reading in the dark
1. lust,caution is an exploration of what desire can do. perhaps in the same visceral way perfume was. and i’ve never seen sex used in this manner —- how it actually become a raw look into a relationship, into a power dynamic. and how it necessarily isn’t a binary opposition, more so in such intimate situations. it seems that the closer we get, the more things become gray. and betrayal can also mean fidelity. i like that love was never uttered, it was never a beautiful ideal. like how can love truly exist in a world where they censor everything, where your ties to your land can mean death?
the movie was fabulous. the way ang lee watches women as they click mahjong tiles and talk (and backtalk) is almost the way almodovar tries to explore the gritty nature of being a woman. not better or worse, just in the same country.
2. la mome is a biopic of edith piaf. probably because i actually do like her songs (so does jeff buckley… so really…) this one did it for me more than walk the line. even if the whole movie did feel like the way piaf must have lived, constantly drunk and teetering in pain —- it only made the moments when she sung that much more powerful. her clarion voice in the tiny frame. and marion cotillard was just edith piaf, you never questioned it. ever.
there is this wonderful scene where she wakes up in the sunlight where contrast was used with such a painful twist that you’ll see that this really is a movie, not just a film version of a wikipedia article.
[when she was sick, my mom began to sing. and she’s always had this strong, mellow voice that began to fade in her last months. but there is this one afternoon in the living room where she sings la vie en rose —- i’ve always felt that her voice was too heavy, too solid for the song until i saw this film and saw that edith piaf sang in the same manner, for the streets. fullness, richness, weight.]
3. the lives of others speaks about how we can realize that even if we stand on the other side of each other, enough involvement and ties are made. loyalty requires ambiguity. how in the end, it is possible that we are all connected.
i really liked how careful and how restrained the whole film was. it makes me think (it doesn’t hurt that the martina h was in both films) about the difference between bella martha and no reservations. one was poetry in its control, the other was melodrama. there was no big hollywood embrace with tearful, “comrade!” being uttered.
—– but about cine europa, it was nice to just talk to people about movies while waiting in line and hearing them talk with such enthiusasm. how film really is everyone’s medium.
i wish i could write poetry that would do the same.