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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.


Precautions Against Fanatics

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Precautions Against Fanatics (1969) is a film by Werner Herzog.  It was filmed at a Harness Racing Track in Munich, Germany.

This was hilarious almost in a mockumentary kind of way.  It’s similar to him eating his shoe because it’s got to do with mocking reality and these people who really are strange because they just are.  They just exist because they just are, and they’re perfectly normal to themselves.  This film was very down-to-earth and much more simpler than I initially took it.  It was comical because it was almost unbelievable for this old man to keep cutting into frame after frame and trying to block any other person of getting an interview but I notice, once it was his turn for an interview, he spoke right up and was into it.  It just points out those types of people that anyone can come across, anywhere and make their own judgments towards them for being so, for a lack of a better word, abnormal.  I honestly felt as if I was there and he was cutting off my shot as the filmmaker and it made me want the shot of the men with the horses, or the guy in front of the stable to just be as it was, without another guy coming in and ruining it.  I feel like Herzog purposely made this guy out to seem like a fanatic while his intention (in the film) was to stop the fanatics.

Written by madieshortfilm

April 21, 2011 at 9:28 pm

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Herzog Eats his Shoe

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Herzog Eats his Shoe (1980) is a short documentary film that shows Werner Herzog eating his shoe as a promise to Errol Morris for finishing his film, Gates of Heaven.  The short is over 19 minutes long and shows Herzog cooking his shoe and eating it in front of an audience.  Herzog eating his own shoe was reminiscent and taken from the film The Gold Rush starring Charlie Chaplin, who eats his shoe because he is deserted in a snow storm without food.

This film was the first (from what I’ve made note of) that was in a sense, a documentary-style film that we’ve watched in class thus far.  It was about a director who is famous for his own short films, though.  Herzog eating his own shoe was interesting in the fact that he was just trying to make that point that the viewer of his films shouldn’t care about what the director is doing in his own personal life, just watch the movies.  Form your opinion on the movies, not the director as a person.  This can easily be hard as short films only allow you and give you so much but it shouldn’t matter.  Using the idea from one of Chaplin’s films was very comical and another spark at the idea of watching the films instead of pointing out any flaw in whoever created the film.  Herzog made me laugh and realize that this stuff doesn’t matter.  He ate a shoe.  No one in their right mind would just eat a shoe, unless for comical or show value and that’s what he was throwing right back in our faces.  Watch his films, not him.  This was the first real film we watched about a specific director and it was a good mix to what we’ve been watching in class so far.  It almost shook us to remember that each director is different but really only expects you to do one thing: watch his films. Simple as that.

Written by madieshortfilm

April 20, 2011 at 9:58 pm