clouds

 

Quite a week around these parts. A bit of a family matter made for a whole lot of downtime, which in turn led to a lot of films consumed (and a lot of books as you might have noticed on Instagram). It wasn’t the sort of week that allowed for a trip to the multiplex…so screenings were a no-go. There will be plenty of time for that in the weeks ahead.

Then again, there will also be episodes of “House of Cards” and “Daredevil” to watch, so…

#52FilmsByWomen continued this week with Deepa Mehta’s WATER.

Deepa Mehta is a director I should be far more well-acquainted with than I am…which is to say I only know her resume and have never been witness to one of her films until this week. She’s a heavy hitter where Canadian filmmakers are concerned, so my ignorance of her work is about as unforgivable as being ignorant of someone like David Cronenberg. Bless me mother, for I have sinned…

As an entry point into her work, I’m not sure I could have picked a better one than WATER. For the uninitiated, the film is about an Indian temple that is a convent-brothel-prison hybrid for widows in India. It’s the early 20th century, and widows are not supposed to remarry. Many of them are brought here as very young women, both to be taken in but also to be prostituted out. Two of the youngest form a kinship, the older of which catches the eye of an intelligent suitor.

At the risk of saying something foolish, WATER strikes me as the sort of story no man could properly tell. It is a deeply rooted critique of a terrible form of patriarchy, and no man wants to loom that staunchly at his own reflection. It is a very nuanced narrative of daughters, sisters, mothers, and wives that feels like it’s coming from the inside-out. Every whisper is enormously charged; every glance both begs for mercy and burns with condemnation.

Quite simply, WATER is one of the most stunning and powerful movie I’ve seen in a long time. If nothing else, I’m happy to have taken the #52 project this far since it has allowed me to finally catch-up with WATER.
Here’s the week at hand…

 

 

Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
THE STEEL HELMET – If you ever want to see what war through the eyes of a veteran looks like, this is a great place to start.
ROMA – Weird and Italian…just how I like ’em.
LOCKE – I feel really dumb for not catching up with this sooner.
BREAKING AWAY – This is the sort of “Hangin’ Out” 70’s movie that I love.
THE ISLAND – A little bit of Bay-hem made for a good palette-cleanser after Oscar night
WATER – A high candidate for best film in the series so far.
THE PANIC IN NEEDLE PARK – I need a hug.

 

Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
M*A*S*H – I got transfixed when the trailer for this came on TCM. A viewing became a must in short order.
MARTY – I’m not complaining, but how the hell did this ever win Best Picture?
IN & OUT – “What a fabulous window treatment”
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY – Nothing like a classic screwball comedy to cap off a week of heavy-watching.

 

Boxscore for The Year
35 First-Timers, 32 Re-Watched
10 Screenings
67 Movies in Total

How’s about you – seen anything good?