Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Histoires des Cinema: part 1a
A history of cinema is a history of the last century. But its history only in a euphemistic sense since it is neither sequential nor factual nor does it make sense in the sense of something one could express. It seems more like an abstract painting which you can enjoy or not.
The film-maker sits at his electronic typewriter and as the keys click, now slow, now gathering momentum, cinematic images drawn from the century mingle in quick succession. What quickly becomes evident is his passion for cinema and his own immersion in it's art and crafts.
The images themselves--not too many which I could recognise--take us on a rollercoster ride reminding us of our own private cinematic histories, since cinema for better or worse has come to form a sizeable chunk of our lives, and many might reckon themselves substantially by the films they have seen. Who knows, one of the questions that the guards of the next world may ask would be about the kind of movies we have seen.
It is a mere 50 minutes in length, certainly a redeeming feature for any film. If you stop trying to "understand" films and just soak in the orgiastic flow of gorgeous, nostalgic, gore soaked, musical, stupid, yet always cinematic images one on top of the next; as the typewriter, echoing the pulse of the creative process in the mind of the director, now rattles furiously, now trots in a relaxed manner....you can enjoy this feast of the eyes and ear and mind like the reel of your own life.
Tarantino's latest movie ends WW2 in a movie hall using loads of nitrate film as a bomb. Citizen Kane opens as the ends of the reel of Kanes life sputter to a stop. Life is a cinema.
Cinema is small-only a hundred years. Godard draws it all together to a point like a seed of a big bang and then unfold it in a breathless three quarters of an hour. The texture and smell of celluloid is all over. Like "napalm in the morning".