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July 5, 2005

Revised Mid-Year Favorites

» La Blessure (Nicolas Klotz) - Alternately enraging, moving, haunting, and affirming, I can't seem to shake the lingering impact of this film.

» L'Intrus (Claire Denis)

» State of Fear* (Pamela Yates, Paco de Onís and Peter Kinoy)

» Seoul Train* (Jim Butterworth, Aarin Lubarsky and Lisa Sleeth) - The kind of film that shakes your consciousness.

» Tomorrow We Move (Chantal Akerman) - Elsa Zylberstein's role elevated this film.

» Compadre (Mikael Wiström)

» Forgiveness (Ian Gabriel)

» The Colonial Misunderstanding (Jean-Marie Téno) - The genesis and evolution of African colonial history from an African perspective. Eye opening.

» Videoletters (Katarina Rejger and Eric van den Broek)

» Los Muertos (Lisandro Alonso)

Posted by acquarello on Jul 05, 2005 | | Filed under 2005, Quick Notes


I've been meaning to mention that I also have a favorites link for your releases page, it's always full of interesting stuff.

Have you seen Makhmalbaf's Moment of Innocence? I really like it a lot. And The Silence too, with its fifth of Beethoven leitmotiv. And it's great to see that Tomorrow We Move is coming out. I enjoyed it when I first saw it, but it seems even better with time--the best "musique concrete" film I've ever seen.

Posted by: girish on Jul 05, 2005 11:48 AM | Permalink

Moment of Innocence is the one based on his own political agitation that landed him in jail, right? I haven't seen it yet, partly because his earlier films seemed to be done in a completely different style (realist versus metaphoric), and I tended to prefer his later style (Gabbeh notwithstanding), although The Cyclist is by far my favorite of his. This DVD will be my first look at the film. The Silence is one of my favorite Makhmalbaf films too, a little more structurally complex than his earlier films.

Regarding Tomorrow We Move, there's really quite a lot of "heaviness" in the film than meets the surface, not the least of which was the conversation about war memories brought on by the smell of toxic gas in the apartment. I'm really haunted by Elsa Zylberstein's enigmatic character too, she seems to have the perfect life but still feels compelled to lead a double life and "speak" through someone else's writing.

By the way, I just updated the page, and the biggie is probably the first Straub and Huillet US DVD for Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach, another film that I missed the beginning of (about 10-15 minutes), since I was hopping from the NYFF screening of Saraband to Anthology Film.

Posted by: acquarello on Jul 05, 2005 1:51 PM | Permalink

Wow, incredible news about the Straub/Huillet, I've been waiting to see it for years. Egoyan presented it once in Toronto (it's one of his favorites) but I couldn't make the screening.

A Moment of Innocence is easily my favorite of Makhmalbaf's films. It's not realist at all, but metaphoric (meta-cinematic, actually). Sorta his analog to Close-Up in a way. Like you, I prefer his later, metaphoric films (once again, Gabbeh notwithstanding!).

Akerman said at the Q&A that the diary was her mother's, from the camp. She threw it in the cupboard during the shoot, folding it into the story midway through making the film. Doug and I caught the film and Q&A at TIFF.

Posted by: girish on Jul 05, 2005 2:18 PM | Permalink

..and yes, Moment of Innocence is the one based on his agitation and arrest....I think you'll like this one.

Posted by: girish on Jul 05, 2005 2:21 PM | Permalink

Wow, fascinating anecdote about the diary really being from Akerman's mother...she could not have scripted anything more poignant and insightful about what it was like to be socially marginalized, both as a woman and as an ethnic minority (specifically before the latter half of the 20th century). Akerman wasn't in attendance for the NY screening, so alas, no insightful nuggets to take a mental note of, but she has often talked about her mother's silence, so I had figured that it was a reference to her. The fact that it was her actual sentiment rather than just a projection of them though, makes the scene all the more moving.

Posted by: acquarello on Jul 05, 2005 3:38 PM | Permalink

Yeah, it was interesting because it was the very last film on the very last day, and we were all a bit down because the festival had come to a close :-) Akerman hung around at the Q&A for a very long time (there was no next screening to clear the theater for) and reminisced a lot about her mother. It was very moving.

I've seen her a few times now and she is such a joy to watch and listen to. I love her personality, and that raspy voice of hers! BTW, she lamented that her greatest regret is that she can't play a musical instrument. Which was very poignant for me because her film is primarily (for me) a profoundly musical object.

Posted by: girish on Jul 05, 2005 4:27 PM | Permalink

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