Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Favorite Songs 29: I'M AFRAID OF BEING FORTY -- Apaporn Nakornsawan


Favorite Songs 29: I'M AFRAID OF BEING FORTY -- Apaporn Nakornsawan

Favorite Music Videos 52: Non Stop Mix -- Wink


Favorite Music Videos 52: Non Stop Mix -- Wink

หนักที่สุด ทั้งการต่อเพลงเข้าด้วยกันและการตัดต่อมิวสิควิดีโอใหม่ พวกเธอคือตำนานจริงๆ ซาบิชี่ เน็ตไตเงียว ถือได้ว่าเป็นจุดสูงสุดจุดนึงของชีวิตเรา

ช่วงที่ชอบที่สุดคือช่วงนาทีที่ 03.05-03.10 ที่สองสาวมาพร้อมกับลูกแก้ววิเศษ แล้วตัดภาพไปเป็นคนนึงใช้มือปัดแขนของอีกคนขึ้นไป นึกว่าเป็นท่าวิทยายุทธที่จนปัจจุบันนี้ก็ยังหาคนแก้เคล็ดวิชานี้ไม่ได้ คงมีแต่สองสาวก้างปูที่หายสาบสูญไปแล้วเท่านั้นที่สามารถแก้เคล็ดวิชานี้ได้

Favorite Old Songs 134: DRIVE (1997) -- Miki Imai


Favorite Old Songs 134: DRIVE (1997) -- Miki Imai

Sometimes I wish I would wake up and find myself listening to KANOJOTO TIP ON DUO by Miki Imai in 1988 and living my life since that time again.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Favorite quote from the film THE SARDINIA HORSES AND HORSEMEN (2010, Svea Anderson, documentary, A+/A)


Favorite quote from the film THE SARDINIA HORSES AND HORSEMEN (2010, Svea Anderson, documentary, A+/A):

"Saint Constantine has never performed a complete miracle, because I have never found a husband," an old woman said.

FILMS I SAW IN JANUARY 2013


FILMS I SAW IN JANUARY 2013

1.THE FOSTER BOY (2011, Markus Imboden, Switzerland, A+30)

2.ARNULF RAINER (1960, Peter Kubelka, A+30)

3.UN VILLAGE FRANÇAIS (2009-2012, TV series, A+30)

4.TWIN SISTERS (1934, Zheng Zheng Qiu, China, A+30)

5.VIPER IN THE FIST (VIPÈRE AU POING) (2004, Philippe de Broca, A+30)

6.ADRIFT (LA DÉRIVE) (2011, Matthieu Salmon, A+30)

7.GIVE US FREEDOM (ROUGE PARADE) (2012, Elyes Baccar, Switzerland/Tunisia, documentary, A+30)

8.THE GUAVA HOUSE (2000, Nhat Minh Dang, Vietnam, A+30)

9.ON PROGRESS (อยู่ระหว่างการปรับปรุง) (2013, Abhichon Ratanabhayon, documentary, A+30)

10.ACHIEVING THE UNACHIEVABLE (2007, Jean Bergeron, Canada, documentary, A+30)

11.THE LOBSTER'S CRY (2012, Nicolas Guiot, A+30)

12.ITINÉRAIRES (2006, Christophe Otzenberger, A+25)

13.SLEEPING SICKNESS (2011, Ulrich Köhler, Germany, A+20)

14.LITTLE SENEGAL (2001, Rachid Bouchareb, A+20)

15.COLD-BLOODED MURDER (ASSASSINÉE) (2012, Thierry Binisti, A+20)

16.FOR DJAMILA (2011, Caroline Huppert, A+20)

17.CHINESE ZODIAC (2012, Jackie Chan, A+20)

18.KILLING THEM SOFTLY (2012, Andrew Dominik, A+15)

19.SOMEONE ELSE'S PLACE (2012, Naraid Kuapunyakoon, A+15)

20.VERY HAPPY ALEXANDRE (ALEXANDRE LE BIENHEUREUX) (1967, Yves Robert, A+15)

21.HARAM (2010, Benoît Martin, A+15)

22.BREATH OF A TRUMPET (2007-2011, Ole Ukena, video installation, A+15)

23.WALK!!! (2013, Nathan Homsup + Dhan Lhaow, documentary, A+10)

