Showing posts from November, 2016

Vivre Sa Vie (film)

Vivre Sa Vie (Directed by Jean-Luc Godard)/1962 We live in both exciting and uncertain times: we’ve had a series of upheavals in world politics in recent times and the media is gearing up for the new year by pumping out predictions filled with paranoia and anxiety about 2017. I’ve thought about what wisdom we could garner from our past, in particular, the existentialist movement. What were the great thinkers of those times pondering about? What did they feel were important matters for humanity and individual human beings? With these thoughts lingering in my mind, I watched Jean-Luc Godard’s Vivre Sa Vie on the weekend. Translated as My Life To Live in English, the film came out in 1962 during the era of the French New Wave. The film has 12 chapters (scenes) following the love, work and life of a woman in Paris in the 60s: Nana. Nana is an adorable character to watch: she’s beautiful, intelligent and curious about the world and those around her. She can at times be petulant and s

Under the Sun (film)

Under the sun (Directed by Vitaliy Manskiy)/2016 I was once told by my sunday school teacher that we have two ears and one mouth because God wanted us to listen twice as much as speaking. Time and time again, at school, church, work we are constantly reminded of the importance of listening and paying attention to others' before we express and impose our views and judgements on others. Which is exactly what Vitaliy Manskiy did in his film about a day in the lives of a little girl in North Korea.  Many a other visual works on North Korea had focused on what could be retrieved as the 'truth' from this hermit kingdom shrouded in iron secrecy. Manskiy, in what I think is a stroke of genius, instead turned it around and asked the North Korean authorities to show us what they would like to show: the script and direction of the film has been entirely left to the hands of the North Korean national propaganda team with Manskiy holding the camera. What we see is an incredib

I, Olga Hepnarová (film)

Based on a true story, the film follows Olga Hepnarová, a 22 year old woman who committed a mass murder in the 1970s. Somewhat abstract, somewhat dream-like, the film provides a compassionate and questioning perspective on the demands of modern life and inadequacies of institutions to manage what is an organic and fluid issue. It is not fully explained how Olga became Olga. Her family appears unable to communicate and rigid with formalities and social protocols. Her mother swings between a (failing) disciplinarian trying to get her daughter to "behave" to being a purse string: resigned to throw money at the problem to make it go away. Set in the background is 1970s Prague; a highly functioning socialist society where the state provides for basic school, work and living. Olga grows up at the school hostel where she gets bullied by other girls. She finds other people dumb and boring to talk to. She has nothing in common with people around her and resigns herself to being a