d like to go to prison, but if I did, I could see myself focusing more fully than ever.  Bronson is still in prison, and who knows what he will be able to accomplish there.  It’s a strange thought that such a condition could allow creativity and productive thinking to flourish like this.

Perhaps you won’t see the same things I did when you watch this movie, but you should still watch it.  It’s artsy and provocative, graphic and beautiful.  So, go watch it.

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Published in: on April 10, 2011 at 4:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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