extreme close-up

24.7.04

nostalghia

Tarkovsky's own Voyage in Italy. A poem on screen.

nostalghia.com - Tarkovsky information site
Tarkovsky on Nostalghia:
before the film was made (1980)
after making the film (1984) [highly recommended]



16.7.04

life and nothing more/and life goes on (va zendegi edame darad)

A middle-aged film director (the director Abbas Kiarostami's alter ego) travels with his young son Puya to the earthquake-hit village of Koker in Iran where he hopes to find the young Ahmadpour brothers, the lead actors of his earlier film Where is the Friend's House? The film is an exploration of the human spirit for survival and even to enjoy life in the face of a natural disaster. We meet people who lost their houses in the earthquake and forced to live in tents trying to setup a television antenna to catch the World Cup football match, a couple who decided to get married the day after the earthquake to avoid waiting for the long mourning period for many dead relatives to be over. Through the reflections of old man Ruhi (another amateur actor from the earlier film) and Puya, Kiarostami reveals a life-affirming rationalization for why life must go on.

Though shot in a cinema verité style, apparently all the shots were blocked and dialogues written.

@Strictly Film School

3.7.04

the magic flute

Mozart's last opera transferred (as opposed to translated) to film by Bergman. The opera is presented as is, but with some additional drama through imaginative use of editing and camera. There are a few distractions like the close-up shots of a young girl (which I interpret as director's attempts to punctuate and comment) and scenes in which the actors are shown outside the stage (Papageno before appearing for the first time and the actors during intermission). Except for these the film works well. The story is "interesting." The Masonic influence is obvious. Female is cast as the evil dark force opposed to the virtuous "brotherhood."

The Magic Flute: the opera
@Sight and Sound
@Criterion Collection