Archive for January, 2008

Baisers volés

January 31, 2008

Now every time I spread cheese on crackers, I’m reminded of the touching scene near the end of Stolen Kisses, when Doinel, trying to butter a toast breaks the bread and Fabienne  Christine shows him how to layer a piece atop another so it doesn’t break, and then tells him she’ll teach him everything she knows and he’ll teach her everything.


Songs for Sunday Parlours

January 23, 2008

sf2.jpgI wrote about Anois sometime back. Another German duo making melancholic electronic/acoustic music is Songs for Sunday Parlours. Their second EP is released by Poni Republic here. There’s no better way to spend the cold winter than listening to such music, drowsed in nostalgia, and bearing an unknown sadness that envelops everything around.

Poni’s description of SFSP:

Malte Jantzen and Saskia Melina are the kind of persons who chill at their flats with no fear of staying there locked until late night, just sitting there, passionately silent, listening with infinite attention to their most favorite songs, mutually whispering, so they don’t disrespect whoever is performing through the stereo.

Rivette’s Secret Defense

January 22, 2008

Excerpts from a Senses of Cinema article on Secret Défense:

The story of Secret Défense comes in waves-long stretches of quiet weave in and out of long stretches of talkiness-and the action swings, pendulum-like, from Paris to the country, and back, and back again. Thanks to this unusual pace, each moment that could be considered a plot development feels like something much more authentic. Life doesn’t consist of a rapid succession of dramatic moments; every important action in our lives struggles to stay afloat amidst a sea of contemplation, interpretation, and stabilization, stretching away on all sides.

The danger of Rivette’s approach, of course, is boredom. And indeed, the movie feels extremely long, much longer than its three hour running time. But it’s not boring for a second; it needs to feel long. To deny us a sense of duration is a great cinematic sin, a waste of one of the medium’s most basic qualities, but it’s a sin that Rivette, the master of the generous running time, is never guilty of. It’s not that you’re unaware of the time passing; it’s precisely that you are aware of it, but aware of it as you would be if you were within the movie rather than without.

Sleepy Hall

January 15, 2008

Staying awake for 36 hours and then watching a film is something I wouldn’t recommend doing (often, at least). I remember my first such “sleepless” experience: sitting in the front row for Von Trier’s Element of Crime. Every time I closed my eyes, I’d drift off into a 30 second lull, and wake up to the darkness of the cinema hall. The film didn’t help either. The scenes were all mostly shot at night and shades of black permeated the screen at all times. I just wonder, if the film had been Europa (his second film) instead, I’d slept like a log from the hypnotic opening scene itself, which incidentally bears a close resemblance to Lynch’s opening sequence in Lost Highway.

Just yesterday was my second “sleepless” film, Julie Delpy’s 2 Days in Paris. The film was alright; it underplays the role of Paris, which is good, but features some unlikeable characters throughout. And Delpy is as beautiful as in Blanc.


January 5, 2008

an2.jpg[From Anois’ MySpace page]

In the north of Germany two young kids try to build their own interpretation of these feelings. Far from the world, settled right on the top floor, with two dormer windows where the rain drips on when it’s unpleasant outside, the two kids record their fragile folk-electronica songs with simple instruments. They play guitar, melodica, fan organ, glockenspiel and other acoustic things, while the floorboards creak and the chairs rumble. Everything around is going to be recorded, when they use their voices. And then the glitchy blips and bleeps join the songs to get the taste of electronica.

Lars Kranholdt and Anne Baier are Anois. Two voices that maybe remind you of your own lost heart or of your traces in the cold white snow, when it’s winter outside. It looks simple, but it really takes some time to understand.

Anois’ beautiful debut EP Tracery on a Frosted Window is freely available from the artist-embracing label Poni Republic.