24.THE WOMAN KNIGHT OF MIRROR LAKE (2011, Herman Yau, A+10)

25.MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA (2013, Vishal Bhardwaj, India, A+5)

26.DUBBA DUB DUB (2013, Yingsiwat Yamolyong + Paradorn Wesurai + Banpot Wutthipreecha + Pramote Sangsorn, A+)
--DUBBA DUB DUB: BUTCH CASSIDY AND SUNDANCE KID (A)
--DUBBA DUB DUB: THE SEVENTH SEAL (A+)
--THE FOURTH LAND OF HEAVEN (Pramote Sangsorn, A+30)
--THE MIRACULOUS POWER WHICH CAN NEVER BE CONCEALED OF NE WADDAO (กฤษฎาภินิหารอันบดบังมิได้ของเน วัดดาว) (A+30)

27.TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE (2011, Philippe Niang, miniseries, A+)

28.LIFE OF PI (2012, Ang Lee, A+)

29.THE SYSTEM -- TO UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING MEANS TO FORGIVE EVERYTHING (2011, Marc Bauder, Germany, A+)

30.BIZARRE, BIZARRE (DRÔLE DE DRAME) (1937, Marcel Carné, A+)

31.CALL TO ARMS (1972, Shen Chiang, A+)

32.NAMIBIA, TIMELESS AFRICA (2011, Éric Bacos, documentary, A+)

33.2013 (2013, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, A+)

34.DOUCE MENACE (2011, Ludovic Habas + Yoan Sender + Margaux Vaxelaire + Mickaël Krebs + Florent Rousseau, animation, A+)

35.LA VÉRITÉ (2011, Patrice Kerbrat, A+)

36.POWER PLAY (LA DÉLOGEUSE) (2008, Julien Rouyet, Switzerland, A+)

37.TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D (2013, John Luessenhop, A+)

38.SWEET MOSQUITO (2012, Audrey Najar + Frédéric Perrot, A+)

39.ECONOMIES OF TOUCH (2013, Sheelah Murthy, video installation, A+)

40.VIDEO MEMORANDUM NO.11: STAR (2013, Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa, A+)

41.LET ME IN (FAIS CROQUER) (2011, Yassine Qnia, A+)

42.RAPE (1966, Wim van der Linden, A+)

43.GANGSTER SQUAD (2013, Ruben Fleischer, A+/A)

44.REPERCUSSIONS (2008, Caroline Huppert, A)

45.LES DEUX MONDES (2007, Daniel Cohen, A-)

46.THE HITMAN (มือปืน ดอกไม้ คำสั่งฆ่า) (2007, Wichanon Somumjarn, A-)

47.JE RETOURNE CHEZ MA MÈRE (2011, Williams Crépin, A-)

48.DEAL (2011, Wilfried Méance, A-)

49.LILI DAVID (2012, Christophe Barraud, A-/B+)

50.IMPASSIVE LÉO (2010, Nicolas Apicella, A-/B+)

51.APRÈS TOI (2012, Wilfried Méance, B+)

52.THE STUNT (2013, Sathanapong Limwongthong, documentary, B-)
http://thaifilmjournal.blogspot.com/2013/01/review-stunt.html



POWER PLAY เป็นหนังสั้นความยาว 20 นาทีครับ หนังมีเนื้อหาเกี่ยวกับสเตฟานี่ หญิงสาวที่ทำงานเป็นพนักงานทำความสะอาดในอาคารสำนักงานและในบ้านของคนรวยคู่หนึ่ง สเตฟานี่อาศัยอยู่ในอพาร์ทเมนท์กับชายหนุ่มคนนึงที่น่าจะเป็นแฟนเก่าของเธอ แต่ชายหนุ่มคนนี้ชอบพาเพื่อนผู้ชายเป็นกลุ่มมาสุมหัวกันที่อพาร์ทเมนท์ จนทำให้สเตฟานี่รู้สึกว่า "space" ของเธอเองในอพาร์ทเมนท์ถูกเบียดบังไปเป็นอย่างมาก เพราะผู้ชายที่มาสุมหัวกันที่อพาร์ทเมนท์ของเธอก็ดูเป็นพวกนักเลงๆ ที่ไม่น่าไว้วางใจสักเท่าไหร่

