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Cinematic Reveries

Gestures, Stillness, Water


Linda C. Ehrlich

The 29 prose poems in Cinematic Reveries: Gestures, Stillness, Water provide distinctive points of entry into a select group of films through attention to evocative gestures, a sense of stillness, and images of water. These original writings offer film criticism in a new form, with a tone that is at once exploratory, familiar, and elegiac. They explore the precious nature of water; they point to gestures both eloquent and obscure. They offer us moments of arrested motion as well as longer contemplative sequences in films from Asia, Europe, New Zealand, and the U.S. To cite a sentiment expressed by filmmaker Raúl Ruíz in his Poetics of Cinema 2, these are tributes to great films that «recognize [us] like an old relative». The reader is encouraged to explore Cinematic Reveries as a portrait of the cinema which is at times lyrical, sometimes comic, and often tinged with pathos. This celebration of the art film is richly illustrated, with suggestions for further readings and viewings.


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Table of Contents


Introduction ix The Resonant Gesture Introductory Notes: The Resonant Gesture 2 Children of Paradise 4 Pas de Deux 6 Correspondences 9 Greta Garbo: 40 Years Later 11 11 Shoes (Tree of Wooden Clogs) 12 Mockingbird 14 City Lights 16 Oranges: Sicilia 19 Fragments, Jerusalem 20 Wanderers of the Desert 22 Nostalgia for the Light (Chile) 25 Stillness in Motion Introductory Notes: Stillness in Motion, 28 Mu (Nothing) 31 Erice’s Dreamers / La Morte Rouge 32 Gaudí’s Dragons 34 Doubles 36 Door to the Sky 38 Sleeping Man 42 Strange Case of Angelica 44 Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior) 47 viii In Praise of Water Introductory Notes: In Praise of Water 50 Kaos 52 Why Has Bodhidharma Left for the East? 55 Monsieur Hulot’s Vacation 56 The Piano 59 An Outing In The Country 60 Meshes/Waves 63 Oz 65 The Necklace/Vertigo 66 Belle 69 Coda Buster Keaton Takes A Walk (Lorca/Keaton) 72 Expansions 75 List of Illustrations 79 Suggested Readings/Viewings 81  

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