Sunday, May 19, 2013
Last Updated: 18 May 21:00 PM IST
19 November 2012
THE night was brilliant, unruffled, scarcely stirred. And because we all have a “soft spot for secret passageways, bookshelves that open into silence, staircases that descend into void, and hidden safes”, old Mr Oscar, nestled in a wooden structure till now, limps towards separation, opens the secret door and wanders into the packed movie hall where the audience watches him reel off.
Because dreams cannot be displaced…
… Six-year-old Hushpuppy enters into an agreement with her birthplace, an extension of herself, and fights to save her Bathtub, a territory off the American coast that is cut off from modern city trappings. Fishing, drinking, scavenging and raising their kids, the Bathtub residents know how to love their land. Courageous and obtrusive, Hushpuppy, the little Beast of the Southern Wild, doesn’t have to depend on nets to catch fish; rather, she uses her hands. No show-off but never given to bragging, she is small, reckless, daring -- a child for whom the universe doesn't care much about. But she and her father, fighting a lethal disease, don't ask, “Where is my land?” but instead ask, with heads held high, “Why should we leave?” when their happy islet is threatened by a hurricane and they are forced to go to a health centre.
Giving a damn for the starched sheets at the centre, Hushpuppy and her small family escape to live the dream she has grown up with — her land — and nobody has the right to displace her. With an air of strength, she faces the howls of aurochs.
Director Behn Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild aspires to bring the Oscar to their land — where for some land means missing opportunities as the seas are over-fished and the West beckons; and so they migrate, merely to survive, displacing their dreams and fleeing their birthplace.
In similar fashion, Senegalese director Moussa Toure’s La Pirogue has Captain Baye Laye, a friend and foe of the sea, oaring The Pirogue (a boat) full of men and one woman who want a decent life beyond the oceans. But the sea takes note and decides to turn violent. Some perish, but some are destined to reach their destination, because again dreams cannot be displaced. Toure sets La Pirogue on an interesting journey, the enriching pathos of which also feeds the underlying tension between North and South Korea, as depicted in director Juhn Jaihong’s Poongsam. Separated by barbed wire fencing through which only a poongsaan can get through, Jaihong successfully blurs this border as his poongsaan gets people and things across the Demilitarised Zone from North to South, for the sake of love and hate.
only love can make magic real…
… And so, unlike Dr Juvenil Urbino who couldn't stand the scent of bitter almonds as these always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love, white-suited El Sabio decides to gift himself a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin on his 90th birthday. Dr Urbino died hoping of getting “love in the time of cholera”, but evergreen El Sabio, instead of brooding over the Memories of his melancholy whores, delays death as he still hasn’t experienced true love. He gets his Delgadina, sings to her, rebukes her, gifts her, does all the things lovers do and emerges to tell the world, “Yes, I am in love”, a sentiment that Lorenzo, his mother and his stepsister Olivia, never experienced. With an ever-nagging mother by his side, Lorenzo has no space of his own and the search for it lands him in the basement of his own house, where he sets up his own world with junk foods, a laptop, and insects. His peace is short-lived as Olivia finds his hiding place and comes to stay with him, just to make the both of them realise how much they loved each other, despite not having shared the same womb. Bernardo Bertulocci could have played up with the plot, but the emotion comes across when brother and the sister hug each other while dancing. Love was never lost again, and Me and You becomes “us”, a word for many but a moment for Iskander Orynbekov, nicknamed Gagarin, who, like the others of his race, believes that “what drops from the sky is a gift from God”.
Till now, this young Kazakh youth and his fellow villagers used to scavenge for scrap metal amid the debris thrown off by rockets taking off from the Baikonur launchpad. Gagarin keeps track of blast-offs via his ham radio, calculates the likely drop points and coordinates trade with other tribes. His small world turns upside down the moment he sees Julie, a French cosmonaut, on TV. Julie’s space capsule crashes in Gagarin’s area and she falls straight from the sky as a “gift from God”. Gagarin finds love, though short-lived, as Julie gets back her memory and deserts Gagarin. Having fallen in love, Gagarin still rises as a hero and bags a job at Baikonur, but his only wish is to make Julie realise the love between them. In time, he realises that Julie never loved him but all this while instead, his love was just beside him -- tucked away in his own village. Veit Helmar's Baikonur sets in place love that is “shameless”, as the 18 year-old Tadzik doesn’t have any inhibitions about falling for his older sister, whom he loves.
Director Filip Marczewski doesn’t fail in putting across the passion, a lack of which has confined a once-famous courtesan to her bed. Her attendant Cheeka, who sleeps under her bed, sings like a bird, hums like a bee and chants like a Sufi in the deepest throes of desire to seduce his mistress and make her feel life again. Emerence, past her prime and living with an elderly maid, does not open her door for anybody, which sparks rumours in the neighbourhood about her past. Her blunt and often-insulting manner only earns her respect from her neighbours, who swear by her ability. Herself love-deprived, Emerence surely knows how to love, for she while she cannot stop her friends from dying, she keeps their graves clean and considers Magda and Tibor, her new employers, children and gives them a ceramic dog. Magda becomes the apple of her eye and is the only one for whom Emerence opens The Door and lets her meet the love of her life, her cats. Istvan Szavo makes the relation between these two women tragically loving when Magda asks forgiveness at Emerence's grave, the storms subsides, the sun shines and she feel Emerence's presence.
apart, still a part
Is what Georges and Anne realise when a series of strokes paralyse her arm and he has to take care of her. Georges had promised Anne that he would never take her back to the hospital and strives to maintain that loyalty made to his Amour. He reminds Anne of their attending a friend's funeral where The Beatles’ Yesterday was played. Anne and Georges have their yesterdays of love, but Nadir and Simin want to get rid of their petty yesterdays as she wants to move to a different country to give her child a better future. Nadir, though, still clings to a beautiful yesterday, his Alzeimher-struck father, that shapes his today. So they both head for a mutual Separation. The woman who comes to look after Nadir’s father has a turbulent relation with her husband that comes to the fore when the woman lies about the actual reason behind her miscarriage for fear that her husband will kill her. Nadir is blamed but comes out clean. As their daughter is asked to make her choice, Nadir and Simin wait, separated by a glass door,
with a hope…
… That keeps Crow going as she wants to diminish the distance between herself and her mother. Growing up unloved, nine-year-old Crow wonders why her mother doesn’t give her time. She makes sounds like a crow and in a desperate search for love kidnaps her three-year-old neighbour and asks her to call her Mama. They decide to reach the end of the world together and love and hate each other like a mother and a child does. Dorota Kedzierzawska makes it realist, though, as they return home, a place that Petya, Vasya and Lyapa are trying to reach at. All they have to do is to utter the word “asylum” at the time of crossing through barbed wire to get across to Poland. Geography matters less, as they don’t know where they are. All they think of is that on the other side Tomorrow will be better.