Sunday, October 08, 2006

Laura Morante feels the blues

Images: Laura Morante in João César Monteiro's À Flor do Mar (Hovering Over Water, 1986).

Also, those of Michael Mann's Miami Vice, and Carlos Molinero and Lola Salvador's The Mist in the Palm Trees (2006), both of which I saw - and loved - more than a month ago already.

Sounds: Midwinter - The Waters of Sweet Sorrow (1973), Ton Vlasman - White Rooms With Disintegrating Walls (1970), Beirut - Gulag Orkestar, The Skygreen Leopards - Disciples of California, and soundtracks to Lekin... (1991) and Gautam Ghose's upcoming Yatra (2006), which I'm really looking forward to.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful movie but, in a way, too much narrative in a classic approach, far from his more intense idiosyncratic stuff, like the ethnographic - mythological movies from the 70's ("Que Farei Com Esta Espada?", "Veredas" or "Silvestre")or his João de Deus series. But, like I’ve said, beautiful to look at - and more than that, in the pirates episode, Monteiro shows a burlesque performance which is always good.

p.s. loved your analysis of his last movie (posted above) and still dislike, strongly, "Miami Vive". Hugz.

josé (Murnau)

10:34 AM  
Blogger Mubarak Ali said...

Yes, this film occupies a strange place in his ouevre, very difficult to categorise under his earlier or later stuff (maybe that's partly what makes it so interesting?). There's something about the mysterious sailor which I couldn't really grasp - he could be straight out of an earlier mythological film of Monteiro's. Also, the subtext of displacement and foreignness (on the part of both the main characters) is something that appeals to me personally. But we're in agreement mostly - a very elegant, gorgeous film. Loved Monteiro's cameo too ("Why do you do this?" "Because I can't help myself!" explains many of his later films I'll bet).

As for Miami Vice - it's been too long and I really need to see it again (on DVD) but I liked the whole city as a nocturnal HD jungle, plus Gong Li, and the cipherisation of the male leads, in contrast to the typical action hero (maybe that's why I could stand Farrell's presence). Also, its constant movement from one location to another seems to sublimate its universe as a giant, shimmering video image, which is what Mann seemed to be doing, rather than going for standard plotting or characterisation elements. I'm really looking forward to a second viewing!

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