ส่วนที่บ้านของคนรวยคู่นั้น สเตฟานี่มักจะได้พบกับซูซานน์ เจ้าของบ้านซึ่งทำงานเป็นทนายความและมีบุคลิกค่อนข้างเย่อหยิ่ง โดยก่อนที่ซูซานน์จะออกไปทำงาน เธอก็จะ assign งานต่างๆให้สเตฟานี่ทำ

พอ space ของสเตฟานี่ในอพาร์ทเมนท์ของเธอเองถูกเบียดบังมากขึ้นเรื่อยๆ สเตฟานี่ก็เริ่มสร้าง space ของเธอเองในคฤหาสน์ของคนรวย เธอเอาน้ำหอม เอาเครื่องสำอางของเจ้านายมาใช้ เธออาบน้ำในอ่างอาบน้ำหรูหราของเจ้านาย แต่โชคร้ายที่ซูซานน์กลับบ้านเร็วกว่ากำหนด ซูซานน์กลับมาพบความจริงที่ว่าสเตฟานี่เอาสมบัติส่วนตัวของซูซานน์มาใช้โดยไม่ได้รับอนุญาต

ซูซานน์โกรธมาก แต่สิ่งที่เฮี้ยนมากๆในหนังเรื่องนี้ก็คือ สเตฟานี่ทำท่าทางไม่ยี่หระอะไรทั้งสิ้น ซูซานน์จะด่าทอยังไง สเตฟานี่ก็ไม่ยี่หระ ในที่สุดซูซานน์ก็เลยยอมแพ้ เธอตัดสินใจออกเดินทางไปต่างประเทศ และปล่อยให้สเตฟานี่อยู่ในบ้านของเธอ

สเตฟานี่เอาชุดของซูซานน์มาสวม และนั่งเต๊ะท่าอยู่บนโซฟา สามีของซูซานน์กลับมาบ้าน เขามีบุคลิกลักษณะเหมือนคนรวยทั่วไป นั่นคือคงจะเดินทางไปต่างประเทศเป็นประจำ และคงจะไม่ได้ใช้ชีวิตอยู่ร่วมกับภรรยาสักเท่าไหร่ เขาทักทาย "ซูซานน์" ที่นั่งอยู่บนโซฟา เขาไม่รู้อีกต่อไปแล้วว่า ซูซานน์กับสเตฟานี่ต่างกันอย่างไร

หนังเรื่องนี้เหมาะจะฉายควบกับ GUILTY (2008, Laetitia Masson, A+30) อย่างมากๆครับ เพราะ GUILTY มีการพูดถึงความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างคนรวยกับคนใช้ที่น่าสนใจมากๆเหมือนกัน โดย GUILTY มีเนื้อหาเกี่ยวกับแม่ครัวในบ้านของคนรวยคู่หนึ่ง เธอแอบหลงรักชายหนุ่มเจ้าของบ้านหลังนี้ และต่อมาเธอก็ตกเป็นผู้ต้องสงสัยในเหตุการณ์ฆาตกรรม อัยการที่มาสืบคดีนี้พบว่าแม่ครัวคนนี้มีอาการโรคจิตวิปลาส แต่อาการโรคจิตนี่แหละที่ทำให้อัยการคนนี้ตกหลุมรักนางเอกจนทำให้เขากลายเป็นคนโรคจิตตามไปด้วย

ส่วนหนังอีกเรื่องของ Julien Rouyet ที่ชื่อ LAP OF LUXURY (2011, A+) ก็ดีมากๆครับ หนังเรื่องนี้มีเนื้อหาเกี่ยวกับหญิงสาววัยรุ่นฐานะดีคนนึงที่ไม่พอใจที่พ่อของเธอได้แฟนใหม่เป็นหญิงสาวสวย พ่อของเธอเริ่มพาแฟนใหม่มานอนค้างที่บ้านเป็นประจำ และนั่นก็เลยทำให้เกิดอะไรรุนแรงตามมา


