Category Archives: What I saw!

Italian Trip

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Three beautiful old towns: 

Romantic Venice

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Elegant Florence

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Medieval-Renaissance Bologna

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Poetry

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I still remember Lee Chang-Dong from a ‘Peppermint candy’ so ”Poetry” is something I was really curious about.

I haven’t read any reviews of it, I suppose it was well received as that was a Cannes nominee (a winner? must google it later) . For me that’s something very similar to Kaplanoglu’s picture ‘Honey’. The loss of a spoken language caused by Alzheimers is a birth of poetry for Mrs Mija. The skill she’s trying to develop so hard comes naturally with a sequence of dramatic events.. From my perspective, both Kaplanoglu and Lee Chang are taking from the oldest mythologies: prophets were many times blind: to get a vision of the future events clear, they gave up on seeing the present.. Mad men were believed to be saints, to have direct connection with transcendental powers. Too see more, to reach further, one has to give up on human, down to earth abilities (sight, speech, reason…) And then, Mija’s life is heroic. She’s a visioner and an (unrecognized) hero. She makes a sacrifice of herself to erase human sins.  And all about her is unique: her acceptance of life, her will to explore, her compassion and redemption (is this the right word.. ? )  in the final.

Now, I found these two posters: a Korean one of melancholic, inner-directed perspective of a poet, and the American one with an infantile elder lady on it, wearing a funny frock, scribbling happily in a notepad. God bless America :- )

Oh no!  Polish EU presidency is just starting and I’m yapping about movies.  Need to make a new post.

Kynodontas

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Dogtooth 2009, Giorgos Lanthimos

Surreal tale about complete isolation from the outside world. A family whose grown up children never left their house, think a cat is a killing beast eating little babies for lunch 😀 . What is humanity, what’s an instinct, answer these.. the picture asks these questions, don’t give any answers though. I felt like someone put Freud on a big screen: ID always fighting, not knowing what reality is, always in motion, very basic, primitive, easy to please with a reward (a sticker! ) I found out the film was nominated to an Oscar (not a chance of a win though, as the Oscar always goes to  some idiotic story about US war hero, disabled child, or simply to the one who spent the most $$$ on it ) and yes! got an award in Cannes.  Precisely deserved. The best psychological drama I’ve seen this year. And, it puts a big question mark on a holy institution of a family.  USA – watch and learn from Greece in crisis.

Senność (2008), Magdalena Piekorz

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Breaking through stereotypes. Three stories of different people having one thing in common: they live in the cages of their own lives and their own passivity from one day to another. When they wake up with a sudden impluse for a change it appears how much they can do, how impossible becomes possible. None of the characters is unique, none of them is a hero and maybe this made me to like each of them so much and sitting on my couch with the fingers crossed so that these three people succeed.

I like such pictures the most: simple, real, reaching beyond the surface, making you live the story.

33 Sceny z życia (2008), Małgorzata Szumowska

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This is not an easy movie. It requires attention, it makes you personally involved.  I got involved.  How to behave in the face of sickness how to stay normal if the situation is far from normality and we have no tools to fight inevitable..  The emotions are big, the movie is unique but the story told  is lived by millions of people everyday, in every corner of the world..  Striking reality. This film makes you stop. Right there where you stand, and think it over, think your life over, think about the others .. before they are gone.

Polish cinema at its best.

Honey

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I watched this movie without seeing the other parts before. But the movie is amazing experience itself: it is a journey into the beautiful landscape of Turkey, journey into childhood and growing up, a drama caused by the loss of the father about death and new life: when Yusuf stops talking he’s actually being born as an artist. He turning into his inner world, driven by unspeakable emotions he cannot name. He is finding his own way through the tragedy and he’s going there alone. What I couldn’t resist of thinking is how beautifully the connection with nature is shown in the movie. The last scene shows the boy putting himself to sleep in the forest, the place that brings him comfort and consolation. You could say he’s instinctevely re-uniting with the spirit of his father and grandfathers where he finds peace he couldn’t find elsewhere.  I couldn’t help applying a little of antropological perspective here to see the rite of passage present in any culture in any time of history.

This is one of few movies I will want to watch again. If not for the story I could only watch it for the scenes which are more like beautiful paintings rather than movie shots.

Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) Mike Nichols

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Sad news about Liz Taylor came to us last weeks. That evening I wanted to recall some movie she played in and guess what, for me there was no other choice but ‘Who’s afraid..’ Forget Cleopatra, Liz’s seven (?) husbands and whether her eye color was real.  Watch Taylor going insane together with R Burt who was probably the only actor who could stand up to this performance. First time I was watching this movie I remember I kept my jaw dropped for what a show it was to see these actors together.

This time I got to the true value of this deep studium of the double-morality, psychological repressions and single human drama. American society of the 60st being psychoanalized by Taylor.