Friday, January 11, 2008

Good heavens, has it been more than a week? Well, finally, the cold has lifted, though now Larry has a cold. This thing is insidious!

Finally went to some press screenings. The Israeli film "Jellyfish", which reminded me very much of the Flemish film "Iceberg" in that there was a kind of dry surrealism, deadpan presentations of ironic sight gags; another film from the Age of Chevalier series, Klapish's "Le Peril jeune", very charming; the Chinese film "Summer Palace".

Just got an e.mail from Ron Ramsland from New Yorker Films, which talks about the banning of the film "Lost in Beijing" in China. It reminds us that this idea of artistic expression and freedom of speech is not universal, and that there remain many places (China among them) where free speech is dangerous.

My point about the disjunction in terms of the release of "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" (which made many Ten Best lists, even though in NYC the film doesn't technically open until the end of the month) is also highlighted by the fact that there are a number of (now embattled) Asian films which are also opening. I've seen all of them now: "Still Life", "Lost in Beijing", "Summer Palace", and the South Korean "Woman on the Beach". It's a very problematic situation, because there are so many different situations in terms of how films are made and distributed.

The Roumanian cinema is similar to the Czech cinema (and soon there will be a Milos Forman retrospective, which will bring back his early Czech work) in that it is a "humanist" cinema that is devoted to the frissures in a communist society. Technically, it's not a flashy cinema, nor is it particularly innovative, but it takes "realism" to certain limits (this is highlighted in the final sequence in "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days", which follows the actions of the friend; her wandering through the city is a very tense and gripping sequence).

There were a lot of press screenings next week, but i may have to forego them, since i've agreed to be on another panel. Oh, well.....


Post a Comment

<< Home