ส่วน "กฤษฎาภินิหารอันบดบังมิได้ของเน วัดดาว" เป็นหนังที่ดีมากๆครับ หนังเรื่องนี้เอา found footage หนังไทยเก่าๆเกี่ยวกับการกู้ชาติ อย่างเช่น ศึกบางระจัน (1966) มาตัดต่อใหม่ ยำเข้าด้วยกัน และมีการเอาคลิปของแอล โอรสหรือเน วัดดาว ใส่เข้ามาด้วย โดยนอกจากการยำ footage ต่างๆเข้าด้วยกันแล้ว หนังเรื่องนี้ยังสร้างเนื้อเรื่องใหม่ขึ้นมาผ่านทางการพากย์เสียงตัวละคร โดยในหนังเรื่องนี้เราจะเห็นภาพที่เรามักจะเห็นกันทั่วไปในหนังกู้ชาติ แต่ตัวละครกลับคุยกันแบบเด็กแว๊นแทน ผลลัพธ์ที่ได้ก็เลยน่าสนใจมากๆ หนังเหมือนจะตั้งคำถามได้อย่างแสบสันต์ต่อการปลูกฝังค่านิยมความเชื่อเรื่องชาตินิยมในสังคมไทยได้ดี

"กฤษฎาภินิหารอันบดบังมิได้ของเน วัดดาว" เหมาะจะฉายควบกับ "ฝนห่าไฟ" ของ Taiki Sakpisit มากๆ เพราะเป็นการนำ found footage หนังไทยยุคเก่ามาใช้ได้น่าสนใจเหมือนกัน และอาจจะเหมาะฉายควบกับหนัง found footage ของ Viriyaporn Boonprasert และ Matthias Mueller ด้วย

เสียดายที่ไม่รู้ว่า ผู้กำกับ "กฤษฎาภินิหารอันบดบังมิได้ของเน วัดดาว" คือใคร


LES MISERABLES (2012, Tom Hooper, A+)


LES MISERABLES (2012, Tom Hooper, A+)

I think it works for me in the last scene. I nearly cried. Hahaha. I don't know why. I like the character Éponine very much. Maybe the reason why I like this film is partly because I have never read Victor Hugo's novels and have never seen the stage version of this film. So I don't have many things to compare with this film. I only saw Josée Dayan's version which is made in 2000. It stars Gerard Depardieu, John Malkovich, Virginie Ledoyen, Asia Argento and Charlotte Gainsbourg. I like Argento and Gainsbourg in this version very much. I think Dayan's version is fine, but it doesn't make me want to cry like Hooper's version.

Zach Campbell wrote about LES MISERABLES (2012) here:

As for Victor Hugo, I saw a made-for-television film called CLAUDE GUEUX (2009, Olivier Schatzky, A+30), which is adapted from Hugo's work. I really worship this film. It is about injustice like LES MISERABLES, but it is extremely powerful. Judging from its effect on me, CLAUDE GUEUX is as powerful as a film by Robert Bresson, though it is not in Bresson's style.

After seeing LES MISERABLES (2012), I really want to see A ROOM IN TOWN (1982, Jacques Demy), which is also a musical about an uprising.
You can watch A ROOM IN TOWN with English subtitles here:

THE IMPOSSIBLE (2012, Juan Antonio Bayona, A+)


THE IMPOSSIBLE (2012, Juan Antonio Bayona, A+)

I think this film works for me a little bit in the same way as a horror film, because what I'm impressed the most in this film is how I feel being bruised and cut in my leg like Naomi Watts. I think most horror films try to make the audience feeling penetrated by sharp objects or something like that. THE IMPOSSIBLE achieves this effect on me. I really felt penetrated, feeling as if I was bleeding a lot in my leg like Watts' character. I think it is a good choice that Juan Antonio Bayona directed THE IMPOSSIBLE, because Bayona's THE ORPHANAGE (2007) is a horror film which focuses on love between family members, too.

The scene I like the most in THE IMPOSSIBLE is the scene in which Watts and her son find Daniel, an angelic kid in a devastated area, and help the kid to climb a tree. The reason why I like this scene is just because I have a teddy bear. In my imaginative world, I regard this teddy bear as my son, a kid who in human form might look very much like this kid in this scene in THE IMPOSSIBLE. Seeing Daniel in THE IMPOSSIBLE reminds me of my teddy bear and my imaginative world.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Favorite Music Videos 51: LEVEL -- Afternoon (2012, Chulayarnnon Siriphol + Wachara Kanha)


Favorite Music Videos 51: LEVEL -- Afternoon (2012, Chulayarnnon Siriphol + Wachara Kanha)

You can watch this music video here. It is one of my most favorite music videos of all time.

