Saturday, January 02, 2010

Well, here i am, back in Berlin. Made the trip to New York City and made the trip back. Have to say that the holidays went far too swiftly, it seemed as if i barely had time to see people when i had to leave.

I left Berlin on Friday, Dec. 18, 2009; boy, was i glad i did! Because the next day, the US was hit with a massive snowstorm; in Brooklyn, there was over a foot of snow! This caused enormous delays and cancellations for the flights over that weekend. Claudia, who was travelling from Berlin to her home in Connecticut, was on the Delta nonstop from Berlin to JFK on Sunday: her plane wound up being diverted, and what should have been an eight hour flight wound up... well, the plane was diverted because it couldn't land at JFK, then Claudia had to wait in Minneapolis(which is where the flight landed) to get a flight that would get her into the New York metropolitan area. All together, she wound up travelling for three days! But she's finally home.

Though it snowed that first weekend, making me virtually homebound, by Monday, the snow had abated and things were running smoothly. And i went to the Walter Reade Theater for press screenings for the Jewish Film Festival: "Leap of Faith", a documentary about adults who decide to convert to Judaism, and "Mary and Max", an animated feature from Australia. I bring this up, because Australia seems to have a thriving animation community. At the last New Directors/New Films series, there was $9.99, another animated feature. This raises the question: what is appropriate subject matter for animation? "Leap of Faith" was intriguing, because it showed a number of people, from very different walks of life, who made the decision to convert to Judaism. Raised all sorts of questions about what is faith?

Then the next day, went to Film Forum to catch the screening olf the South Korean documentary "Old Partner". It's "the clean old peasant" again! In many ways, "Old Partner" reminded me of Rouquier's "Farrebique", in that it seemed to be about people living in a pre-technological state, away from most of what we consider modern conveniences.

During that week, there was much discussion of the year in film: people were coming out with the various Top Ten lists. I participated in the IndieWire and the Village Voice/L.A. Weekly polls. I must admit that there is a dsicrepancy: the lists are not the same. Turned out that there were several films which got released after the deadlines, or it turned out that a film which i saw in another context in 2008 finally got some sort of theatrical run in 2009.

But that's for another time. And i do want to think about the films of the decade.


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