Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Fourth Week, Jan '07

Hi to all,

The past two weeks' screenings saw our brains in power-saving mode. These two films should see those synapses firing again. Not a prissy movie at all, is THE PILLOW BOOK, and one you shall always remember. 8½ rounds off the month as would a sparkling bookend.

23rd January 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 6 minutes
Directed by Peter Greenaway

Part Chinese, part Japanese, our bold protagonist tries to find her way in a world, or, should we say, between worlds that have little place for those who thumb their noses at the way things are. The ravages of an indifferent world leave her caring for little besides self-gratification, and she gets into one situation after another. Ironically, this quest finds expression in attempted recapitulation of a ritual from an innocent past, when, as a child, her father would put writings of good fortune on her face. Come adulthood, and fond remembrance turns into fetish. One could draw all sorts of conclusions from the premise of this film. Let's see those reviews!

About the Director: Peter Greenaway (b. 1942) is a rather remarkable person. He began with studies in the Fine Arts; this informs his elaborate sense of cinematic composition. Now, even if you thought that this film was unsettling, try and get hold of his THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER (1989). There, civility and beastliness are locked in ceaseless struggle. Greenaway’s abilities do not end here – he has VJ-ed a show and written for the opera. His film 8½ WOMEN (1999) is in its name homage to Thursday's film by Fellini.

25th January 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

8½ (1963)
Runtime: 1 hour 18 minutes
Directed by Federico Fellini

Possibly his most highly regarded film, 8½ deals with that faceless horror which all creative individuals must sometimes face - the "block". Suffering from this scourge? You would then know that an obvious way out would be to document your travails at the starting line. Fairly common and much abused. Fellini is, however, many notches above the rest of us, and his take ends up as a masterpiece. The lead character is a stand-in for Fellini; the film, besides showing a director twiddling his thumbs, delves into profound reflections on the birthing process and its attendant agonies, all the way back to conception. A must see film, because it is:

(a) one that you can talk about having seen afterwards, and
(b) relevant to your current situation.

About the Director: To show a film by Federico Fellini (b. 1920, d. 1993) is, quite simply, an honour. The roster of achievment is glittering; to merely name a few that won Academy Awards, we have LA STRADA (1954), LE NOTTI DE CABIRIA (1957) and LA DOLCE VITA (1960). The first two have sterling performances by Giulietta Masina (b. 1921, d. 1994), who also happened to be his wife. Fellini is known for his portrayals of common lives into which he inserts personal, off-kilter perspectives.

With regards,
The Film Club.

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