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To Each His Own Cinema

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To Each His Own Cinema is a French anthology collection that was created in 2007.  Like it said on my post on World Cinema, this collection is a tribute to the Cannes Film Festival as it celebrates it’s 60th anniversary.  The 36 acclaimed directors that were chosen to participate in this collection were asked to express “their state of mind of the moment as inspired by the motion picture theatre” through their own short films.  Each short is 3 minutes long and stems from different parts of the world.  World Cinema was the first film we watched that is a part of the collection and we followed up with 9 others.

  • One Fine Day by Takeshi Kitano – this one was mainly about types of movie lovers and the lengths they’ll go to see the movies they want, like walk miles down a dirt road.  And even if the film keeps screwing up, it’s still the satisfaction and escapism of seeing a film.
  • Three Minutes by Theo Angelopoulos – this was more about the actors in films and their interactions with one another and how they are just as effected and moved by films as the directors are.
  • Dans le Noir by Andrei Konchalovsky – this is about the people who work for film on a smaller level than a director or an actor or a producer.  this is about the people who control and distribute a movie-goer’s ticket.  even though it’s a job, it’s still something they love and times still stops for them while they’re watching film.
  • Diary of a Moviegoer by Nanni Moretti – this is a wide look at someone’s own personal diary of all the films he’s seen and how each of them have been significant to his own life and the people who he cares about the most or enough to take to them to a film with him, along with doing it by himself.
  • The Electric Princess Picture House by Hou Hsiao-hsien – this is about a larger community coming together and waiting in line to watch a film.
  • Darkness by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne – this is just about the darkness and isolation of a movie theater
  • Anna by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – this is a little similar to “Darkness” because the majority of it is filmed in a theater but this is also like “One Fine Day” because there are so many types of movie lovers, like the blind woman who needs to be told what is happening as she listens.
  • Movie Night by Zhang Yimou – this is about a wide community of children and adults coming together to watch films and participate in making their own for their own entertainment and enjoyment.
  • The Lady Bug by Jane Campion – this is about the little creatures who share a love for film as much as humans.

Each film is the director’s own personal exhibition of what film is to them and the importance of it to them in particular. These films have a different context but still have the definition of the love of film and why it’s important for a wide variety of reasons. Because, it is extremely important for more reasons than a collection like this could expand on.  These directors do an excellent job in expressing the different sides of a love for film.

These films can be paired with a term that we learned in class, a term that relates to a passion for cinema and all of it’s components.  The term cinephilia refers to the passion of a cinephile, which is a person who loves film to the highest extent.  This term has been used since the silent film era, when film clubs and groups first began after the particular medium changed everything.  Cinephilia is often discussed with Post-War France after World War II with students in France were rioting in front movie theaters after foreign films were banned, along with screenings and film clubs. This eventually generated a lot of uproar for the youth culture during that time which evidently led to the riots.  But it was the love of film that led the students to riots and the anger for not having the access to see films.  Eventually that term kept moving as film gained more and more lovers and will continue to do so as the years go on.  Currently, blogging (oddly enough) is included as a part of contemporary cinephilia.

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Ten Minutes Older

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Ten Minutes Older is a collection of films put together in a 2-part feature film: The Trumpet collection and the Cello collection.  The films are meant to evoke time in different ways and throughout different parts of the world.  A lot of the directors that took part in this project are pretty well-known including Spike Lee, Werner Herzog, and Jean-Luc Godard.  The collection was a tribute to Herz Frank who directed the original Ten Minutes Older film in 1978.  The collection is also a statement of how movies essentially make you older and how you are older after you’ve completed a film, no matter how long the length.  These films are specific in their length, ten minutes but each have different stories in the same time frame.

Ten Minutes Older is a film about children, with the main focus on a young toddler boy, in a movie theatre.  The film shows the reactions of children as they watch the film and the viewer watches the children as they watch a film that the viewer cannot see or hear.  The only evidence the viewer has, besides the children’s faces, is that the movie is a tale about good and evil and there is some music playing.  This plays upon the idea that as you watch a film, you tend to not be able to separate yourself because you become emotionally invested.  Frank puts in that position but makes it difficult for us to get involved in any way because all we see is someone else’s reaction, instead of being able to create our own.

100 Flowers Hidden Deep (2002) was directed by Kaige Chen for the Trumpet series of the Ten Minutes Older collection.  Chen was also a part of the To Each His Own Cinema anthologies.

This film was extremely bittersweet.  It took the topic of time and broadened it more into the topic of time that we, as a human race, are so familiar with, age.  The old man was someone who had clearly been there a lot and it showed through his face, his body and his actions, and so much more.  The fact that he was so certain of the house being placed somewhere where there was clearly nothing also is evidence that there was something there, especially when the workers say that there isn’t anything there but a tree.  The man has obviously been around for a much longer time than the movers and the movers’ boss.  This sense of time is very familiar with everyone because we all have our own pasts and our own reasons for that little bit of craziness inside of us.  This man was so certain of himself and his home and his things inside of that home, that the movers helped him anyway, even if they joked about moving “invisible” stuff.  This concept and story was a good choice for this kind of project because it puts into thought the time affects everyone very differently and what can seem extremely important to one person, can seem absolutely ridiculous to another and everyone should always keep that in mind.  It’s an extremely sad reality but this film did great in showing a visual representation of that notion. Visually, I thought this film was very well done and the time of day was really well chosen because it kind of added to the fact of time as the sun was going down.

