Re: [Videolib] film suggestions please

Ann Fuller (fulleran@mail.armstrong.edu)
Mon, 31 Mar 2003 08:41:21 -0500

I am very much in agreement with Milos' comments. Although I haven't had an
opportunity to see Divine Intervention, I believe some of the most beautiful
films ever made are the 'slow' ones. The best example on my mind is the 1972
film TOMORROW (based on the Faulkner story, and thankfully back in print!). I
had a hard time with the film's pace at times, being so accustomed to fast
moving action. But the film left me forever changed, something I sure can't say
for most of the fast action movies I've seen.

Ann Fuller

Milos Stehlik wrote:

> I've heard this comment (it's slow, nothing happens) about so many films so
> often about so many films from so many people that most of the time it's
> just not worth the argument, but I have to ask:
>
> what, exactly, is WRONG with SLOW? Not everything in life has to be reduced
> to fast food. And perhaps even more important, what is wrong with
> experimental?
>
> And isn't it the function of film festivals to show precisely those films
> which audiences will have a more difficult time dealing with? Otherwise, why
> not just take over the multiplex for the weekend, call it a film festival,
> and let the corporate chain in California book it?
>
> Life in Palestine, I would presume, is also slow, (let's face it, it doesn't
> set any records for the percentage of population employed) unless, of
> course, you happen to step into violence. I would argue that much happens in
> DIVINE INTERVENTION which is underneath the surface. It happens at a
> visceral level which touches on the deep personal anxiety, the absurdity of
> trying to live anything resembling a "normal" life (or maintain a personal
> relationship) and the rage which infects so many living there.
>
> In this, Suleiman accomplishes something new -- a view from the inside. He
> NEEDED that slowness to gradually strip off the surface layers and reveal to
> us the naked characters, in all their vulnerability.
>
> Lots of filmmakers (Antonioni, Angelopoulos, Kiarostami, Akerman, Tarkovsky,
> Sokhurov to name a few could be accused of that same slowness.
>
> As for the ending of DIVINE INTERVENTION being anti-Israeli, I think that
> does Suleiman an injustice; it's too reductive a characterization. He has
> made films with Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai and is far too smart to think
> that the Palestinian issue has a simple (or single) answer or point of view.
> Just read some of his interviews.
>
> We could all use a little more slowness in our lives just about right now -
> a rush to action or a rush to judgment has rarely proven to be the just way
> to go.
>
> Milos Stehlik
> Facets Multi-Media, Inc.
> 1517 West Fullerton Avenue
> Chicago, IL 60614 USA
> Voice: 1-773-281-9075
> FAX: 1-773-929-5437
> milos@facets.org
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu
> [mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu]On Behalf Of Steve
> Fesenmaier
> Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2003 2:37 PM
> To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
> Subject: Re: [Videolib] film suggestions please
>
> I just watched DIVINE INTERVENTION and thought the film was amazingly
> slow....I have seen the director's earlier film, CHRONICLE OF A
> DISAPPEARANCE, which was also slow. His films are experimental in
> nature. The ending of DIVINE is certainly totally anti-Israeli....I know
> the film has gotten much acclaim....but I think that only film experts
> will enjoy it....I doubt if even very many Palestinians would enjoy
> it...since almost nothing happens....sorta WAITING FOR GODOT in
> Palestine....it was beautifully made....few words are ever said...and
> almost all of the action is trivial, daily things....I told our local
> foreign film festival NOT to show it in May...purely because its
> experimental design will alienate 90 % of all viewers. - Steve
> Fesenmaier. Graffiti film critic -
> http://www.grafwv.com/showstory.php3?id=1102
>
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