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Posts Tagged ‘film’

Call of the Wild by James Searle

In film, nature, North America, society, visual arts on April 17, 2013 at 20:10

From: Call of the Wild by James Searle, The Oxonian Review, http://www.oxonianreview.org

I’m not the first to see elements of Terrence Malick’s epic The Tree of Life in Beasts of the Southern Wild, the debut feature of Benh Zeitlin. Both are ambitious, dreamlike parables about the nature of existence relying on formless, wandering structures. Likewise, both films have attracted devout camps of supporters and detractors prepared to argue at length over their merits and failings. That said, there are two major distinctions between the films. First, Zeitlin’s film, based on the play Juicy and Delicious by Lucy Alibar, is far more accessible and narratively coherent than Malick’s. Moreover, while The Tree of Life obsesses over the balance between the way of Nature (harsh, passionate, male) and the way of Grace (reserved, gentle, female), Wild abandons all traces of civilisation and restraint. This is not a film about balance, but one about raw emotion and embracing nature completely.

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Reposted with permission from: The Oxonian Review

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Young European directors by Amélie Mougey

In Europe, film, interview, media, visual arts on January 12, 2013 at 22:52

From: Young European directors: ‘You can spot a French film a mile off’ by Amélie Mougey, Cafebabel, http://www.cafebabel.co.uk/

They are aged 24, 26 or 31, hail from Croatia, England, Belgium or Germany, and they all have one thing in common: a desire to create magic with a camera, and to transform their passion into a job. At film school, these budding directors create stories for film. Freshly graduated, they are now throwing themselves at the mercy of the festivals to at last compete with the big boys.

They all dream of making a film with universal appeal. But the public is quick to catch on and their audiences can surprise them. In Volume, the 27-minute short film she is presenting at the rencontres Henri Langlois festival between 30 November and 9 December 2012, English director Mahalia Belo transports her viewers to a prim suburb that is indifferent (or almost) to the disappearance of one of its inhabitants. ‘Here in Poitiers, my film was perceived as being very profound, whilst in Munich, the audience laughed,’ she says, confounded. For the directors, the public’s expectations often remain more obscure than the work of their colleagues.

‘You can spot French films a mile off,’ teases Croatian director Sonja Tarokic, 24. ‘They are usually set in pretty, upper middle class interiors. The singer or pianist who’s in the corner of the bar while the characters are having a drink: that would be completely incongruous in Croatia.’ Mahalia Belo has also developed this radar for detecting different nationalities. ‘After trawling the festival circuit, I can now recognise the very black Finnish sense of humour,’ says the London-based director, who says she is often pigeonholed herself. So all is fair in love and war. ‘At the end of a screening, some audience members tell me my films have nothing to do with English cinema, while others say that they are terribly British,’ she smiles.

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Reposted with permission from: Cafebabel

The cruel irony of an Emily Dickinson biopic by CambridgeBlog

In film, history of art, literature, poetry, privacy on November 5, 2012 at 21:28

From: The cruel irony of an Emily Dickinson biopic: “Fame is a bee./It has a song—/It has a sting—/Ah, too, it has a wing” by CambridgeBlog, This Side of the Pond, http://www.cambridgeblog.org

We know that she was an avid, almost obsessive reader. We know that she had intense emotional changes with each new season—present-day doctors would probably diagnose her with seasonal affective disorder and put her on medication; scholars call it her mystic day cycle. We know that she was deeply affected by the supposed spiritual salvation of her classmates at Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary (a component of Calvinism, they believed that one was damned until he or she had an extremely painful yet enlightening ‘conversion experience’ brought on by God) and suffered a nervous breakdown when she wasn’t saved. We know that she spent the last half of her life in her bedroom, seldom seeing anyone other than her family, furiously writing poetry and letters. We know that she loved dogs and that the Civil War’s death toll broke her heart. We know that she published only a handful of poems in her lifetime because she refused to dumb down her language and imagery for the general public and because of her disdain of the idea of fame.

