Saturday, July 21, 2007

Well, since Monday have seen seven (that's right: seven) new movies. On Tuesday, saw Majid Majidi's "The Willow Tree"; Majidi is (of all the major Iranian directors) the one who can most often skirt into sentimentality. (That certainly happened in "Children of Heaven".) Yet he is also one of the great visualists of the Iranian cinema, sometimes creating works of breathtaking beauty. "The Willow Tree" is certainly one of his most sensual works, amazingly textured and vibrant. And it should be: it's the story of a middle-aged man, a professor, who has been blind his whole life, and he receives a cornea implant, and suddenly he can see! Yes, there were some sticky moments, but overall it was a powerful film.

Saw the doc "The Devil Came on Horseback" about the crisis in Darfur.... more on it later.

Well, spent hours (almost eight in all) seeing three films by the young Portuguese director Pedro Costa. Can understand what the praise for his work is about: he is one of the few trying to deal with the underclass, with the abjections of poverty. Saw his trilogy "Bones" (from 1997), "In Vanda's Room" (2000), and "Colossal Youth" from 2006. (The reason it's a trilogy is that he uses the same performers - who are not "actors" - in all three.)

Watched Linas Phillips's doc "Walking To Werner"... alternately irritating and touching. But i was also curious because there is a hero-worship about Werner Herzog, coming at a time when there is some very intriguing critiques of Herzog coming out, specifically in regards to "Rescue Dawn" and his Teutonic worldview and its imperialist implications. And "Walking To Werner" seems innocent of all that, of any philosophical viewpoint that might constitute any sort of critique of Herzog. (Kevin Lee has been very cogent about the implications of "Recsue Dawn".)

With "Marigold", that's seven movies this week....


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