Sunday, December 19, 2010
Highschool friends reunite (without the advantage of Facebook) to attend the death of one of their pals. After the first night, they wake up to make breakfast and without even helping it, they start dancing to the old songs. The scene is iconic of how we still keep the flame of our youth hidden somewhere, before our consciousness takes over and reminds us we're other people and we've changed to adjust to the big chill
Just imagine the heartbreak of these kids, after one of their beloved and fragile friends is discovered and taken by the nazis. There is no way any of them would lead a happy life after having confronted the worst monster in the human soul.
Passing through the great depression, a husband that hits her, and a life that's grey and senseless, Cecilia immerses herself in a movie theater and watches THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO as if she was expecting something to change. Well, it does. Tom Baxter jumps out of the screen to give her some fantastic adventure. Without any special effects, Woody Allen has materialized the magic moment we all secretly wish for.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
A woman passing through a tough period of her life after having lost her baby, decides to give up hope, but still holds on to her husband. When she imagines that he will also eventually leave her, she castrates and immobilize him, and then, with a pair of rusted scissors, cuts her clitoris in one of the most viciously shocking scenes Von Trier has filmed so far. After this, both man and woman are unabled to procreate, killing our biblical meaning in the world, and nature becomes a monstrosity.
As Miguel dumps the dead body of his male lover into the sea, in a religious ritual that frees him from suffering his loss and confronts the town's shame and rejection as he is ready to bravely deal with his estranged wife and his newborn son, Magic-realism takes over as the spirit of Santiago shows up for a final kiss. Just a single well filmed scene contains in its simplicity everything that expensive special efects could never achieve: believability of feelings.
This fantastic duel of the harshness of reality (just as future dictator Franco takes over Spain in a cruel civil war) and the duplicity of fantasy (which mirrors the real world with more imagination and cruelty) confronts a little girl with the worst step-father ever, fairies, a mandrake root, a faun that seems more like a minotaur and one of the most horrific creations: a dantesque "feast" monster that sticks eyeballs in the palms of his hands so that he can see what he is about to devour. This is the definition of hallucination, and a true childhood nightmare to match a world in chaos.