Thursday, October 09, 2003

  My apologies for having disappeared without warning. My schedule has shifted rather dramatically, leaving little wiggle room for maintaining an online presence. But I have been longing to return and hope to linger in the blogosphere in the near future. So, do check back now and then for new goodies, which may become terser and more fragmentary. Thanks for dropping by.

For today - a medley of movies I've savored most during the past six or so months. The sensations they provoke and the impressions they leave are quiet, warm, humbling, and unusual.

Film still from "Divided We Fall"

"Divided We Fall" is about the experience of neighbors in a small Czechoslovakian town during WWII. Full of vulnerable, tender, and strong characters, quirky plot developments, and peppered with distinctly Czech bittersweet humor, this film is endlessly rewarding and refreshing. Very highly recommended.

Film still from "Baran"

Like Majid Majidi's earlier films, "The Children of Heaven" and "The Color of Paradise", the Iranian director's "Baran" is an endangered species in the cinematic kingdom. Thoroughly endearing and touching, it is pleasantly disarming, and not at all sappy. "Baran" is nothing short of an elixir of peace.

"Butterfly / La Lengua de las Mariposas" from Spain, is full of vivid, dazzling colors and light, and of opaque and unsightly emotions and misplaced loyalties.
Film still from "The Son's Room"

Nanni Moretti directs and stars in "The Son's Room", a thoughtful film about a rocky family dynamic. Moretti prefers winding detours to fixed shortcuts, and soft musings to fanfare.

Film still from "Under the Sand"

Much is unuttered in Francois Ozon's "Under the Sand", a movie built on the pillars of probing and prodding. It is slow and hushed but very powerful.

Film still from "The Straight Story"

David Lynch's "The Straight Story"ravels and unravels at an even drowsier pace. It is stubborn, unadorned, and uncannily beautiful.

Finally, for something different but kindred and just as smashing -- "Jiri Kylian's Black & White Ballets".

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