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Pending……. June 15, 2009

Posted by howtoclimbamountain in Uncategorized.
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I know I know…I have promised this post for so long, and truth be told…I have written it months ago…but it still requires some much needed editing and loving attention. Also some referencing for accuracy…please check back soon…

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Small Town Films May 10, 2009

Posted by howtoclimbamountain in Movies We Love.
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((((This post is still under construction))))
 
 
 
 
In preparation of my new small-town (unattached to any continents) living, I am stocking up on as many city stuff as I can. As a result of my current economic situation, these options have been slightly limited. No major shopping sprees therefore, but some of the smaller joys such as long drives, cosmopolitan eats, conversations in as many languages as possible, coffees and movies. I am sure I will have my fill of movies on Ulleungdo, as the Koreans are truly awesome at stocking up on a spectacular variety of both local and foreign films ( I have even come across South African films) at DVD rentals as well as DVD rooms at very affordable prices.
As a quick detour, there are many rooms in Korea. Board game rooms, singing rooms and DVD rooms. DVD rooms, which are often used by young couples as dating facilities (I will say no more), are little private cubicles. These are each stocked with a nice comfy couch, and a super large screen TV. So what happens is the following. You pick something to watch from the little library section, hand it to the lady at reception who then shows you to your cubicle where you wait for the movie to start. Some DVD rooms will even offer free coffee and fresh pop corn as part of their service, but I’d skip on the coffee if you’re used to brewing dark roasts.

So…back to the point. I’ve been watching a couple of movies, and quite ironically (as life often is), I have been finding myself watching a selection of small-town stories. Note how often these get nominations for awards. Our very own, locally produced “Tornado”, a true story which plays off in a teenie Kalahari town aptly called Noenieput. The next is the critically acclaimed Swedish film, “As it is in Heaven” by director Kay Pollak.

 

 

Even in my film education I remember a few. Does anyone remember the poignant “Il Postino”? I remember my mom recommending this film to me. She really has a knack for great stories. A particular scene, to this day, remains one of my ultimate favourites. While showing Mario how his tape-recorder works, the famous Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda asks him what the most beautiful thing is on the Island. Mario answers, nervously, but without hesitation, “Beatrice Russo”. Another South African favourite, “Paljas” also portrays both the liberties and constrictions of small communities.

Another, more disconcerting example is Dogma 95’s Lars von Trier film, Dogville. Which stripped away the natural surroundings of the characters by filming on a stage with a set that was predominantly stripped of three dimentionality. Thereby drawing focus to his characters. This is enhanced by using the signiature dogma95 hand-held camera work.

To Wong Foo thanks for everything

Whats eating Gilbert Grape

Chocolat

The Fog

Everything is illuminated

 

 

 

It seems that when stripped from the big buildings, stressed time schedules and economy of the city, we can catch a glimpse of humanity. Does this boil down to Brechts verfremmdungseffect?