Just saw the Italian/German/Sri Lankan illegal immigration & sports adventure comedy-drama Machan (not in the best possible viewing formats, and it has not been made available in the US yet, so, will post US release info when I find it) - liked the movie a lot; flick's got a lot of surprisingly funny & achingly sad moments that come out of nowhere (anyone who knows a bit about recent events in Sri Lanka will feel some pain in one unexpected scene in act 3) - altogether an excellent story of the modern times. Anyone who wonders about illegal immigration should see this movie (also, the question not discussed in the movie is why people will try anything to get out of some countries & perhaps some ways those countries can improve life for their citizens so that they won't vote with their feet - but that is another story for another movie). Anyway, check out Machan when you get a chance, here is a review quote from View, a UK site:
Pasolini's direction gives the film a documentary-like realism that works well; he also gets extremely naturalistic performances from a terrific ensemble cast made up of non-professionals and first-time actors. De Chickera and Dias make a likeable central duo and there's strong support from Mahendra Perera as local crook Ruan, who comes up with a few last-minute solutions when everything seems lost.The script is excellent, balancing moments that are laugh-out-loud funny with poignant, moving and emotionally resonant scenes that touch on the themes of family, male pride and the men's desperate hunger for the opportunity to work and support a family.
This is, in many ways, a sort of Sri Lankan version of The Full Monty, with an unlikely group of men undertaking something they know nothing about in order to regain a sense of self-worth. As a result, there are several wonderful scenes and the final act is delightful."
Many teachers & advocates of various religions want you to believe that benefits may come to you from the universe (all of creation, or all of existence, or all of existence personified by a god figure or gods) if you were to believe in their path & commit to living by their recommended guidelines.
No way to know if any of them are telling the truth since we (humans) do not know - yet - for certain exactly what the universe is (what it is made of, how various parts relate to each other, origin, etc.) & how humans may or may not be significant to the universe/all of existence.
However, the following is true:
- each human is a part of the universe/existence - definitely physically, & maybe in other ways if any other ways exist
And thus, the following may be true:
- since each one of us is a part of the universe, and all manner of life has shown self-interested behavior (behavior aimed at the preservation or for the benefit of oneself) - it is possible that if the universe is sentient (aware of itself in a human like or beyond/greater than manner) & is able to behave - ultimately - as one organism - that it may, in fact, care about each human or is aware of each human (and might even assist humans) - since humans appear to be one of the most interesting & capable aspects of the universe (at least on Earth).
Since, at the moment, the above item cannot be verified, if it is useful for an agnostic, I think it would be fine for them to establish the creative device of a "personal relationship" with the universe. As long as they are also aware that it may just be a self-created mental device/tool & that they probably should not gamble on things because of the existence of that idea/practice within themselves.
And this quote, from The Stranger, displays a not too bad of a way to have your film received by others (note: humor - understatement):
"Medicine for Melancholy is a masterpiece. It is the most important film by a black American director since Charles Burnett's To Sleep With Anger, black American cinema's highest achievement.-- Charles Mudede, The Stranger"
Read the interview with Melancholy's director Barry Jenkins at SIFF blog.
Went to see the Spanish Artists in New York exhibit at Aeon Logic gallery (same gallery that I'll be showing Date Number One at, in December) yesterday, enjoyed it, check out some info about it here. Exhibit continues until November 17.
Interesting because 1) unlike some (or maybe many) of White's reviews, the ideas being put forth in this review can be clearly understood & fit together well, and 2) some of White's reactions to Precious reminds me of some reactions I heard from Indians (from India) to Slumdog Millionaire - that it's an outsider's fantasy of poverty & does not reflect reality accurately (or the large/common/usual reality of life for the kind of people depicted), & 3) points out that good movies that may reflect different sides of the African-American experience - less tragic sides - have not gotten as much support & admiration from Indiewood & Hollywood or audiences. From White's review:
"Precious raises ghosts of ethnic fear and exoticism just like Birth of a Nation. Precious and her mother (Mo’Nique) share a Harlem hovel so stereotypical it could be a Klansman’s fantasy. It also suggests an outsider’s romantic view of the political wretchedness and despair associated with the blues. Critics willingly infer there’s black life essence in Precious’ anti-life tale. And the same high-dudgeon tsk-tsking of Hurricane Katrina commentators is also apparent in the movie’s praise. Pundits who bemoan the awful conditions that have not improved for America’s unfortunate are reminded that they are still on top.
This misreading of blues sensibility probably has something to do with the disconnect caused by hip-hop, where thuggishness and criminality romanticize black ghetto life. Director Daniels’ rotgut images of aggressive cruelty and low-life illiteracy aren’t far from gangster rap clichés. The spectacle warps how people perceive black American life— perhaps even replacing their instincts for compassion with fear and loathing."
Read the rest of the review at New York Press.
That review aside, it will be very interesting to see how the audiences react to the movie - will the vision put forth in Precious be embraced widely as was the case with Slumdog Millionaire? If so, what does that mean? Will people love it as a freak show or will they love it as a story of hope? Or maybe a little bit of both? We'll have to see.
It'll be under construction for a few days, but here it is. Eventually the dnonyc1209 blog will be a place to collect all manner of links & posts related to the 8 screenings of the flick happening in December.
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