Sunday, September 02, 2007

Haven't blogged in a few day, have been trying to think about "musicals", saw a few things, including the doc "The Rape of Europa" which should have been fascinating but wasn't. It started out with the story of the Altmanns's suit over the Klimt portraits... which was intriguing and seemed to be carefully researched. But then the film started to go all over the place, talking about the looting of art from various cities, the efforts right after the war to return the art found in various Nazi strongholds, etc. I can't even remember all the different tangents, which is how confusing the movie ultimately became. A pity, because there was a lot of care and research and time and effort and (yes) money poured into this documentary, but it's so sprawling and digressive that, even at 117 minutes, it seems way too long. I know people will say, yes, but it's long because there's so much material covered. Too much: a movie is not a book, which can be piked up and read at leisure, it's a temporal entity which must entice its time onto the viewer. And if it doesn't (and "The Rape of Europa" didn't), then it's an agony to sit through. "The Rape of Europa" wasn't quite an agony, but it was close.

Also saw Heddy Honingmann's "Forever" (with Anita Thacher's short "Lost/In Memoriam"). It's funny, "Forever" seems just as digressive as "The Rape of Europa" (the subject of "Forever" is the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris) but somehow, it's suffused with an affection for the many (different) people interviewed, and it was charming. And i was exhausted when i went to the screening: i stayed up watching something on television, and yet i was never bored by "Forever". I should say i've liked other films by Heddy Honingmann, such as "The Underground Orchestra".


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