— Field Notes



This video is a sample of the quality of work that comes from Fabrica, Benetton’s communication research centre.

Fabrica is located in the Italian Country side near Treviso Italy, in a seventeeth century villa remodeled by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

The Video artist created this piece for the fabrica show at the Centre Pompidou in Paris this fall.

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Pedro Almodóvar —

His new movie is out in the United States, he is now considered a Master of World Cinema , I agree. There is an excellant essay at Green Cine Daily a wonderful blog about Movies. This reviewer (dwhudson) points to lots more reading material about Almodóvar and his new movie Volver.

This is what Mr. Almodóvar says about the theme of the new movie:

“The screenplay is called “Volver”, and it is precisely about death — more than about death itself, the screenplay talks about the rich culture that surrounds death in the region of La Mancha, where I was born. It is about the way (not tragic at all) in which various female characters, of different generations, deal with this culture.”

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Directed by Gela Babluani, this is a dark Euro realist drama about luck. Filmed in black and white very stark; an innocent man chooses to blindly follow another’s fate, un beknowest to him he enters a charnel house where many enter and only one can escape. Benefactors or patrons or handlers, depending on your point of view, place bets on who will escape the deadly fate that awaits them all. A gripping story told in a brutal high contrast black and white. French dialog very eastern European in style, not for the faint of heart






Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo another story of luck, fate and those who prey on and steal the luck others. Metaphysical and otherworldly; these people wager high stakes, running blind folded through a forest and other more dangerous games. Only one will stand at the end. Colorful, filmed in Spain in Spanish, this movie has a very Iberian feel.

The two films are very different in execution and style but share some common themes. I recommend them both.

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This is a Super 8 movie from England

Check it out.

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Cache and the Politics of Forgetting, We are all Guilty

Who sent the tapes? Cache is part political parable part ghost story. In French, Cache means hidden. George the main character has hidden his guilt, even from him self. The guilt returns like a demon and sends him tapes and pictures that stir the memories of Georges guilty past. George has forgotten his guilt, he literally can’t see it, just as we can’t. It is forgotten.

George cannot admit any guilt, he feels no remorse for any thing he does. There is no escape for George he slides deeper and deeper into anger and despair. His guilt reeks a high toll on those around him, his son, his wife and the Algerian and his son. The director is painting us with the same brush. We refuse to admit our guilt, the politics of forgetting. The director has made us accomplices in George’s guilt. We benefit from our place in society just as George has.

The movie inside a movie technique of the director confuses us, are we watching the surveillance footage, are we the surveyor? The point of view of the camera and that of the videos is often the same. We may not have done a foul deed as George did at age six but our cultural status is build on foul deeds, others suffer because of the system that exists in this cruel world. We are guilty by default just like the church says.

The demons of the past sent the tapes.

If you want to read a very well written post on this movie one that influenced me look here

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In a trailer next to the railroad tracks, live a border guard and his wife. The border guard (Barry Pepper) is very bored, his beat is the lonely landscape of the Southwest Texas, chasing down illegal immigrants he has lost his humanity. He brutalizes illegals when they give the slightest provocation, he treats his wife with a similar disrespect. The guard is off guard and will end up killing Melquiades thoughtlessly.

This is a lonely and alienated view of American Society. There are some brighter moments, like the friendship of Pete and Melquiades, and the relationship between a waitress and the guard’s wife. The two women are both trapped in this small town but can relate to each other. Any chance at happiness or even friendship is destroyed by the killing of Melquiades.

Melquiade’s friend Pete needs justice, he wants the local sheriff to go after the killer. The sheriff could care less. Pete discovers the killer’s identity and takes justice in his own hands. Pete had promised to return Melquiades to his village in Mexico if he happens to die in the US. He tries to keep his promise; so begins the almost mythic journey to bury Melquiades.

This is a beautifully made film. The cinematographer Chris Menges captures the flavor of the southwest. There are some beautiful moments like when Pete gets drunk in a small cantina in Mexican village. There are also some brutal and disturbing images of inhumanity and cruelty. I recommend The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

Read what some professionals have to say:
NY Times

Village Voice

Cannes Film Festival

Best Screenplay Award to Guillermo Arriaga

Best Actor Award: Tommy Lee Jones

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