Lifeline (2002) was directed by Victor Erice.  This film was also a part of the Trumpet collection in this anthology.

This film has a lot to do with family and how time can easily stop for anyone in that sort of community.  There’s so much going on in this film and the everyone finally just stops and gets together once the youngest is bleeding.  This film really made me wonder about how hard it is for my family to just stop for one another.  It’s disappointing and somewhat embarrassing to think that if anyone in my family was that badly hurt, not everyone would easily be there by their side.  Everything is so busy now, in our culture.  Everything is so fast-moving and there’s only a few days within the year that families get together and actually are around each other, but even then it sometimes feels so forced.  This film takes place in Spain, presumably in a small village and a large family is all throughout the property of where the family lives.  There are lots of generations present here, too.  And it all centers around the youngest, who is sleeping in his own little crib in his mother’s room.  The mother and the baby are both napping during the middle of the day and the rest of the family is moving about their own way.  The baby proceeds to bleed through it’s clothing as it sleeps and he still remains pretty quiet and unaware of what is happening with his body.  The rest of the family is unaware, too.  Until after what seems like a long period of time, but only just a short amount of time (within 10 minutes), the baby is finally found and taken care of.  That second of fear for that baby brings each family member together, all in one room and time essentially stops as the nanny or maid or nurse (it’s hard to tell what exactly her role is in the house) stitches the baby back up and the family is relieved.  The movie then ends and the viewer is left with a mix of discomfort and relief.  How often does this happen? It took longer than it should’ve for anyone to figure it out, but it happens.  We forget about how much and how fast time goes by and once we realize that there’s something big that we’ve missed, time literally stops, or we almost expect it to even though we’ve neglected it for so long.

Another message lies within this movie about the fact that like the baby did for the family, film brings us all together.  As we watch a film, our entire days are almost frozen and we forget about everything else that we could or need to be doing as we’re sitting down together watching a film.  Time stops.  We don’t even realize how precious time is, we just take it for granted and only notice it when we really need it to do something for us but it’s always moving.  It’s not a person or something we can touch or feel, but we treat as if it were because it effects so much of our lives.  Film is kind of the enjoyment of time, because you never feel guilty about watching a film, or at least true film buffs wouldn’t feel guilty about spending their own time on something they truly love.

Ten Thousand Years Older (2002) directed by Werner Herzog.  This film is another one that is a part of the Trumpet Collection.  This is the only film we watched in this collection that was more of a documentary style format.

Herzog visited the Amondauas tribe in Brazil for this particular film and after his first attempt in 1981, he decided to re-approach the idea 20 years later and fit into this collection.  The idea behind this film is that time isn’t as considered in other cultures as it is in our own or from the films that we’ve watched so far that are a part of this collection.  Once someone from the tribe (who was evidently the main character in the film) picked up a clock, he barely knew what it was or what it even meant.  Time doesn’t exist to them there, just their own tribe and the issues of it.  But the issues involve time and how it has basically run out of it for him and his tribe.  Just from the movie, the Amondauas tribe seems like it’s dwindling and decreasing in numbers and the people that are showcased in the film are in a state of embarrassment because of their parents.  Instead of being native to their tribe, they’d much rather be citizens in modern Brazil.  This film really opened my eyes on the fact that we really do neglect time as a whole and that it isn’t the same for everyone else outside of our own world.  Sometimes it isn’t even seen as an existing factor.  There are probably a lot of tribes all around the world that are like this one that Herzog documented.  This was a great representation of another culture’s idea, definition and trials of time.

World Cinema

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World Cinema was a film created by the Coen Brothers in 2007 as apart of the 60th anniversary celebration of the Cannes Film Festival.  The film was apart of “To Each His Own Cinema” collection which celebrated the festival and consisted of short films created by many directors from all around the world.  This particular film was one of them.

My first initial thought or perhaps the first thing I noticed about this film was Josh Brolin.  And how much I love him and how much I loved him in Milk and in No Country For Old Men, so this was somewhat of a treat.  I liked the story, the idea of a cowboy going to a movie theatre with international films and broadening his taste.  I thought the dialogue between the cowboy and the employee at the theatre was great.  It’s almost as if the Coen Brothers were mocking those kinds of people who are completely clueless to film but turning it around when the cowboy actually enjoyed it, even if he can be ignorant to any aspect of what makes a good film good.  I really didn’t see anything wrong with this film.  It was a good look at a true American opening his eyes to something he normally wouldn’t do.  The other particular note about this film is that it’s apart of a French collection of short films, which is interesting because it is clearly shot, and about certain types of people in the U.S.  For a movie in it’s collection, it was great as something different but for a short film in general, it still gives the idea of a viewer gaining perspective on a film that they wouldn’t typically decide on seeing.  I think that that idea itself explains why the Coen brothers may of selected this particular story to be their short film in this series.

Written by madieshortfilm

April 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm