Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Knife in the Water

Thoughts on Knife in the Water

The action is showcased as convulsive, bringing together two or more characters into a vague conflict where both characters are detached from one another. Frustration builds as he characters dig themselves deeper into their own desires thus limiting the connectedness.

The film’s simple script is the solid cornerstone on which the lush character sketches that progress the film’s action are built. The characters are static, and stale lacking conviction. They seem empty to me.

The relationships between the old man, young man, and woman are similar to the relationships between a father, son, and mother, respectively. In the scene in which the woman explains her view of the old and young man to the young man she acts as a teacher or translator. The spirit of the old man’s offer to the boy to join him and his wife exists throughout the film and is father-like. He attempts to teach the "youth" about sailing, symbolic to the old man of life, throughout the film. As the narrative progresses, the characters repeatedly corner themselves into situations that are dead ends and return to their static states. There are no resolutions in the film.

Polanski’s makes a claim through the film's open ended closing that surreal urges like competition, deceit, and lust are intrinsic in the human condition and that an action on an urge must be understood as a choice if one is to progress in life.

Love of a Blonde

Milos Forman’s Loves of a Blonde

This film is like a piece of cake to me. It is endearing yet fleeting; comforting yet honest. I enjoy it still. The films soft feel lent well to adoption. It’s believable story and characters fit well into my day, a sort of respite from the loves of my own life. It was a dream that I did not mind entertaining or waking up from.

The camera work is excellent. The film is visually supple yet sweet, giving the audience bald wide shots contrasted with gently prying medium shots that revealed intimate action with candor. With the help of soft filters, Andula, the main character, invites the viewer into a world poised to strip veils off of the viewer’s eyes tempting them with visions of heaven.

The editing pulls no punches either. Not one shot lingers too long. There is a moderate pace that keeps the film’s rouse afloat throughout although at no point does the viewer feel dragged or rushed by its power.

There is a realness implicit in the film’s plot. It unfolds steadily as the characters move through their conflicts with wholeheartedness. Due to the perceived humility and sincerity of the main character, the dialogue in the last "act" at the house belonging to the family of Milda (Andula’s lover) feels real regardless of the thick (foreign) cultural context in which it appears. The arguing of Milda’s family is gut wrenching yet unbearably humorous. This dichotomy resonates throughout the scene and is instantly choked off with the jump cut from Milda’s house to the woman’s dormitory.


Thoughts on Vera Chytilova’s Daisies

The Maries (1 and 2) embark on a journey of death at the beginning of the film when they decide to pursue a social ideal to the extreme point at which their means of pursuit turns in on itself. They play an active role in spoiling themselves (each other), imagining themselves in isolated positions of innocence that fuel their escapade while at the same time beefs up their threshold for ignorance. This exercise in self ignorance and rigid social independence sets them apart from each other, aiming their assaults at themselves as they deteriorate their identities. Their game lacks the depth of feeling that is necessary for personal growth due to the dishonest nature contained therein. It is only through their demise that they are set free from their looping thought/behavior continuum.

They are being "bad" for the sake of being "bad" thus their greedy acquisition of quantifiable items holds no sway on their resolve. The power of communication via mass media is made clear throughout the film. The label of "bad" that they long for can only be attained through their emulation of publicly reported action perceived through the filter of the media. Can the world be "bad" without self awareness? How does the portrayal of the Maries justify military action? There are sides in war, and two versions of different parts of the truth.

Bad Luck

Thoughts on Andrzej Munk’s Bad Luck

The main character makes terrible choices throughout the film. He lacks a sense of self. How can one make good decisions if they are confused about their identity? Simply by convincing himself that such a thing as bad luck actually exists. It’s almost as if he is wearing a pair of blinders that enable him to see only the nearest object of his desire thus dissociating himself with the seer. He becomes lost in a sea of possibilities.

The film illustrates the absurdity of the notion that an individual is not to be held responsible for jumping on the bandwagon of slothful abandon. During the course of the film the main character becomes accustomed to the false freedom that irresponsibility creates. He would be a great communist if he were to relinquish his creative spontaneous self. This would not be natural: it is depicted as repressive. If communism is to be successful, it must allow for the promotion of individuals through personal expression in addition to allowing an authentic culture to manifest.