HUSK (2011, Brett Simmons, A+30)

HUSK (2011, Brett Simmons, A+30)

I think one of the reasons why I like HUSK very much is because it unintentionally reminds me of CÉLINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (1974, Jacques Rivette, A+30).

Both films

1.deal with ghosts in a haunted house and a supernatural loop of events.

2. The persons who enter into the house (Céline and Julie, the teenagers) will become a part of the supernatural loop.

3. If the person enters alone, he/she will not be able to resolve the loop.

4. The loop can be resolved if the persons don't enter alone, and they are united with each other, and they study the loop carefully.



Friday, February 22, 2013

SORRY (2008, Dean Kavanagh, Ireland, A+30)


SORRY (2008, Dean Kavanagh, Ireland, A+30)

You can watch this film here:

I like Bernadette Keddy in Dean Kavanagh's films very much. I think she is as charming as Jenjira Pongpas in Apichatpong Weerasethakul's films.

You can help fund the new film of Dean Kavanagh here:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Desirable Actor: -- Chang Hsiao-chuan -- GIRLFRIEND BOYFRIEND (2012, Yang Ya-che, Taiwan, A+15)


Favorite Actress: Waristha Nakorntup -- GOD OF CARNAGE (2013, Pannipa Thirapong, stage play, A+25)


Favorite Actress: Waristha Nakorntup -- GOD OF CARNAGE (2013, Pannipa Thirapong, stage play, A+25)








Favorite Actor: Dickie Beau -- ECHO: THE NYMPH (Dickie Beau, stage play, A+30)



Favorite Actor: Dickie Beau -- ECHO: THE NYMPH (Dickie Beau, stage play, A+30)

(The photo does not come from ECHO: THE NYMPH)








FAVORITE TEEN FILMS


My favorite teen films include:

1. THE CHERRY ORCHARD (1990, Shun Nakahara, Japan)
2. ENFIN (2012, Sitthipong Wong-ard, Thailand)
3. LIGHTS OUT (2010, Fabrice Gobert, France)
4. NIGHT TIME PICNIC (2006, Masahiko Nagasawa, Japan)
5. NOTHING CAN TOUCH ME (2011, Milad Alami, Denmark)
6. OTHER GIRLS (2000, Caroline Vignal, France)
7. STRONG SHOULDERS (2003, Ursula Meier, Switzerland)
8. TEEN STORIES 2002-2008 (2010, Béatrice Bakhti, Switzerland, documentary, 397 minutes)
9. THIS WINDOW IS YOURS (1994, Tomoyuki Furumaya, Japan)
10. TYPHOON CLUB (1985, Shinji Somai, Japan)

I also make a list of my twenty favorite films about young girls here: http://celinejulie.blogspot.com/2008/06/poll-23-young-girls.html

The photo is from STRONG SHOULDERS.

(The post above is my comment in Girish's blog:




Thursday, February 14, 2013

CELINE AND JULIE GO DANCING 60: FLAVOR (Peter Rauhofer Big Room Mix) -- Tori Amos


CELINE AND JULIE GO DANCING 60: FLAVOR (Peter Rauhofer Big Room Mix) -- Tori Amos

A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ This kind of songs inspire me a lot. Thank to Graiwoot for telling me about this song.

I worship Peter Rauhofer. He used to make songs under the name CLUB 69. The album ADULTS ONLY by Club 69 is one of my most favorite albums of all time.

I also like this remix by Peter Rauhofer very much. It's for the song HELL IN PARADISE by Yoko Ono.

TANIMURA (2013, Barameerat Jantarasriwongs, A+)


TANIMURA (2013, Barameerat Jantarasriwongs, A+)

I like the travelling part and the setting of Laem Pak Bia in this film very much.

