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Showing posts from January, 2015

Review: L'Eclisse (1962)

Enigmatic, world-weary, capricious and bewitching, such sort of women that preoccupy L’Avventura and La Note is also the focal point of L’Eclisse. All of them were played by Monica Vitti, with such confidence and aptitude that one cannot help wondering if Antonioni had them all tailor-made, or simply that Vitti was born for these roles. Claudia, Valentina, Vittoria and Vitti all seem the same person with only slight variations.
After all, maybe one shouldn’t bother too much with the distinction of life and art when both are so confusedly intermingled in Italian cinema. Especially with Antonioni’s films, the quotidian is often made ambiguous by virtue of the auteur-director’s invariable reliance on the more instinctive mode of storytelling. Antonioni once said: “I never discuss the plots of my films. I never release a synopsis before I begin shooting…I depart from the script constantly. I may film scenes I have no intention filming. Things suggest themselves on locations, and we improv…

Landscape Art and Frederic Edwin Church

Landscape art can be elusive. In any art exhibition that aggregates paintings from a variety of genres, those with the subjects of clouds, mountains, trees, forests, river, ocean etc. are very likely the least interesting ones for the most ignorant of gallery-goers, who might, however, still notice the vivid colours and the superb brushworks before hastening on towards the more popular showstoppers. Colours and brushworks- the only attributes those viewers can recall of the paintings that quickly become no more than a passing memory, almost negligible in their perceived role of acting as a foil to the more notable masterpieces.
Our instinctive apathy towards landscape painting might be partly ascribed to the general ignorance of Nature. History testifies to how precious little do we know of the nature we’ve inhabited, how frequently such wanting of knowledge abets the selfish people to gratify their avarice at the expense of the harmony amidst all living souls. Every voice in Nature i…

The Centenary

* Edvard Munch, Jealousy (1907)

That awful sound would not stop. The chanting, the interminable chanting, the muffled sound of which showed no sign of abating. Its monotony compounded her distress- after a grueling day of grieving, even the tenderest sob provoked her.

She compelled herself to reflect on what really happened, raking up the memory that was too tragic and searing to be deemed realistic only a few days earlier.

We were happy, she recalled. Of course such merriment was punctuated with contretempts, but they were never bitter, and quickly forgotten.
Were I ever content to dwell in a household where no evils had ever admitted the entrance? She wondered.

Yet there was this inclination to rebel, this unmitigated lust for a hazardous adventure. Out of this dreary, dingy, provincial home was what had been preying on her mind all summer. That summer, when the ceaseless rain could hardly relieve the interminable heat, when some nameless phantoms pestered her so i…