Foreign Art House

Simon of the Desert (The Criterion Collection)

April 8th, 2011 by Wayward Muse

Never finished because of financial and other issues, Simon of the Desert is only 45 minutes long. This film explores one of the recurring themes of Bunuel’s work: his ambivalence; his almost reverent irreverence towards God and religion. Simon is a disciple of Saint Simeon Stylites, an historical Syrian ascetic. He emulates his namesake by fasting, enduring other ascetic trials, and lecturing from atop his pillar. The film takes a little time to really get going, but the payoff of a little patience is greatly rewarded. Read More…

The Milky Way (The Criterion Collection)

April 7th, 2011 by Wayward Muse

At first this film may seem a bit intimidating as it  seems to require a knowledge of the history of specific heresies in the Catholic Church. But, by watching the extras it is possible to get as much background information as is necessary to fully enjoy this movie. “An Athiest’s Thanks to God” is especially helpful—the very title catches a sense of the humor and paradox that is this film. Read More…

Private Property

April 7th, 2011 by Wayward Muse

This is a complex, twisted tale of family dysfunction that requires patience, attentiveness, and the ability and inclination to watch faces and bodies for clues to emotions and thoughts. It’s not a “talky” movie. The characters don’t tell us or each other much of what is actually going on with their thoughts and emotions. But it is painfully realistic—the essence of dysfunction is the breakdown of healthy communication, and in this film the viewer is dropped into a situation where they are in exactly the same situation as the family members—adrift in an uncharted sea without map or compass, trying to make do. Read More…

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