Monday, February 11, 2013

HISTORY OF WATER (2012, Dean Kavanagh, Ireland, 61min, A+30)


HISTORY OF WATER (2012, Dean Kavanagh, Ireland, 61min, A+30)

HISTORY OF WATER is a kind of films I feel reluctant to write about, because it is extremely poetic and obviously beyond my ability to describe it. To describe this film makes me feel as if I dare to describe the painting SNOWSTORM (1842) by J.M.W. Turner. How can one describe things like that or the exact feelings caused by things like that? The more I write about this kind of poetic films, the more I feel what I write stray too far from the films. So readers should beware that what I write cannot fully represent the feelings I have for this film. What I wrote may not be exactly about the film, but about my re-imagination of the film. This kind of films always makes me feel something strong, powerful, and indescribable. 

Fortunately, Maximilian Le Cain wrote an article about Dean Kavanagh's short films in the link below. This article is very useful, and many things in this article can be used to describe HISTORY OF WATER, too. So I'm gonna borrow some phrases from Le Cain's article when I wrote about this film.

Moreover, I also want to borrow some phrases from Chris Auty's review of the film THE LEFT-HANDED WOMAN (1977, Peter Handke, A+30) in Time Out Film Guide  to describe HISTORY OF WATER, too. These phrases are "silence, an edge of solemnity, an overwhelming painterly grace" and "a moving, deceptively fragile contemplation of a world almost beyond words". I find these phrases for THE LEFT-HANDED WOMAN fit very well with HISTORY OF WATER.

First of all, I want to say that I don't understand this film at all. I don't understand what this film means. I don't understand what each scene means. I guess there might be "an elusive, lucid and disturbingly alien organizing principle at work that refuses to explain itself" like what Le Cain wrote. The first time I watched it, I felt like decoding the film. I wanted to find out how the water motif works in this film. I asked myself, "Is there anything hidden in the film?" Then, I gave up searching for the answers. I watched it again, and let my mind journey into the empire of this film, this unknown empire, full of strange sound and interesting images.

Is this film telling a story? I don't know. Maybe. According to what I feel, the film presents daily rituals of a family. The protagonist is a boy who likes to use a video camera. First he attempts to record things around his house, then videotaping his own little sister, and at the end he takes his camera into the streets. He doesn't talk much with his own family members, including his big brother, his mother, and his father who likes to take still photos.

I feel as if the protagonist is the substitute for Dean Kavanagh himself. What the boy does seems to reflect what Dean does in this film--recording things around the house, using family members as actors/actresses, and then taking the camera into the streets. It is an interesting self-reflexivity.

However, the film is not merely a record of the daily rituals of a family, because there are many strange things in this film, which help make the film extraordinary and sublime. These strange things include:

1. The sound
There are various kinds of sound in this film, for example:
1.1 The radio sound or something like that. At the beginning of the film, I think I hear something which sounds like a radio broadcasting from the past. It fits very well with the images which look a little bit like a 16mm film made 30-50 years ago, because there are scratches in the film.

1.2 The TV sound. There is an interesting scene near the end of the film in which we see cars moving by in the dark with some piles of soil in the foreground of the image. And we hear a voice saying something about the Academy Award. I guess this voice comes from a TV. I don't know what this scene means. The sound I hear in this scene makes me think about a Western film. The images I see in this scene remind me of film noirs.

1.3 The sound of the pouring rain. This is the main motif in this film, I guess. We hear the sound of a heavy rain or rainstorm in many scenes in this film. It partly reminds me of the cycle of water and the natural cycle, because after the heavy downpour, we see bright sunlight and clear sky. Then there comes a downpour again. It continues in a loop like that throughout our life.

What is interesting in this film is that I don't know if the sound of the downpour is meant to be surreal in some scenes or not. There is an early scene in which we hear a downpour, but we see a drizzle and the brother and sister outside of the house. They don't look like they are soaking wet in a downpour. Is this scene realistic or surreal? I'm not sure.

Another thing which I like very much is that this film (unintentionally) makes me realize the beauty of the sound of the rain. No, I don't mean the sound of thunder and a heavy downpour. But I mean the sound of some raindrops. I think I used to enjoy listening to the sound of raindrops when I was a little kid. Then when I grew up, I forgot to listen to it. There are too many things to worry about in life. When it is raining, I am always busy doing something, such as using Facebook, and never really listen to the sound of the rain any more. Maybe the last time I enjoyed listening to the sound of the rain is in 1989. This film, like many other great films, intentionally or unintentionally makes us aware of beauty around us which we have overlooked.

