….notice I used the word “film” over “movie.” Thus, I place myself as a poser and a snob. Amen.
I’ve been trying to make a point to watch some interesting stuff lately. Courtesy of a wedding gift (thanks Ms. Smith!) I’ve also been discovering the joys of Netflix.
Born Into Brothels–was riveting. It made me want to go back to India. It made me mad about poverty (which I anticipated)…and it made our troubles as citizens of America pale in comparison (which they should). It also made me wonder how much the children were prompted in the responses they gave, aka “this photograph is full of beauty and truth because of its honesty” and “I have no hope without an education, I am just beaten into the ground.” Both were true sentiments, I think, but their eloquence was a bit suspicious. Regardless, the most moving part of the piece was, for me, the ending, and how many of the children were not able to stay in school when given the opportunity… how hard it is for us all to escape the patterns of the preceding generations!
Wind–I have been looking for this film by Carrol Ballard for at least five years now. Ballard is one of my favorite directors, with work on the “Black Stallion,” “Never Cry Wolf,” and “Fly Away Home” to his credit–all films that utilize a minimalist dialogue, evocative music, and stunning visuals to great effect. “Wind,” however, completely failed to measure up to any such standard. I think its greatest drawback was the soundtrack’s reliance on synthesizers–used to haunting effect in “Never Cry Wolf” by Mark Isham but utterly butchered in “Wind” by Basil Poledouris. The other main gaffe of the movie, I think, was the casting of the main protagonist, whose nasally voice entirely grated with the quiet tone of the rest of the piece. Which was a pity, because the visuals had the potential to be absolutely captivating.
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu–an agonizingly long Romanian film. But that’s the point. My biggest complaint? The subtitles were horribly colored and hard to read for two and a half hours of watching Mr. L suffer at the hands of an incompetent (and often horrifically impersonal) health system. Yes, the movie makes you grateful for the US health-care system, but it also makes quite the disconcerting commentary on hospitals and health-care staff in general. Of particular interest to this former EMT was the strained relationship shown between the emergency personnel and the doctors. It was excruciating, especially when it clearly was at the expense of the patient, time and time and time and time again…and again…Kirsten was (literally) screaming at the end of the movie.
On the Netflix cue for things never seen…
Wings of Desire
Planet of the Apes (the original)
Sophie Scholl:The Final Days
The Science of Sleep
The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Seen any? Let me know what you think.