Sunday, 26 July 2009

Jonah -- who is almost 35 now – quoted & captured.

„Jonas qui aura 25 ans en l'an 2000“ aka „Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000“ is a movie about searching oneself and ourselves again in the continual industrial & capitalistic mass after the 68s revolution.

„All our wisdom is but servile prejudice, our customs but constraint, servitude and confinement.
Socially, man is born, lives and dies in slavery. At birth, he is bound in linen, at death, nailed into a coffin“.

„Pieces of history. What’ll we call them? Hours? Years? Centuries“?

„Progress means that the winners win not only the battle. They’ve also been chosen as intrinsically superior beings“.

„I’m no determinist, but in your first cell there was a message you’re now reading“.

„If you never spend your money,
you know you’ll always have some cash.
If you stay cool and never burn, you’ll never turn to ash.
If you lick the boots that kick you, you’ll never feel the lash.
And if you crawl along the ground, at least you’ll never crash.
So, why, why, why... what made you think you could fly“?

„When one tries to explain that faith, that the smallest bit of matter, must be the beginning of life, or one tries to establish what this faith consists of... one stands in front of an impossibility. One can only say that this faith belongs to the very essence of things and relies on nothing“.

„But man has invented a terrible silence. Building it stone by stone. And no longer hears the messages around him. If he could hear them, he’d be a little encouraged he’s not the only one to speak... the only one who keeps the world turning“.

„Does the wind feel the clouds? Does the bicycle know it moves“?

„Does water feel anything? And if it's made to boil“?

„When we move, does the moon move too“?

„The old understand the value of time. When you have a lot, time is both future and past. All memories are in the present. And all hopes too. But they don’t destroy the present. That’s why I like old people“.


„I'm in the 20th century, Jonah. I'm only asked to keep quiet, to accept everything. I'm only permitted to do what I’m paid to do“.

IMDB link

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Hachi-gatsu no kyôshikyoku aka Rhapsody in August

Hachi-gatsu no kyôshikyoku aka Rhapsody in August is Akira Kurosawa's second last movie. In it, sentiments and memories of the atomic attack onto Nagasaki, and the handling of the historical event by oncoming generations, are seemingly the targeted subjects he wanted us and himself to do deal with. Maybe to leave a firm reminder. Maybe to process his own war experience. Likely both.

Through the aged woman and grandmother we are given an idea of how such an event can form a human’s life and what can stay until his end. Unfortunately, in my opinion, that is where Kurosawa only goes skin deep instead close enough to the colourful nature of the heart and its responses to this world.

Nevertheless, there are images and sequences of images of true honest beauty. With grace and charm the grandmother and her family is observed. It’s easy to relate, they have simple questions and opinions that easily can be followed.

And atmosphere. Atmosphere that lies among them and accompanies them -- obviously a characteristic of Kurosawa.

Only is it enough. Enough to learn from it, to identify with, sparking empathy and subsequent comprehension?

Close, but not quite. Not for me. But there is something that will stay with me and that is the missed potential for a masterpiece and the gently clinging emotions I received despite of it. It does raise questions in me, and interest in this very dilemma the US government had to confront and afterwards the dilemma the Japanese encountered whether to recognize a necessity of destruction or not; or maybe "just" whether they have to forgive the unthinkable.

The appearance of the characters is sometimes stifled by academic acting. But luckily Kurosawa lets them breathe most of the time and convincingly tell me with their gestures and words the possible story around a war’s victim. What’s clear to me is that the movie deserved more attention than it received in the past. What’s not clear while watching the movie is where the movie leads us to, but out in the end it leads us well – into something unfortunately real.

IMDB link

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

waves drawn by memories -- a fragment

MAN (V.O.)

It was September. At the Lake Como. The dance plaza, do you remember, the sky -- it didn't have a roof. You swayed gently along the pillars and walls, I've mistaken you for the wind, a warm rain, maybe Scirocco. You centered my perception. Towards you, of course. And suddenly there was nothing else but you. A solitary series of movements in space. You started to burn in on my heart, on top of the most precious memories. Naturally my veins started to flood images, reflections, shards of you. They tore meekly my flesh, they tore me up. You, your singular code of gestures, drove tremors into my ability to feel until, probably, my grave.

Monday, 30 March 2009

At the cliffs of adulthood, a movie in 54 pictures; Part II

Valerie a týden divů, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, from the year 1970, directed by Jaromil Jires; touches the borders of adulthood, where innocence becomes stained simply by growing into another age. Lust and betrayal are entering through cracks that emerged in the cocoon. And their dark overblown scents are intro-duced and revitalise/excite one's own body and fantasy.

IMDB link