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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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Expansions 75


Expansions Note: Korean, Japanese, and Chinese names will be given in the traditional order, with family name first. The Resonant Gesture Introductory Notes: The Resonant Gesture The longer quotation reads: “When I say gesture, my gesture, I mean what my mark is. I think there is something now I am still working out in paint; it is a struggle for me to both discard and retain what is gestural and personal. I have been trying, and the process began without my knowing it, to stop relying on gesture, but it is a struggle. ‘Gesture’ must appear out of necessity not habit. I don’t start with a color order but find the color as I go. I’d rather risk an ugly surprise then rely on things I know I can do. The whole business of spotting; the small area of color in a big canvas; how edges meet; how accidents are controlled; all this fascinates me, though it is often where I am most facile and most seducible by my own talent.* From Helen Frankenthaler: “Interview with Helen Frankenthaler” by Henry Geldzahler, Artforum 4:2 (October 1965): 37-38. Pas de deux This award-winning short film was shot at 48 frames per second and then the image was multiplied on an optical printer. The dancers from Les Grands Ballets Canadiens are Margaret Mercier and Vincent Warren, with choreography by Ludmilla Chiriaeff, and panpipe music of the “Song of the River Olt” by The United Folk Orchestra of Romania. To Kill a Mockingbird...

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