The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes

The piano tuner of earthquakes” – (2005, Germany/United Kingdom/France)

“Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream”.

This quote from Ingmar Bergman about Andrei Tarkovksy applies to few directors, whose films are like echoes which never fade, feeling of déjà vu from things you’ve never seen.

Can there be a more “controlled” medium than animation, I don’t know. But this may be the most interesting dichotomy (or seeming contradiction) about the Quay brothers, in that they will show you elaborate images for your imagination to use as canvass and subject.

They seem to shy away from the notion of script, well maybe not shy away, so much as discard. I think they see scripting as restrictive to the creative process of story telling: the characters as well as the decors are enabled to follow their own rhythm and narration.

This, of course, is how most of us dream.
The Quay brothers’ second film, as their shorts and previous feature, is not easily described. They themselves appear like 18th century automatons, speaking in the halting way of people born into a world of opinions, hostile to developing ideas.

Their literary, visual and musical references are just this side off mainstream, not obscure so much as… Uncommon yet surprisingly attainable, and are woven in loose tapestries which invite you to pull whichever string twitches tantalizingly, following yet another rabbit hole of sorts: the décor itself is an actor.

The piano tuner of earthquakes” would I think appeal to anyone who truly enjoyed Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast”, Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth”, Tim Burton’s “nightmare before Christmas” or Tarkovsky’s “Stalker”.

To try and outline a synopsis, or post pictures or a trailer, in the case their movies would be restrictive and so I do not. Instead I would simply tell you that if you have read this far, you will likely want to continue this dialogue by watching the Quay brothers’ oeuvre.
“The piano tuner of earthquakes”… Such a title, and it is just the beginning.

Brothers Quay by Mariusz Kubik (photographer)
Brothers Quay by Mariusz Kubik (photographer)

This movie gets the five beans

5 beans


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The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park: Part 2

This is part two.  Part one can be found here.

One morning we woke up to rain. It’s the rainy season in San Francisco. It wasn’t a heavy rain, but it was enough. We had wanted to get out and walk and so we debated. We suddenly realized that we had not been to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park for quite a while and that the rain would keep the crowds down.

Japanese Tea Garden
Cranes

Continue reading “The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park: Part 2”

Not a review as of yet: Rubber, a modern drama

This French movie, filmed in the U.S., will hopefully be available on DVD in coming months. I doubt it will gain exposure in theatres as the subject matter is likely too  dark and depressing, but the trailer alone hints at a masterpiece.

“Rubber” is the story of Robert who, wandering through the desert, gains awareness and special, powerful, psychic powers. One central theme of “rubber” is extermination, you may even call it genocide.

You see, Robert is a used tire. A car tire. Rolling aimlessly, unknowingly, through the desertic landscapes of the American Southwest, discarded. Used up. Until that moment when Robert rolls up languidly to a junkyard where humans are burning stacks of old tires: Robert’s kin. From then on, Robert’s burgeoning psychic powers will hone themselves into a weapon which he will turn against this humanity who created his people only to reject them after 40.000 miles or less.

Robert found his mission.

Here is just one of the trailers.


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Friday Night Cat Blogging: Two Cats and a Bridge

As usual, Friday night is time for our boys to shine.  I also decided to toss in a bonus pick of our Golden Gate Bridge.  I have lived here for 8 years and I never get tired of seeing it.  I hope you enjoy all three pics.

Tito
Tito doing his cute routine. It makes me want to bury my face in his fur.
Kitsune
Kitsune looking like a gentleman in his sweater. Don't let him fool you. He's mad, mad I tell you.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge. The picture was taken in the Presidio and looking toward the North.


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The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park: Part 1

One morning we woke up to rain. It’s the rainy season in San Francisco. It wasn’t a heavy rain, but it was enough. We had wanted to get out and walk and so we debated. We suddenly realized that we had not been to the Japanese Tea Garden In Golden Gate Park for quite a while and that the rain would keep the crowds down.

Japanese Tea Garden
Koi

Continue reading “The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park: Part 1”

Two more film greats are gone and one is missing and probably dead

First, the missing. Actor Per Oscarsson and his wife are missing after their home burned in Skara, Sweden. You can read about it here.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1927, Per Oscarsson has been one of Sweden’s most respected actors in film, both on stage and tv.  He won the Cannes Film Festival and National Society of Film Critic’s award for Hunger (1966). He is known more here for his performance in The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest.

Per Oscarsson - Hunger
Per Oscarsson - Hunger

Our heart goes out to the family and we hope they have closure soon.

Anne Francis

A while back I wrote about losing Leslie Neilsen. I had posted a picture from a movie that he starred in called Forbidden Planet. His love interest was Anne Francis.

Leslie Nielsen and Anne Francis in The Forbidden Planet
Leslie Nielsen and Anne Francis in The Forbidden Planet

Now, both of them are gone. Anne Francis was born in Ossining, New York. She was a model and did soap/radio work early on. By the age of 11, she made her stage debut in Broadway’s “Lady in the Dark”. She had a very busy career and appeared in a great many tv shows and movies. One of her most famous roles was as television’s first female detective in Honey West. She lost her battle against pancreatic cancer on Sunday.

Our condolences to her family, friends, and fans. She will be missed.

Pete Postlethwaite

Pete Postlethwaite has lost a long time battle with cancer.  He was 64.  Born in 1946 to a working class family in Northern England, he developed an interest in acting while in college.  From his beginnings as a drama teacher, he branched out to the theater and then film and television in the 80s.  In 1993, he was nominated for an Oscar for playing the father of Daniel Day-Lewis in “In the Name of the Father”.

Pete Postlethwaite
Pete Postlethwaite

As before, our condolences to his family, friends, and fans. He too will be missed.


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