Friday, 13 July 2012

A return voyage to India? Nearly. . .

If you've been keeping up with my aggressively optimistic summer reading list, you'll know that I recently read E. M. Forster's novel A Passage to India (first mentioned here). If you've been following my blog for a while, you'll also be aware of the fact that I love word play. I thought that for this post, I could be tremendously clever (not really) and link my previous literary experience to a new NOTD, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. The polish I selected was just not feelin' it today. It went on just okay, and then three nails got almost immediately flubbed (to use the technical term). Rather than persevere, which today, with so, so, so much heat, would likely have just let me frustrated, I instead threw in the towel and wiped my nails clean.
OPI's "Jewel of India"
I'm sure I'll come back to this particular colour of polish eventually, which, by the way, is called "Jewel of India"; hence the opportunity for word play between it and Forster's novel. In the meantime, I'd like to fill you in with a review of the most recent film I've watched: "Il Deserto Rosso." I mentioned this movie, along with a couple of others, in the post immediately preceding this one, so if you'd like to see what will likely be next on the movie review roster, feel free to scroll on down! I'm now thinking of the announcer on "The Price is Right" (it's a long running TV game show if you've never heard of it) telling the next contestant to "Come on down!" Please tell me I'm not alone in my enjoyment of cheesy game shows. Please?

Anyway, back to the film. This movie is from 1964, was directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, and starred Monica Vitti and Richard Harris. If you would classify yourself as a somewhat casual movie watcher, meaning you see movies just for the mindless entertainment of it, then DISCLAIMER: this is not the film for you! If I had not been so committed to seeing this film the entire way through to get the benefit of hearing spoken Italian, I would quite possibly have found myself banging my head against the wall before it even reached the halfway mark. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a horrendous movie by any means. It's just a very artistic film that meets you with odd dialogue, drab colours, and less than thrilling '60s haircuts at every turn. I can appreciate this film as a work of art, but it won't be one of my go-to favourites in the years to come. 

"Il Deserto Rosso" deals largely with the theme of depression and an existential nihilistic mentality which pervades throughout all aspects of the film. If you can watch a clinically depressed woman stagger about in landscapes of poison-spewing factories and lakes yellowed by the ooze of toxic waste, then more power to you. It's certainly an interesting movie, and one that juxtaposes an attempt to find meaning in life with man's own destruction of his environment in a very striking way, but I feel fairly certain that I would have better enjoyed the same concept displayed in a series of photographs at an art gallery (I'm thinking of something along the lines of Ed Burtynsky).

If this concept appeals to you, and you, like me, appreciate foreign films, but would like a little more action and intrigue, I would suggest the 2008 Italian film "Gomorrah." I'm not going to review this movie on here, but if you are interested, it deals with multiple plotlines surrounding the Mafia in southern Italy; one of which examines the effect of political corruption on the environmental decisions being made, decidedly underhandedly, in the country.


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