Limitless Cinema in Broken English

February 23, 2010

POLL 71: DARKNESS AND DIM LIGHT

Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 12:04 am

POLL 71: DARKNESS AND DIM LIGHT

This is about a poll in my bilingual blog at http://celinejulie.blogspot.com

My poll 71 is inspired by A LAKE (2008, Philippe Grandrieux), a film which captures images in the darkness in the most beautiful way. After I had seen A LAKE, I think I should make a list of films of which the visual darkness I like very much. I like some of these films because their dark or almost-dark images are very beautiful. I also like some of them because they use “darkness” or “dark scenes” in a very interesting way, though their images may not be beautiful.

I LIKE DARKNESS AND DIM LIGHT IN SOME SCENES IN THESE FILMS/PLAY. WHICH ONES DO YOU LIKE?

1.THE BANGKOK BOURGEOIS PARTY (2007, Prap Boonpan, Thailand)
In this film, we see a blackout scene which lasts for about 3-5 minutes. We hear nothing. We see nothing except the darkness on the screen. This scene comes after the Bangkok bourgeois characters kill someone who thinks differently.

2.BLOOD CANNOT BE CHANGED (เพื่อนสาวผีดิบ) (2009, Wannasak Sirilar, Thai stage play)
This is a stage play about vampires. The lighting and the darkness in this play are superb. The images below are shot by Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2600/4160878423_68ee93cc93_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2717/4160878411_d3e36f49fb_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2789/4160878409_9bd613354e_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2723/4160878397_547d856823_o.jpg


3.THE BOY FROM MARS (2005, Philippe Parreno, France)
I feel as if the darkness in this film is a kind of liquid which can flow out of the screen.
http://www.ubu.com/film/parreno_mars.html

4.THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT (2009, Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa, Thailand)
I love the scene in which a body is dancing in the darkness.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhXp3J8zbjY

5.ENDLESS RHYME (2008, Tanatchai Bandasak, Thailand)
The film is beautifully wrapped up in darkness.

6.A FAREWELL TO HEMINGWAY (2008, Svetoslav Ovtcharov, Bulgaria)
I like the lighting in this film very much. The candle-lit images in this film are as beautiful as paintings made 500 years ago.

7.THE INSURANCE (ประกันชีวิต) (2009, Nok Paksnavin, Thailand)
This film is shot in an island in the South of Thailand. The film is quite dark near the end.

8.KEMPINSKI (2007, Neil Beloufa, France)
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4047/4205982580_be81fc4346_o.jpg

9.THE KITE (ZMEY) (2002, Aleksei Muradov, Russia)
The images in this film are as dark, gloomy, and powerful as Béla Tarr’s and Fred Kelemen’s films. This film is one of Sonthaya Subyen’s most favorite overlooked films of the last decade. He also thinks that ZMEY belongs to the same group of films as the ones made by Andrei Tarkovsky and Sharunas Bartas.
http://twilightvirus.blogspot.com/2010/02/outstanding-less-known-films-of-decade.html

10.A LAKE (2008, Philippe Grandrieux, France)
The scene in which we see a body walking in the darkness is one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen. I feel as if these scenes were not recorded by camera. I feel as if these images were made by psychic power.

11.LOST HIGHWAY (1996, David Lynch, USA)
I like the scene in which we see Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette walking in the darkness.

12.NE CHANGE RIEN (2009, Pedro Costa, Portugal)
Jeanne Balibar is magically alluring in the darkness.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrFBKrJJY_g

13.THE NIGHT WILL PAY (2004, Néstor Mazzini, Argentina)
Is this film an unlikely marriage between Ken Loach and David Lynch? Because the film deals with the problem of poor people, but it is very haunting.

14.ONE NIGHT (2008, Zart Tancharoen, Thailand)
I don’t know what happens in this film. It’s too dark, but it’s very captivating. Nanoguy thinks what we see in this film is the images of some rubber plantation workers in the South of Thailand who start working before dawn. Some of them may get killed because of the violence in the South. I’m not sure if Nanoguy’s theory is true or not, because I only see images of some bodies moving in the darkness and some lights moving in the darkness in this film. But I believe Nanoguy’s theory is highly likely to be true.

15.PERU TIME (2008, Chaloemkiat Saeyong, Thailand)
The film is quite dark near the end.

16.THE POLICEWOMAN (2003, Joaquim Sapinho, Portugal)
I wrote a comment on this film in imdb.com
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119727/usercomments

17.THE RIVER (1997, Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan)
I like the scene in the gay sauna.

18.THE SUN (2004, Alexander Sokurov, Russia)
This is a film where the sun doesn’t really shine.

19.THESIS (1995, Alejandro Amenábar, Spain)
I like the scene in the hidden room in the library very much. It’s the scene in which the heroine walks in complete darkness, using the light from her matches or something like that to guide her way. Every time she lights her match, I feel like screaming, because I fear so much what she would see in the darkness.

20.TROPICAL MALADY (2004, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)

You can cast multiple votes.

The theme song for this poll is INTO THE NIGHT by Julee Cruise:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IELq-qJ5KI

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3 Comments »

  1. My own votes are for THE BANGKOK BOURGEOIS PARTY, BLOOD CANNOT BE CHANGED, THE BOY FROM MARS, THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, A FAREWELL TO HEMINGWAY, THE KITE (ZMEY), A LAKE, THE NIGHT WILL PAY, ONE NIGHT, and THESIS.

    Comment by celinejulie — February 23, 2010 @ 12:10 am

  2. I think many horror/thriller films try to use “darkness” to scare the audience, but few of them can use it as effectively as THESIS. DARKNESS FALLS (2003, Jonathan Liebesman, C+) is a shame. DARKNESS (2002, Jaume Balagueró, A) is quite atmospheric and uses darkness very effectively. My most favorite scene in DARKNESS is the one in which we see the face of Lena Olin in the dark. Her face is lit up from below by the light from a stove, if I remember it correctly. I think WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967, Terence Young) is not as exciting as I wish, but I watched it many years ago. I may change my mind if I see it again.

    Another horror film which I think uses darkness very effectively is BOOGEYMAN (2005, Stephen T. Kay, A+++++).

    Comment by celinejulie — February 23, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

  3. BLOOD CANNOT BE CHANGED, THE BOY FROM MARS, THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, A FAREWELL TO HEMINGWAY, THE KITE (ZMEY), A LAKE, THE NIGHT WILL PAY, ONE NIGHT, and THESIS.

    Comment by Salman Khan — February 28, 2010 @ 8:26 pm


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