Archive for March, 2006

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau: 1927)

I just started a Cinema club and the first movie we saw together was Sunrise, by one of my all time favorite directors, F.W. Murnau. Sunrise is also one of the best films I have ever seen. It was very well received by the participants.

The camerawork is just unbelievable, even by today's standards. The Moving camera that follows "The Man" when he goes to meet "The Woman from the City" is breathtaking. The acting is also quite good but it is the director that shines the brightest here. This simple story is told so well that one can not take eyes of the screen.

There are many religious themes in the film. The most obvious is the reference to the Genesis Story. The Woman from the City is like Lilith and the snake in one person (and not for the first time in art history). She is even seen lying on a branch in a tree, happily observing the drama cosed by her misdeeds. "The man" and "The Wife" are like Adam and Eve. They live peacefully before the snake/Lilith comes and threatens their happiness and even the life of "The Wife", poisoning everything with words.

The name of the film can simply refer to the sunrise in their life, in the end of the film but it also reminds me of the many texts in the Bible where it is stated that Gods help comes with the dawn.

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A History of Violence (David Cronenberg: 2005)

I watched A History of Violence last night. The first thing I noted was that I had to some extent misunderstood the title of the movie. Before seeing it I saw the film as being first and foremost a treatise (so to speak) on the nature of violence. After seeing it I think we should perhaps understand it as having two other connotations. On the one hand it refers to the violent narrative in the film, on the other hand to the violent past of the main character (and perhaps also the fact that violence seems to be a part of his nature).

 I wonder whether we could approach the film from the perspective of the fallen / redeemed man (or even the old and new Adam). There is a reference in the film to a rebirth of sorts. Another approach could be to make use of Luther's idea of man as being simul iustus et peccator. I also think it may be of interest to see A History of Violence as a study into the nature of sin. 

Yet another approach might be to make use of Hobbes and his social contract theory.

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Caché (Michael Haneke: 2005)

I just saw Caché at the cinema. It is a very interesting film but in no way as complicated as I had heard. 

There are spoilers ahead so if you have not seen the film then don't read further. 

The movie reminded me of Lost Highway (David Lynch: 1997) in the beginning but the films are in fact very different, even though they have many (superficial) things in common (the video tape and not wonting to face your past). 

The movie begins as a psychological thriller but ends up being a political attack on racism in French. The title, Hidden, does not only refer to what happened to the main character(s); it refers mainly to the massacre of the 200  Algerian protesters in Paris Oct. 17, 1961. The French nation is just like the main character. It does not want to face it’s doings and hides it. But you can not sweep things like this under your carpet. The past will come knocking on your door, whether you like it or not. I like the fact that it was their son who taped and sent the videotapes, in collaboration with the Algerians. It gives hope, that the new generation is willing to make changes. 

The movie is really a parable about the relations between the west and the east, and especially between French and Alger. Nice film. I strongly recommend it to anyone. 

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Jesus de Montréal (Denys Arcand: 1989)

Það var gott samfélag í Neskirkju í dag á fjórða Jesúbíói föstunnar þegar
við fórum í gegnum Jesus de Montréal eftir kanadíska leikstjórann Denys Arcand. Bíógestir voru líklega tuttugu talsins og gerðu góðan róm að
myndinni. Á undan sýningu fluttum við Sigurður Árni erindi. Ég hljóp í skarðið fyrir Ásgrím Sverrisson sem forfallaðist á síðustu stundu, en
hann átti að ræða JdM sem kvikmynd. Read the rest of this entry »

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Millions (Danny Boyle: 2004)

Við sáum Millions (sjá einnig umfjöllun í JR&F) sem er nýjasta mynd Danny Boyle í Deus ex cinema hópnum fyrr á þessu ári. Svo settumst við niður í vinnunni og horfðum á hana saman. Þetta er yndisleg mynd, ljúf og falleg. Húmorinn er alveg frábær og boðskapurinn góður. Dýrlingafjöld, kærleiksverk og sitthvað fleira. Ég þarf að skrifa um hana við tækifæri á Dec-vefinn.

Hún minnir mig um margt á myndir Tim Burton, það er ákveðinn áferð á myndinni – notkun á litum og tónlist, kvikmyndataka og klipping sem skapar afar skemmtilega stemningu. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Monastery

Á Porvoo upplýsingafulltrúaráðstefnunni horfum við á nýlega breska sjónvarpsþætti sem heita The Monastery. Þeir voru sýndir á BBC vorið 2005. Í Worth Abbey sem er í Sussex búa 22 benediktínamunkar. BBC bað þá að opna dyr klaustursins fyrir aðkomumönnum. Tilgangurinn er sá að koamast að því hvað klausturlífið hefur upp á að bjóða fyrir nútímamanninn. Margir sóttust eftir því að taka þátt og fimm voru valdir til að taka þátt. Allir voru þeir í leit að einhvers konar innri ró, að lífssannindum, að hugrekki til að leggja í trúarstökkið. Read the rest of this entry »

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Keeping Mum (Niall Johnson: 2005)

Keeping Mum er ný gamanmynd með Rowan Atkinson, Kristin Scott Thomas og Maggie Smith í aðalhlutverki. Atkinson leikur prestinn Walter Goodfellow sem hefur staðnað svolítið og skortir innblástur gagnvart vinnunni, innsýn í fjölskyldu sína og ástríðu gagnvart eiginkonunni. Dregin er upp gamansöm mynd af formföstum og svolítið stirðnuðum presti og af lífi í smábæ í Englandi. Read the rest of this entry »

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