Thursday, 4 September 2008
Cinema of Cruelty I
One of Boyo's imaginary cybershades, I forget which, asked me to compile a list of twelve films of personal significance to me. There are, naturally, no such films.
I am happy, however, to share a few flickering images of cultural decay that have caused the corners of my vermillion lips or eyes to twitch on rare occasions.
1. Cold Comfort Farm
Boyo waits until I'm at peace with the world, usually after a successful morning of supervising the evacuation of one of his sheds, before suggesting that we should visit his relatives in Wales.
I keep a copy of John Schlesinger's film at hand to remind myself of why Offa's Dyke was built and is still maintained. The book may not be set in Wales, but that wrinkled little country keeps its spirit alive (see photograph above).
2. L'année dernière à Marienbad
"Tels ils marchaient dans les avoines folles,
Et la nuit seule entendit leurs paroles".
I passed the "French nonsense" section of my International Baccalaureate with an essay positing that the Resnais/Robbe-Grillet film is a meditation on Verlaine's "Colloque Sentimental".
In fact I like it because it reminds me of my childhood family holidays.
3. Gorod Zero (Zero Town)
Mechanical tyrants, random nudity, roads that lead nowhere, both rock and roll, pools of water, suicidal cooking - this late Soviet offering is a reminder of what that Bolshevik shambles was like. It is also an approximation of Boyo's idea of a decent party.
4. El ángel exterminador
In this film Buñuel approximates my idea of a decent party.
I shall suggest a few more accompaniments to a cosy night in when it occurs to me.