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Reposted with permissions from: CambridgeBlog

Casting the Net: The rise of online dating in India By Snigdha Poonam

In Asia, culture, gender, sexuality, society on October 11, 2012 at 05:50

From: Casting the Net: The rise of online dating in India By Snigdha Poonam, The Caravan, http://www.caravanmagazine.in

Shy and soft-spoken with deep and expressive eyes, Aditya spent most of his time writing poetry, none of which he showed anybody. For him, writing was the only relief from the tedium, the only hope for beauty. “I would also write love letters for friends in college. They looked to me to give words to their feelings,” he said in an earthy Hindi. Although a seasoned Cyrano, Aditya didn’t try his luck with any girl: “I liked girls, but I never spoke to any.” Girls and guys in his town would meet from time to time, and on a few occasions even got into relationships—but he refused to take that risk. “Gorakhpur has a small and close-knit society, and I did not want to jeopardise my family’s reputation.”

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Reposted with permission from: The Caravan

Film Reviews: The Window (La Ventana) directed by Carlos Sorin

In film, Film Reviews, philosophy, South America, video, visual arts on September 23, 2012 at 20:29

The Window (La Ventana) by Carlos Sorin, Drama, Argentina / Spain, 2009, 77 min.

It is a rare treat to find a director that follows simplicity and presents us with something as minimalist as The Window. A window into the soul of an older man, bed-ridden with a debilitating heart condition, a window out of a hacienda, out onto the Patagonian landscape, a window to the simple and the everyday. This is an intimate look at the life of Antonio, an 80 year old man nearing the end of his life. A fly on the window, the clock ticking away the minutes in anticipation of the arrival of Antonio’s estranged son. A slow and philosophical film, with a wonderful taste of Bergman’s Wild Strawberries mixed into it. The same pattern of the return to childhood at the end of a man’s journey, takes us on the trip into the stark beauty of Patagonia. Details of life, raw and often touching in every little aspect of everyday existence, even the most ordinary and unimportant for many. The spaces are clean and minimal, everything bathed in natural sunlight coming through the windows of the old estate. There is no background music, though the piano and Antonio’s musical past is everpresent throughout the film. This silence underlines the simplicity and complexity of the life lived in the past and what is left of it in the present. The rhythms are dancing around the central theme, never completing the circle in the end. But maybe it is all about the journey, not the final destination.

The sweeping frames of the verdant Patagonian hills pull us back to the times of our own lived experiences, but the scenes are not intended to sentimentalize or offer consolation at the end of the film. Everything is being prepared for the arrival of the son, but time and space have its own way of directing reality as events stay open-ended. Perhaps, just as in life, things turn out not as perfectly planned, but open to more questions about the end of life for each of us. With the director’s poetic eye on beauty and with questions never being answered, the film allows us to touch the philosophical roots of questions about human existence. The story is intentionally simple, the film relatively short, but the life behind it is large and the poetry exquisite.

HSG

© 2012 anagnori

 

Video: Getting into Cirque Du Soleil – The Audition Process

In art, culture, film, music, North America, performing arts, video, visual arts on September 17, 2012 at 04:59

From: Getting into Cirque Du Soleil – The Audition Process, Documentary.net, http://documentary.net

Getting into Cirque Du Soleil

Ever wondered what it takes to be a part of Cirque du Soleil? Getting to be a one of a kind performer is no small feat. For four months, the film team followed Cirque Du Soleil scouts as they scoured the world, searching for the best of the best.

Watch the video

Disclaimer from the website: “Yes it is free and legal. Films are provided by the filmmakers or rights-holders themselves. Or they claim their copyright protected contents on YouTube and monetize it (like National Geographic).”

Reposted with permission from: Documentary.net

Goran Bregovic: Balkans is everything but cool! by Senka Korac

In art, culture, Europe, music, politics, society on September 3, 2012 at 19:38

 

From: Goran Bregovic: Balkans is everything but cool! by Senka Korac, cafebabel.com

If you would have to put a face to the Balkan music, an average European will most likely think of Goran Bregovic. The producer, composer and the leader of Wedding And Funeral Band has been featured as one the headliners of the Sziget festival several times until now. Talking to cafebabel.com reporters before his performance he commended the festival for not only featuring the mainstream music, but other stuff, as well.

When it comes to music, people tend to think that everything is on MTV. Of course, that’s not the case. Different people listen to different music. The world is curious and smart. That’s why people travel from all over Europe to come to Sziget and hear unordinary things. Only naive people think that TV features all of the music. For instance, I sell millions of records and I’m never on TV.

The key to Bregovic’s international success was probably the fact that he was the pioneer of modernizing the ethno beats of Balkan and making them acceptable to other Europeans. Of course, it sure has helped that he has collaborated with Emir Kusturica by writing the music for some of his most prominent movies (’Time Of The Gypsies’, ’Arizona Dream’, ’Underground’). That kind of sound, based on brass band music and folk singing, opened the stage to many other bands with a similar performance. In fact, most of the acts on this year’s World Music Stage, whether they come from the Balkans, Eastern or even Western Europe, have played the simillar kind of music.

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Reposted with permission from: CafeBabel

A rear view of Alfred Hitchcock by Alan Saunders

In culture, film, interview, philosophy, visual arts on August 21, 2012 at 21:39

 

From: A rear view of Alfred Hitchcock by Alan Saunders, The Philosopher’s Zone, ABC Radio National, http://www.abc.net.au

Alan Saunders: Now the action of the movie occurs naturally, given the single-take effect; it occurs more or less in real time, which means that the murder is committed by daylight, and as the time goes on, is discovered at night after a party attended by the parents of the boy they’d murdered. What does this move from daylight to night, what does this have to tell us about the moral world of the movie?

William A. Drumin: The meaning that Hitchcock, as the director, seeks to ascribe to a film, philosophic or otherwise, is how he films it. Now my view is that see these two young killers want to cut themselves off from society, they regard themselves as above society, and that apartment, that closed-in compartment that’s kind of a separate world, as if it said they are the gods of this world you see, disposing of things by their superior intellects, and that kind of thing. So by filming continuously, I feel that Hitchcock is acting to break, to oppose the attempt of those killers. To say, No, you are wrong, society will re-assert its authority. You cannot arbitrarily cut yourself off from the social relationships you see.

You remember at the end of the film how Jimmy Stewart opens the window and fires the three gunshots out of the window? And then you hear the noises from the street filtering up, and the sound of the police siren and so on. That’s a liberating act, because this closed apartment has kind of been a vision of hell, where God and morality has been shut out, and now continuity has been re-established. So I think that in filming continuously, he establishes his stance towards the action of the film.

Listen to the broadcast / read the transcript

Reposted with permission from: ABC Radio National

Frontline Debates “Four Horsemen” by Jim Treadway

In economics, film, politics, society, video, visual arts on June 13, 2012 at 22:56

 

From: Frontline Debates “Four Horsemen” by Jim Treadway, Frontline Club, http://www.frontlineclub.com (watch the debate on the website)

Daniel Ben-Ami journalist and author of Ferraries for All: In Defense of Economic Progress, argued that the documentaries biggest mistake was to underestimate the role of the state in today’s crisis. Emeritus economics professor Victoria Chick, meanwhile, commented on the documentary’s suggestion that we return to the gold standard.

“I sort of flinched,” she said. “Everything I’ve always known about the gold standard was so repressive, and it was a very deflationary regime. [I] like the courageous quality of Minsky who said, ‘alright, I know banks are unstable, but they’re worth it, because they provide productive investment.’ Well that was when they did lend for productive investment. And now they no longer do.”

Giving voice to the sentiment of the evening, Mark Braund author of Four Horsemen: The Survival Manual complained,

“We have democratic institutions which aren’t delivering democratic outcomes. And that’s because I think too few people are interested enough to engage with what are quite complex ideas about how the ecomony works.”

“X-box, cheap lager, and mass media” were Ashcroft’s culprits for the public’s malaise in the face of a system that he believes is increasingly stacked against them.

At several points, panelists emphasized that change would have to come “from the bottom up,” but as one audience member regretted, what change “from the bottom up” really meant seemed hard to elucidate.

Read more & watch the debate

 

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