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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, May 15, 2020

entry arrow1:26 PM | The Film Meme No. 21

[21st of 100]. I have a soft heart for [often] impenetrable movies with very strong, very intoxicating visual styles, and I take to them like they are poems where you have to surrender the need for prosaic logic, and embrace instead the symphony of images and the surreal headiness of the experience. This is why I love Leos Carax's Holy Motors (2012), and Darren Aronofsky's mother! (2017), and the phantasmagoria of Tarsem Singh [2000's The Cell above all] -- which I really think comes from my initial orgasmic responses to Dimitri Kirsanoff's MĂ©nilmontant (1926), Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali's Un Chien Andalou (1929), Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera (1929), and Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), as well as the dazzling documentaries by Godfrey Reggio [the Qatsi trilogy] and Ron Fricke [Baraka and Samsara]. They come off to me as pure cinema, unburdened by a literal story [or at least adhering to the usual demands of narrative], but magnifying the primacy of the image in telling a story. For this list, I could have chosen any of above titles as representative of personal impact in the regard I am discussing them, but one title kept coming back to me: this strange 1969 "biography" of the great 18th century Armenian poet and musician Armenian poet Sayat-Nova. It doesn't waste time telling a straightforward story, opting instead to settle for shots that mimic Armenian miniature paintings and medieval manuscripts, every image an allegory and metaphor. Needless to say, the movie is certainly not for everyone, certainly not those demanding coherence or structure. I would even agree I have not seen this film in the best way possible -- my laptop screen can only do so much, and there is no way to surrender fully to the movie's lushness and idiosyncrasy if it is not magnified majestically on a wide screen. What's the film?

For the introduction to this meme, read here.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich