Limitless Cinema in Broken English

September 30, 2009

IMBURNAL (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, A++++++++++)

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 11:38 am

FILMS SEEN YESTERDAY

1.IMBURNAL (2008, Sherad Anthony Sanchez, Philippines, A++++++++++)

2.DOGTOOTH (2009, Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece, A+)
This is what I think about DOGTOOTH after I read Filmsick’s blog:
http://filmsick.exteen.com/20090929/bkiff-2009-diary-part-2

There are some parts of DOGTOOTH (A+) which remind me of Luis Bunuel’s films, but I think Bunuel’s films arouse the viewers’ imagination much more than DOGTOOTH. DOGTOOTH seems to have a purpose, and it aims straightly at that purpose, while Bunuel’s films seem to be more than “films with messages”. That’s why I like DOGTOOTH very much, but I prefer some Bunuel’s films to it.

I think some Haneke’s films are also “films with messages”, too, but I think I prefer THE SEVENTH CONTINENT to DOGTOOTH. But my reason is because the desperate feelings in THE SEVENTH CONTINENT have much more effect on me than the black comedic feelings in DOGTOOTH. However, one thing I like very much in DOGTOOTH is the fact that it does not make me think only about the bourgeoisie, but also ultra-conservative people, including some religious fanatics.

3.INLAND (2008, Tariq Teguia, Algeria, A+)

–There are some films in the festival which have gorgeous cinematography and present social problems at the same time. In this group of films, I think ALTIPLANO (A-/B+) is the one I like the least. The cinematography in ALTIPLANO is tremendously beautiful, but it is too dreamlike, too “plastic” to make me feel the pain of the characters.

INLAND presents the appropriate kind of “beautiful cinematography” for me. The scenery in INLAND is very beautiful, and it is not too plastic. When I look at it, I can feel the wind blow, the heat of the sun, the dryness of the air, the shadow from the clouds. But the story of INLAND doesn’t touch me that much.

The cinematography in REDEMPTION is what I worship. It presents the views of some towns and some places, such as a school. There are almost no people in these scenes. This kind of scenes is the thing that can arouse my imagination and has a profound effect on my feelings. In some documentaries, the directors, such as Michael Moore, may focus on “giving the information to the viewers”, which is not a bad thing, but the viewers will only get some useful information from the documentaries. As for my personal taste, I find that I worship documentaries which do not only focus on “giving the information.” Some documentaries have scenes which don’t give straightforward information, but have some unexplainable effects on my feelings. These documentaries include:

1. REDEMPTION

2.FROM THE EAST (1993, Chantal Akerman)

3.MODERN LIFE (2008, Raymond Depardon), which includes some empty road scenes

4.THE PINOCHET AFFAIR (2001, Patricio Guzman, Chile/France), which includes a stone-falling scene

Some documentaries don’t give straightforward information, but they also don’t touch my feelings in the same way as the documentaries above. This kind of documentaries includes OUR DAILY BREAD (A+).

IMBURNAL has gorgeous cinematography, and the director can find the appropriate balance between the “beautiful cinematography”, or the soul of the landscape, and the soul of the characters. Some scenes in this film make me think about some Thai short films, because these scenes are very beautifully shot, slow-moving, and focusing on the life of rural people, but IMBURNAL feels more natural than a few Thai short films I have seen.

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