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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.
Essayist, teacher, and critic of art films, Linda C. Ehrlich has written extensively about Asian and European cinema. Her commentary on the Spanish film The Spirit of the Beehive (El espíritu de la colmena, director Víctor Erice) appears on the Criterion DVD of the film. She has edited The Cinema of Víctor Erice and co-edited Cinematic Landscapes: Observations on the Visual Arts and Cinema of China and Japan. Cinematic Reveries reveals another of her talents – her creative output as a poet. She has published works in international literary journals and three collections of poetry: In the Breathing Time, Night Harbour, and Bodegón. Currently, she is engaged in connecting her poetry to the theme of dance on screen.