February 12, 2007

Keeping busy

  • The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) by Florian Henkel von Donnersmark. Impressive, witty, I recommend it warmly.
    It is the first feature-length movie by this director but I don't think anyone could have told so. I thought of the movie as a beautiful and clever defence of freedom of expression. Further, the question I ask myself is how to tell between a country which is ripe for democracy, and a country which isn't. Could East Germany be described as a country from which democracy had been stolen? The East Germans had the same culture as the West Germans who were living in a democracy. But what are the conditions in general for democracy to be possible? Are they cultural? Economic? Is it a question of ethnic unity? Is it worth trying democracy when it can mean the collapse of the country into several ethnic and religious groups?
  • Blood Diamond by Edward Zwick. I went along the first 90 minutes. The rest was much too Rambo-like for me. Too bad because they really made an effort.
  • Il bell'Antonio (1960) by Mauro Bolognini on a screenplay by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Gino Visentini, with Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale. There is no resisting Italian cinema, especially with a touch of provocation...
Museums & Exhibitions:
  • Pascin at Musée Maillol. Very original artist, I loved it.
  • Guimet. Went to see the Khmer sculptures. Their collection is so rich, you wonder if they left something in Cambodia. Given what the country has been through, pieces at the Guimet museum were nevertheless better off than those left in the temples and the National Museum of Phnom Penh. Shouldn't they be returned now? It's probably too early but I like to ask the question...
  • Quai Branly. I liked the site because it has a large garden and the largest part of the building is quite nicely suspended above the ground, thus allowing to walk freely unlike the usual monolithic buildings which - even if made of glass - steal the space from us. Well, at least during the day because there is a glass wall and doors all around the complex which prevent people from walking in during the night. And on the south, there is indeed a large building. Overall they claim they built over only half of the surface and 5 meters below the height they were allowed to build. The exhibition is OK, they have some Cambodian artefacts and many objects and fabrics from the hill tribes of Rattanakiri and Vietnam, all of which I was glad to see.
  • Centre Pompidou: a small exhibition about modernism, a photography exhibition I found very interesting, a couple of short movies by Robert Frank, the well-known photographer.
  • Lily la tigresse (לילי לה טיגרס) by Alona Kimhi. The language is beautiful, the story very original and the symbolism is interesting but I was not as moved as I remember being with Suzanne la pleureuse (סוזנה הבוכייה) by the same author.

No comments: