Those who have seen Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark know that Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier tends to focus on issues of sacrifice and forgiveness, especially involving women. Dogville adds rage and revenge to the mix.
Charlie Kaufman may be both the most original screenwriting talent to emerge in the past ten years and the most exasperating. He inspires fervent loyalty among some film buffs because his ideas are playful and heady; they don’t start out or play out like anyone else’s, and at their best they can liberate actors’ most inventive impulses.
The genteel French film Monsieur Ibrahim, directed by François Dupeyron, is based on the book Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran, by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, who also coscripted the movie. It is a tender story about a Turkish Muslim and a French Jew. The setting is 1960s Paris, in the gritty but colorful Rue Bleue district, once infamous for its assortment of streetwalkers.
Mountain climbing may be one of the few modern dramatic subjects that contain the key elements of Greek tragedy: terror and folly, hubris and courage. You get a staggering sense of all four in Touching the Void, Kevin Macdonald’s film of Joe Simpson’s book.
In the 1927 silent version of The King of Kings, directed by Cecil B. DeMille, Christ is first seen from the point of view of a blind man regaining his sight. It is a masterful touch that adds grandeur to the story. Over the decades, scores of films have been made about Jesus of Nazareth. Many of these productions dripped with Hollywood glitz, while others tackled serious issues of faith.
A stack of brownies as big as bricks for my children. A small paper bowl of red and orange salmonberries. An antler from a spike buck, perhaps three years old, Perhaps a black-tailed deer, perhaps now gargantuan. Cranberry syrup made up the coast about eight miles. Handshakes of all sorts. A photograph; their one son, Just deceased; we just thought that you should have it. Blackberry jam, homemade. Honey, homemade. Salal Sprigs, elderberry sprigs. Canned smoked salmon and Tuna, caught about two miles to the west of where we Stood in the library. A baby girl hoisted up so she and I could look each other in the eye. She sneezed. Books To scrawl upon. Huckleberry leaves. A cougar’s tooth, Gleaming. A man gripped me by the shoulder and said Nothing. His was a remarkably expressive grip. People Give you things without any things in their hands. You Know what I mean. They are eloquent without needing To speak. We hardly ever talk about this. I shuffled off With my arms full. I had been slathered by the glorious And only a little of it was in the basket I tucked into my Car. People were hungry for something. I knew what it Was and it wasn’t me; but I could tell stories that could Point to what it is we are all starving for. We work and Yearn and struggle and dream for it. Occasionally when We gather together, if there is humility, if there is story, If there is honesty, then there is just enough food for all.