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Today 11:29 AM
Oh! This is good! You even took the trouble to blur Lucas so his figure blends properly with the background. And quite a forceful start, by the way.

Thanks, sortile9io. Yeah, I was very impressed by those two films.

Today 11:35 AM
I'll have to explore that Carlos Saura character.

Yes! Typically mentioned must-sees are Cria Cuervos and La Caza, but every film he made in between those is worth a look (his later career admittedly being more mixed). His admiration of Buñuel is visible in the films, but the love went both ways - Buñuel mentioned both La Caza and La prima Angélica as favourite films. My personal favourites are Angelicá - mixing memories and history beautifully - and his new wave Vertigo-like Peppermint Frappé.


3. Blancanieves / Snow White (Pablo Berger 2012)
Nicely twisted new version of the Snow White tale with some Cinderella thrown in, presented as a silent with a good, traditional (=a bit boring) score. Some plot mechanisms do feel a bit forced, but it is a fairytale, so most of those things should be allowed to pass I guess.

It's a silent, but it feels inconsequential. Much is done to preserve the feeling - the image is black and white and framed at 1.37:1 with rounded corners, title cards are of usual 20's design. But it does feel like it's shot and processed on modern equipment - there isn't the typical texture (maybe a result of digital grading and "cleanup"). Besides, camera movements are always super-smooth. It just doesn't feel authentic. I had the same problem with The Artist, which besides didn't dare to stay silent.

Some sequences are elegantly built, often with faster and faster editing towards the climax Gance style. Otherwise dramatic angles are used, or expressionist lighting. Sometimes overused. And sometimes a bit random - e.g. a grotesque super-closeup to simply show a man smiling. Eisenstein used that for shock value.

By the late 20's, silent cinema had developed to a visually outstanding art form, a unique form of expression. The greatest directors added to it and helped developing it further. They didn't just throw a bunch of "greatest tricks" together. In that way, I prefer Guy Maddin. He is also borrowing from silent cinema, but does build upon the form to make it his own.


4. Recuerdos de una mañana / Memories of a Morning (José Luis Guerín 2011)
Being a fan of In the City of Sylvia, I always wanted to see some of Guerín's documentaries.

Across the street from Guerín, Manel used to live (on the 5th floor). He was often standing on the balcony, playing his violin (we see some footage of this at the beginning of the film). One day he jumps to his death. Guerin talks to many of the people who lives or works nearby; about how they experienced the incident and their relation to Manel. It becomes a reflection on suicide and how it affects a small society. And while Manel was often feeling lonesome, his absence is strongly felt by a lot of people.

Guerin shot this on rough DV, but it's beautifully put together, and reveals the poetic qualities he possesses. This is specially prominent in the last sequence, which is shot inside Manel's apartment.

Edited by bjornam, Aug 3 2014, 03:53:27 AM.
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