1.4 The sound of the mobile phone. There is the sound of the mobile phone in the first scene of this film, which shows a beautiful woman in what looks like an old 16mm film. At first I thought the sound of the mobile phone came from the old film, but the woman does not respond to the sound. So I guess the sound of the mobile phone may come from the boy who may be watching this old film.

1.5 The sound of a phonograph turntable or something like that. We hear this sound many times in the film. I don't know what it means, but I think it is interesting.

1.6 The sound of something growling. We hear this sound many times in the film, but I don't know what it means. The first time I hear it is in the scene showing the mother and the boy having breakfast. At that time I thought an invisible alien from outer space might be hiding in the house and observing the daily rituals of human beings on planet Earth. Hahaha. But later I discarded this theory. I don't know what this sound means. It sounds like it comes from a monster, or from a monster hiding in the mind of a character. But there is no character who seems to be possessing this monster inside. So I discarded this theory, too. Now I think of this sound as one of the "unexplainable" things in the film.

1.7 The sound of the sea

2.The beautiful woman. Who is she? In the first scene, she seems to be someone whom the boy fondly remembers. She seems to exist in the past. Then we see her in the present time on the beach. Then we see her reflection on a puddle of water on the street. (That scene is truly great!) And then we see some surreal images of her.

3.The focus on water. We see various forms of water in this film. First we see water flowing down an old bathtub. We see rain, the sea, water from a hose, steam on glass doors and mirrors, and snow.

4. The scene showing Dean doing something in a studio or something like that. This scene is not shown to us directly, but via a TV, or a CCTV. Why?

There are many other things and scenes I love in this film, including:

1.The old woman. I totally agree with Le Cain that there is something in Dean Kavanagh's films which remind us of Philippe Garrel. I think the old woman in this film reminds me of Garrel's films in the scene in which she looks out of a window at night. Her face in that scene is Garrelian. Moreover, her face also reminds me of the painting AN OLD WOMAN OF ARLES (1888, Vincent van Gogh).

2.The old woman is not only Garrelian, but also Tarkovsky-like. The scene in which we see her holding a candle or something like that in the dark reminds me of the spiritual power in some films by Tarkovsky, or the candlelight scene in ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA (2011, Nuri Bilge Ceylan).

Moreover, that scene also makes me feel as if the old woman is a very powerful witch, because when she turns to the camera, we can hear a very strange sound effect. This is one of the scenes in the film which reminds me of the psychological-fantastic realm found in the films of Nina Menkes.

3. I like the moment when Dean slides from the rooftop very much. I don't know what this scene means. I don't think it is a tribute to VERTIGO. Hahaha. But I like it very much.

4. HISTORY OF WATER reminds me a little bit of the trend of contemplative cinema, especially in Southeast Asia. This kind of arthouse cinema likes to show little or no story, silence, brooding protagonists, etc/ However, I think HISTORY OF WATER differs a little bit from some contemplative films in Southeast Asia, because it doesn't look "intellectual" to me. HISTORY OF WATER looks more like an Impressionist painting to me than an intellectual film.

If I have to compare HISTORY OF WATER with films by Rouzbeh Rashidi, I think HISTORY OF WATER doesn't experiment with "forms" as much as Rashidi's films. HISTORY OF WATER seems like a film which is born from "the inside" of the director. HISTORY OF WATER seems to focus more on feelings and memory than on forms and meanings.

There are also many other things I like in this film, many things which may look simple at first, but when they are put together in this film, they create some indescribable feelings in me. In conclusion, you have to see this film so that you can understand its power by yourself. HISTORY OF WATER is one of the most poetic films I have ever seen.




Sunday, February 10, 2013

TEN FEATURE FILMS OF ROUZBEH RASHIDI ARE NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE


I just noticed that ten feature films of Rouzbeh Rashidi are now available online. You can watch these ten films from the links in this webpage:

ZOETROPE is my most favourite foreign feature film I saw in 2011, while JEAN SPECK (1860-1933) is my fourth favourite foreign feature film I saw in 2012.





Desirable Actor: Alexander Fehling -- IF NOT US, WHO? (2011, Andres Veiel, A+25)


Favorite Actress: Susanne Lothar -- IF NOT US, WHO? (2011, Andres Veiel, A+25)