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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Keanu Reeves & Rachmaninoff: l'amour, les larmes

"Am I K in your book?" That is what Katherine wonders. Is she K in count Laszlo de Almásy's logbook? To those of you who can remember, the year is 1996 and the movie, The English Patient.
I remember going to the cinema not knowing anything about the film other than the fact that I would get to see the small, slightly pulled-up nose of Juliette Binoche. And back then, that was enough for me.
I never really imagined that it would make such a memorable impression on me. The story deals with topics that continue to fascinate me: history, exploration of the world, marriage, adultery, love and subsequently, loss.

This weekend, during the Oslo International Film Festival, I had the chance to see a couple of movies, one of them being the documentary called Side-by-Side, where Keanu Reeves interviews several movie directors (Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Joel Schumacher, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, among others) to discuss and debate the use of digital cameras versus film cameras. The film gives an excellent tour of how a movie is made and how digital technologies have made their way into the film industry. An eye opener for those of us who don't really know all that happens behind producing a movie.
And it was there, in the middle of the film, that I found out The English Patient was one of the first movies to be edited with digital technology (with a tool called AVID). No wonder those incredible aerial shots of an expansive desert, fading into the face of de Almásy, learning to speak with a Bedouin who describes a mountain the shape of a woman's back.
The debate is far from over but one stark conclusion is that film-based equipment producers have stopped research and development altogether.

To wrap up the weekend I saw the movie that won the 2012 Palme d'Or in Cannes: Amour. And I don't want to say too much except that it is a heartbreaking story about being human: loving, growing old together and inevitably, parting.
There is no background music to the film but there were grief stricken moments when, inside my head, I heard the melody of a piano piece being played. It was Rachmaninoff's Les Larmes - the tears.
And it continued to play on and on, without wanting to leave my head. 

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