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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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List of Illustrations 79


Illustrations Cover Lifeline (Alumbramiento, Víctor Erice, 2002) Correspondences: Guerín and Mekas (Correspondencia Jonas Mekas-J.L.Guerin, Letter n. 9 to J. Mekas, 2011) Original photograph of waves by Corey Wright The Resonant Gesture Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette, Vittorio de Sica, 1948) 1 The Spirit of the Beehive (El espíritu de la colmena, Víctor Erice, 1972) 1 El sol del membrillo (The Quince Tree Sun, Dream of Light, Víctor Erice, 1993) 1 The Mime (Children of Paradise/Les enfants du paradis, Jacques Prévert and Marcel Carné, 1945; An American in Paris, Vicente Minnelli and Gene Kelly, 1951) 4-5 Pas de deux (Norman McLaren, 1958) 7 Correspondences: Guerín and Mekas (Correspondencia Jonas Meka--J.L.Guerin, Letter n. 4 to J. Mekas, 2011) 9 Shoes (Trees of Wooden Clogs, L´albero degli zoccoli, Ermano Olmi, 1978) 13 Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird, Robert Mulligan, 1962) 14-15 City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931) 17 Fragments Jerusalem (Shivrei t’munot Yerushalayim, Ron Havilio, 1986-1996) 21 Wanderes of the Desert (El haimoune, Nacer Khemir, 1986) 23 Stillness in Motion Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2005) 27 There was a Father (Chichi ariki, Ozu Yasujiro, 1942) 27 Erice’s dreamers (La morte rouge, 2006) 33 Gaudí’s Dragons (personal photo) 35 Doubles (Double life of Véronique, La double vie de Véronique, Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991) 37 Door to the Sky (Bab al-sama maftouh, Farida Ben Lyzaid, 1989) 39, 41 Sleeping Man (Nemuru otoko, Oguri Kohei, 1996) 43 Strange Case of Angelica (O...

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