Posts Tagged ‘Curzon Mayfair’

Living/Жить Curzon Mayfair 21 October

October 21, 2012


Grisha is allowed to live because she’s young and good-looking

A severe dose of chernukha (relentless negativity and tedium) here I’m afraid, and delivered rather slowly. Of course if you put a couple of young girls in a marshrutka it will crash, driving their mother from alcoholism to insanity.   Of course if you give a hustler some money on the train home from your wedding he will lure you to an empty carriage and his mates will beat you to death.  Which is just about what you deserve for being so stupid.  Of course the girls’ mother and the never-will-be wife will be unable to show any resistance at all to what has happened to them; their only recourse will be to make believe the dead are still alive and then when that fails to kill themselves and other people as well.  Of course the girls’ mother Galya will manage to find the fatal proportions of gas and air to cause an explosion while Grisha the bride will drag herself back from the brink because she’s young (and good-looking under all the crusty clobber).  And then there’s the story of Artem whose father has run away to live in a hut without shoes and have his bicycle stolen; at least that was obscure enough not to be offensive.

Now the final scene with Grisha at the bus-stop and a woman opens up a stall setting the most godawful tat and Grisha buys herself some crisps and eats them and decides she wants to live in this world tawdry and appalling as it is–that was good, but it wasn’t worth the two preceding hours.

Pina 3D Curzon Mayfair 19 May

May 21, 2011


Some sound ideas on 'The Rite of Spring'

Let’s start with the 3D:  that was harsh and distracting–why were the subtitles hanging in the air somewhere?–and taking the specs off did no good, since the system used meant the background images were blurred that way.

The film was based around scenes from some of Pina Bausch’s most famous (I think) works, interspersed with dancing in Wuppertal and around about and dancers’ reminiscences in voice-over as they stared witlessly at (or past) the camera.  That was unpleasantly reminiscent of Wings of Desire, though fortunately nothing in this Wenders film was anything like as bad as Paris, Texas.

On the positive side, a lot of the dancing was interesting–Bausch certainly had some sound ideas about The Rite of Spring, and I recognised Cafe Muller as an old acquaintance after having seen it featured in a film by Almodovar–Habla con ella, perhaps.  I enjoyed the wide-ranging choice of music and the girls’ floaty dresses.

Cafe Muller

I did feel that the dance sequences were making the same point rather too often for my liking.  I got quite interested in Wuppertal and its elevated railway–who were the people who (presumably) went night after night, decade after decade to cutting-edge modern dance in a medium-sized industrial city south of the Ruhr?

My advice:

i)    see it in 2D if you have to;

ii)  much better to go and see the Pina Bausch company if you can;

iii)  continue to keep clear of Wim Wenders!