Monday, February 20, 2006

CATCHBASIN No. 1—2006 SFKAFF & Night Watch

The word is never final when it comes to film. Impressions settle into new articulations. Reviews amplify previous considerations. In order to gather such disparate commentary, I'll every now and then have a "catchbasin" for films previously commented upon here at The Evening Class.

2006 SFKAFF: Although Variety's David Stratton finds it "problematic" that director Kwang-Mo Lee and cinematographer Hyung-Koo Kim elect to stage key scenes in long shot in Spring In My Hometown, Cinemaya's Kim Ji-Seok argues that this purposely keeps viewers at some distance from the events. "While viewing the tragedy of war," he writes, "they are, at the same time, stopped from getting closer to the faces of the past and their memories. This deepens the effect of tragedy. The director seems to be following the saying 'if you can grab memories in your hands, they are not memories anymore.' He manages to skillfully realize this paradoxical saying by reminding you of the tragedy of war without getting too close to it." Further, he argues that the distanced images that Kim Hyung-Koo captures presents the indifference of Nature to the tragedy of war.

Night Watch: J. Hoberman enjoys Timur Bekmambetov's "shamanistic filmmaking" for the Village Voice. He grants the film its humor:

Which reminded me that Night Watch does have some delightful chuckles. I enjoyed watching Sarah Gellar's Buffy, the Vampire Killer telecast on Russian t.v., particularly the episode where she meets Dracula. The intertextuality was amusing.

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