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The Lap

Another famous painting in Chauvet Cave is “The Venus and The Sorcerer“. It consists of a bison and an exaggerated depiction of a pubic triangle and a vulva, painted on a conical pendant hanging from the cave ceiling. Such exaggerated depictions of female genitals are common in prehistoric art, as evidenced by the large number of Venus Figurines uncovered all over the world.

The Venus and The Sorcerer. Photo by Yanik Le Guillou

While working on the last post I remembered some other images that impressed me in Guy Maddin’s “My Winnipeg”, mainly the recurring images where the narrator compares the confluence of the two rivers ( The Forks ) around which Winnipeg was built  with his mother’s lap.

"the Forks"

"the Lap"

"the Fur"

The images appear in this exact order, and repeated a few times:

The woolly, furry, frosty lap.
The Forks!
The animals, hunters, boatways,
trains and Mother.
These are the reasons we’re here.
These are these reasons we’ve stayed.
These are the reasons I’m leaving.

These are the very things that are going to
help me get out of here.
The forks, the lap, the fur.
The forks, the lap, the fur.

Also worth noting that The forks were at times a meeting place for hunters, trading in bison fur.

My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007)

 My mother. A force as strong
as all the trains in Manitoba.
As perennial as the winter.
As ancient as the bison.
As supernatural as the Forks themselves.
Her lap, a magnetic pole,
a direction from which I can’t turn for long.

(Note: the above quotes are all taken from the film)

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Categories: Guy Maddin, Werner Herzog

Horse Heads

June 16, 2011 3 comments

I had the pleasure of watching Werner Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” last week, at the Transylvania International Film Festival. It’s really nice having a pretty large film festival in your hometown.

For his documentary, Herzog got a special permission from the French authorities to film in Chauvet Cave. The cave contains the oldest paintings known to man ( aprox. 30.000 years old) and one of the most famous of them is the “Panel of the Horses”. I don’t have access to the shots from the actual film, but I do have this picture of it (via wikipedia).

When I saw it, it instantly reminded me of another great film I once saw at the film festival a few years before, “My Winnipeg”.

My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007)

And yes, you should watch My Winnipeg. My jaw was locked in the ‘drop’ position the whole film. And don’t let the above image scare you, the film will actually make you smile.

My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007). Lovers out on a winter stroll at the frozen horse-heads.

 

 

Categories: Guy Maddin, Werner Herzog

Totaly NSFW dance

After I saw Tetsuo a few years ago, I went around on the internet trying to make sense of what the hell I just saw.  I came across somebody that said the atmosphere of the film and more specifically the girlfirend’s dance somehow reminded him of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

So, now that I have this blog, let’s have a look.

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989)

Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989)

Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)

In both scenes, our main character has a dream (vision or hallucination) where their romantic interest dances in a way that makes her seem possessed. The evil clone of Maria dances in a club where she twists the minds of the men there, while the Slaryman’s Girlfriend in Tetsuo…… plans on raping him. Both men are equally shocked by their visions.

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989)

Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989)

Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989)

Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)

And yes, I will post the occasional bizarre or shocking image. Might as well get that out of the way from the start.

Still here

May 4, 2011 1 comment

I’ll be right back to regular posting as soon as my other laptop finally gets fixed and I move over there, as I no longer have space on this one for stockpiling movies to extract frames from.

Meanwhile, enjoy this nice shot from Inglourious Basterds.

Categories: Quentin Tarantino

Why I started this blog

One of the most iconic images in cinema. Ethan Edwards ( John Wayne) heads back out into the wild after returning Debbie to her parents at the end of The Searchers(John Ford, 1956)

Shosanna running away from the home that sheltered her, as jew hunter Hans Landa finds out her hiding place. Inglourious Basterds(Quentin Tarantino,2009)

14-year old Mattie Ross heads out to join Rooster Cogburn in search of her fathers killer. True Grit (Coen Brothers, 2010)

The idea to finally start a blog about movies, and images in general, came to me while watching True Grit in the cinema some time ago. I saw the shot above and I smiled to myself. Why ? Because I only went to that cinema one time before to watch a regular movie ( watched a bunch of movies there at a film festival). And it was Inglourious Basterds . And I remember recognizing that shot from Tarantino’s movie as an obvious reference to the one in The Searchers. Funny is that I have never seen The Searchers. I just knew that image of John Wayne from reading around the internet about movies, and I was always impressed  with how much power this single image taken out of context had. Sometimes it’s this other image.

A lot of movies I know by still images before I actually see them. Like when you know a certain places from pictures before you actualy go there. But more about this in the ‘About’ section, once I actually write something there.

Fun Fact: John Wayne played Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 adaptation of True Grit .

A matter of existence

April 18, 2011 7 comments

This is the last post in this opening trilogy about 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Let’s take a minute and observe something about the monolith. Each appearance of the monolith triggers a jump in man’s evolution. Man discovers the tool, reaches the Moon, then Jupiter and the beyond. It is very interesting how the first two monoliths work. The second one, the one on the Moon, just sends a signal towards Jupiter and man just follows and the first one just exists. It does not use any mechanism or supernatural power to teach primitive man how to use tools. What happens is that faced with this unnatural object, that stands out in a purely natural landscape, the ape man realises that objects can be created, that there are ways with which one can manipulate matter. It’s the monolith’s material existence that triggers this next step in man’s evolution. And how do we interact with matter? What sense gives us the certainty that on object is indeed there? By reaching out and touching it.

Also, before the Stargate sequence, Bowman approaches the monolith in the little utility pod. It looks like this.

It almost looks like a baby with little arms. Babies always reach out and grab whatever is in front of them, it’s a basic human instinct.

Speaking of babies…

The famous closing shot

So, after these three posts, we can draw the conclusion that, by hiding a monolith in the opening , Kubrick marks the movie as having a similar role to the monolith in it. That’s not that much of a big surprise considering it’s content.

Anyway, time to move on to other movies for now.

(Also check out this parody of 2001 I once did)

Categories: Stanley Kubrick

And then there was the second shot

One of the ideas behind this blog is to get people interested in movies they haven’t seen yet. So, for those of you who haven’t seen the Space Odyssey, here’s a shot from the movie that is not a black screen.

The opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

And for those who have seen it, what I was suggesting in the previous post is that the black screen at the beginning is actually a Monolith. Just look at proportions of the monolith. They match the aspect ratio of the movie.

And if you are still not convinced:

Note: I did a bit of reasearch and the original aspect ratio of the print is 2.20:1, the aspect ratio of the 35 mm print is 2.35:1 and the aspect ratio of the Blu-ray I took the stills from is 2.22:1.  In the book, the dimensions of the monolith are 1x4x9 feet. Those translate into an aspect ratio of 2.25:1.

Categories: Stanley Kubrick