Archive for the film Category

Poetry into Film

Posted in film, German, poetry on February 7, 2011 by sparrowriot

The most redoubtable Ralf Schmerberg has created 20 short films, each featuring a poem from 20 different poets from the likes of Rilke, Celan, Hess, and Kaleko. They are each so tenderly created and meticulously handled that I am smitten. The poems are honored and lit up by the images, music and translations. Each is a treasure.

See his website here. Click on “Poem”. You will see on the lower part of the screen 20 tabs to choose from.


Away We Go

Posted in film with tags , , , , on February 26, 2010 by sparrowriot


In Away We Go, Burt and Verona, who are expecting their first child, take a trip to visit friends and family in different places in order to find the right community in which to settle. The film was about steering clear of false security, exploring a sense of homelessness (while searching for the right home), and about searching for the recipe for creating a healthy and abundant family. It was about being alone, together.  The couple had each other and their baby to be, but nothing else in the world really knew them or understood them. The film,  in general, stayed clear of sentimentality and quick fixes, recognizing the universal desire to find one’s own ‘people’, and often the failure or inability to find them. The whole movie was based, again, on the idea of attempting to navigate through false security and finding a home, a sense of hearth, which seemed would never pan out locationally or geographically, though it became clearer and clearer that the couple’s home was in each other and that they had a genuinely loving and healthy union. This was made clearer and clearer by the contrast of Burt and Verona with the people they visited on their journey. The pathos in the film was so beautiful that it raised the two main characters up as archetypes of young lovers in our era.

There were no perfect moments, perfect places, or perfect people until the very end, when it became a fairy tale.  Instead of being heart warming, the ending left me with a sunken feeling of artfulness.  It was as if it was a true story until the last scene when they returned to Verona’s childhood home. Suddenly, the problem was visibly solved.  The couple walked through the home to the doors opening to the ocean, where they sat on the deck. They had obviously finished their journey. Suddenly: “Oh yeah, we can live in my deceased parents beautiful house on the ocean on our beautiful estate. It was here all the time, an actual piece of super valuable real estate.  I wonder why we’ve been living in a shack in the Midwest with cardboard windows Let’s live in this house. Now that the movie is over I can visibly begin to heal from my parents death and go back to where I grew up.”

Of course, this is a very personal take on the ending. One can also see it as Verona finally coming home and facing a path toward healing from the grief of her parents death. The young couple replace the parents. The cycle of life all that it entails is wrapped up in the scene of homecoming.

It’s a heartwarming ending, free and clear, but at the same time, to me,  it undercuts the potency of the message of the home they had in their love for each other as well as reinforcing false perceptions that most people have that if you have a physical home, you have abundance. It almost belies its own intentions and turns away from the audience that can relate to the couple; an audience that may not have a secret house.  I wanted the movie to portray an idea that there is hope, even if you don’t have a community and even if you have no means, together you make a gorgeous universe, and that the homelessness is not homelessness, rather, simply a lack of property—a journey. If there was to be any glossy ending, it should have been, I think,  about finding actual people to increase their love. I liked the movie a lot and recommend it, but the authenticity which prevailed throughout was forfeited in order to tidy up and end the film.

Young Victoria

Posted in film with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2010 by sparrowriot

The film, Young Victoria, was consumed by my friend Ann and I last Super Bowl Sunday along with a Trader Joe’s truffle milk chocolate bar, big buttered popcorn and ample vitamin water, while the men of the world (and women who like football and the women who want to)  watched the Saints come home.

This film was a romance straight and true. Yes, it was hisorical and the costumes, jewelry and sets were pristine, however, this movie is about true love prevailing.  There were moments, however, when the love story was a pale second to one of those necklaces. The very young Queen Victoria didn’t have to marry for means, which was a nearly non-existent situation at that time.  She, as the queen, would marry for political weight or for love, and though the lacing of the plot intertwines a few dashes of political drama, the propellor of this movie is the romance between Victoria and Albert-the hope for and very satisfying eventual union of the couple.   The virtuosity of the romance was paced and dealt with in such a way, any modern girl could feel that her “Jane Austin” fix (love and marriage, strong or otherwise justified female protagonist and last but not least, a gallant and underestimated male interest) was satisfied, along with the historical and regal attachments which add extra lush to the story for us if only in an abstract way, though quite accurate.
The difference between this romance and a fictional one is hope- that a queen could find love within her permitted sphere of social movement.  There is, undoubtedley a cynic-melting color to the story and is triumphantly heart breaking in that Queen Victoria laid out her husband’s clothes everyday after he died till her death ap.40 years later. I’m sorry, as a side note to the feminists and progessive citizens out there exhausted by stories of the formulaic heterosexual love to marriage, and believe me, I undertand the cynism toward it; that said, I’ll not knock the romance for being the animal that it is.

Prince Albert was so handsome and though his costumes were impeccably of the era, his hair and tight pants replicated a modern edge so well, that his sex appeal was catapulted into 2010.  For lack of better words:  He was so fine.  The role of the male interest was interesting in that he was a submissive character who, through the course of the film, finds his own role in the relationship and his own identity.  If Prince Albert remained inferior in attitude toward the Queen, I would have become detached emotionally from the couple, but he of course, prevailed into his own and became even hotter.

Go see it girls ( and gay guys). As far as everyone else, I just don’t know.  My friend has just ended a relationship, therefore, the poignancy of love gained and lost was palpable.  It’s okay to skip out on sports to go to a romance movie, buy smut when you’re PMSing and eat the hell of the popcorn, and Queen Victoria utterly fit the bill.