Saturday, February 07, 2009

Watching for... BIRDSONG (2008, Spain, Albert Serra)

BIRDSONG ("EL CANT DELS OCELLS" 2008, Albert Serra, Spain)

Played TIFF 2008, VIFF 2008

"Most of the historical representations of the Traveling Magi are dramatized after the fact and he wanted to consider what it might have been like as it was happening. He wanted to strip away the theological overlay of thousands of years — which places the story of the Traveling Magi in direct service to the spiritual legitimization of the Christ Child — and return the story to original physical events. By choosing such simplicity and lack of narrative adornment, Serra reduced or abstracted the legend to its essential poetry." Oct 24 2008, twitchfilm

"I chose Serra’s previous film, Honor of the Knights, as my favorite film of 2006, so I was delighted to see his latest – similarly meditative but funnier and more cosmic – receive greater critical exposure. Ostensibly telling the biblical story of the journey of the magi, the film is more interested in its experiential affects than its narrative details, utilizing the powers of long takes and long shots to explore and illuminate barren landscapes, the passage of time, and fragile but resilient human activity. It feels like the ending of Rossellini’s Stromboli expanded into a feature. Serra’s a unique talent, combining a lofty vision with an earthy temperament and a heavy doses of spontaneity." Jan 8 2009, Doug Cummings, filmjourney

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