Limitless Cinema in Broken English

May 18, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 12:33 am

My nineteenth poll ended with six votes, including one vote from me for ALEXEI AND THE SPRING, COLD HOMELAND, and FINAL SOLUTION. A lot of thanks to everyone who participated in it. Here is the result:


1.LAND WITHOUT BREAD (1933, Luis Bunuel, Las Hurdes in Spain)
+UNKNOWN PLEASURES (2002, Jia Zhangke, Shanxi in China)

Each of these films got two votes, or 33 %.

3.ALEXEI AND THE SPRING (2002, Motohashi Seiichi, Belarus)
+CALENDAR (1993, Atom Egoyan, Armenia)
+COLD HOMELAND (1994, Volker Koepp, Kaliningrad in Russia)
+FALLEN (2005, Fred Kelemen, Latvia)
+FINAL SOLUTION (2003, Rakesh Sharma, Gujarat in India)
+THE HORSE THIEF (1986, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Tibet)
+LAST TRAPPER (2004, Nicolas Vanier, Yukon in Canada)
+PALMS (1993, Artur Aristakisyan, Moldavia)
+POSSIBLE LIVES (2006, Sandra Gugliotta, Patagonia in Argentina)

Each of these films got one vote or 16 %.

12.THE CORRIDOR (1994, Sharunas Bartas, Lithuania)
+THE CRAZY ON THE ROCKS (2007, Altaf Mazid, Assam? in India)
+THE FLIGHT OF THE BEES (1998, Jamshed Usmonov + Min Boung-hun, Tajikistan)
+HUNTING THE LION WITH BOW AND ARROW (1965, Jean Rouch, Mali/Niger)
+LITTLE MEN (2003, Nariman Turebayev, Kazakhstan)
+MANORO (2006, Brillante Mendoza, Pampanga in Philippines)
+THE ROAD TO KALIMUGTONG (2006, Mes de Guzman, Benguet in Philippines)
+THE SORTER’S BRIDGE (1999, Charles de Meaux + Philippe Parreno, Pamir)
+THE TIN MINE (2005, Jira Maligool, Takuathung in Thailand)

Each of them got 0 vote.

–One of the reasons why I made this poll is because I have never been abroad, except a one-kilometre walk into Burma in 1994. I also rarely travel upcountry. I’m very poor and don’t have money for travel. Watching a film is a means for me to mentally travel to other places.

The word ‘unfamiliar places’ for me includes all those former-USSR states. This is because I studied geography in a secondary school in 1980’s. During that time, there was only USSR in the geography curriculum. When the USSR broke apart, I was in a university and didn’t have to study geography anymore. That’s why the names of all these states sound unfamiliar to me. When I see the words “SOUTH OSSETIA” or “ABKHAZIA” or “TRANSNISTRIA” in news, I really have no ideas where these places are.

SOUTH OSSETIA (an independent part in Georgia)

ABKHAZIA (an independent part in Georgia)

TRANSNISTRIA (a breakaway republic in Moldova)

–Talking about former USSR reminds me that I would like to see many films mentioned by Kent Jones in an article about Central Asian films in Film Comment. You can read the article here:

–The book THE ZERO HOUR: GLASNOST AND SOVIET CINEMA IN TRANSITION (1992), written by Andrew Horton and Michael Brashinsky also mentions many interesting films from different parts of the USSR, including:

1.ANEMIA (1988, Vekhtang Kotetishvili, Georgia)

2.AWAKENING (1990, Jonas Vaitkus, Lithuania)

3.BIRD WATCHER (1987, Arvo Iho, Estonia)

4.GAMES FOR SCHOOLCHILDREN (1987, Leida Laius + Arvo Iho, Estonia)

5.GEORGIAN CHRONICLE OF NINETEENTH CENTURY (1979, Alexander Rekhviashvili, Georgia)

6.LAST STOP (1989, Serik Aprymov, Kazakhstan)

7.LITTLE FISH IN LOVE (1989, Abai Karpikov, Kazakhstan)

8.THE LOOK (1988, Valery Ahadov, Tajikistan)

9.MADNESS (1969, Kaljo Kiisk, Estonia)

10.MIGRATING SPARROWS (1979, Teimuraz Babluani, Georgia)

11.MY ENGLISH GRANDDAD (1987, Nana Djordjadze, Georgia)

12.THE NEEDLE (1988, Rashid Nugmanov, Kazakhstan)

13.NOBODY WANTED TO DIE (1965, Vitautas Zhalakiavichius, Lithuania)

14.PHOTO WITH A WOMAN AND A WILD BOAR (1987, Arvid Kriev, Latvia)

15.PIROSMANI (1970, Georgy Shengelaya, Georgia)

16.SIZ KIM SIZ? (1989, Dzhahongir Faiziev, Uzbekistan)

17.SPOT (1985, Alexander Tsabadze, Georgia)

18.STEPMOTHER SAMANISHVILI (1978, Eldar Shengelaya)

19.SUPPLICATION (1968, Tengiz Abuladze, Georgia)

20.SWAN LAKE: THE ZONE (1990, Yuri Ilienko, Ukraine)

21.THE THREE (1988, Alexander Baranov + Bakhyt Kilibayev, Kazakhstan)

22.TICKET TO THE TAJ MAHAL (1991, Algimantas Puipa, Lithuania)

23.TO REMEMBER OR TO FORGET (1982, Janis Streich, Latvia)

Among the films above, the ones I like to see the most include ANEMIA. This is the description of ANEMIA in the book THE ZERO HOUR:

“the director of ANEMIA (1988 ) brings his young hero Nika from Tbilisi to a godforsaken mountain village to teach in a local boarding school. While Rekhviashvili left the illusion that perhaps once out of the urban asylum, in the land of old values carried by old shepherds, one can find a key to the search, Kotetishvili presents a feast of disillusionment. Anemia—weakness and paleness of being—characterizes life in the movie, which is deliberately anemic, weakly slow-paces, and tonelessly beautiful itself. The principal of the school, a crazy Stalinist, a little dictator, leads the crew of eight monster teachers who teach seven students to be nobodies. Seasons pass, but nothing changes in the comatose “dead materialists’ society.” Nika’s ideals slowly dies, and then his soul does the same. The only rebellion allowed the hero is to simulate suicide.”

–Africa is also a place I barely know. I once made a list of African movies here:


Many short films by Uruphong Raksasad

TIGRESS OF KING RIVER (2002, Bhandit Rittakol)

FARMER FIELD SCHOOL (2007, Supong Jitmuang, 38 min, Supanburi Province)

MY FRIEND (SIAO) (2005, Rapeepun Leethong, 15 min, Roi-ed Province)

AMAZING THAILAND (1998, Soraya Nakhasuwan + Panatta Yusuksawasdi)
A section of this documentary is about a prostitute in Pattaya.

MAE(…)BIA (2001, Chananya Poolsri, 8 min, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province)


1 Comment »

  1. This is my reply to Brian Darr in my bilingual blog:

    Hi Brian

    –Ah, your story reminds me of some ex-colleagues who had to travel to Malaysia to extend their visa for Thailand every 3 month or so.

    –I saw some of Bruce Conner’s films in 2003. I hardly remember any details now. These are the films that I saw in my preferential order.

    1.TAKE THE 5:10 TO DREAMLAND (1976)

    2.REPORT (1967)


    4.BREAKAWAY (1966)
    I can’t remember any images from this film now. I just remember that I wanted to get up from the seat, go to the front of the screen, and dance while watching this film.

    5.VIVIAN (1965)

    6.THE WHITE ROSE (1967)
    I’m glad that FILM COMMENT has a long article about this film. It is surprising that a film so short can inspire an article so long.

    7.VALSE TRISTE (1977)

    I just discovered that you can watch MEA CULPA (1981) online. I just watched it. I think it’s great, though I prefer his other films.

    –Yes, the Uruphong Raksasad’s shorts are the ones that are collected in STORIES FROM THE NORTH. I haven’t seen the whole STORIES FROM THE NORTH, but I saw 6 shorts that are included in it. Apart from the shorts in STORIES FROM THE NORTH, Uruphong also made three new short films called ROY TAI PRAE (2008), THE ROCKET (2006), and THE PLANET (2007). I love THE ROCKET. It is also about the north of Thailand, but this time it is about the northeastern people who migrated to the north of Thailand and hold a northeastern festival in their new areas.

    Comment by celinejulie — May 22, 2008 @ 8:20 pm

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