Friday 29 June 2012

Walking and Transformation and thoughts on nature

I just saw What is this Film called Love? at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. It's basically a walking tour of Mexico City made by Edinburgh based film-maker Mark Cousins with his imaginary companion the late Russian film-maker Sergei Eisenstein. Along the way Cousins makes remembered diversions to Monument Valley (USA), Moscow and Edinburgh, quoting poetry at various points from Frank O'Hara and Norman MacCaig.

It's a film about the transformational value of walking, with some interesting ideas about shot composition in film-making and some magnificent scenery. Unfortunately I found elements of the film irritating and pretentious (particularly the voice-over), which prevented me from fully appreciating the ideas in the film until I left the cinema.

Most interesting perhaps was the contrast made between Pushkin's concept of indifferent nature - the idea that nature and human life are separate and nature is a bystander to everything that goes on in the human world and Eisenstein's idea of non-indifferent nature, in which humans and nature are closely interconnected. (I've looked for references to these particular thinkers' ideas on these themes on the web but haven't found any yet, it's a topic I may come back to).

It's certainly a film that will keep you thinking long after you've left the cinema, and may even inspire you to walk around your own city with your eyes more wide open than usual! 

What is this Film called Love? is part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, you can see it at 19:35, 30 June in Cineworld 5.

Disclaimer: I have a press pass for the Edinburgh International Film Festival and saw a free press screening of this film.

As ever, text in red contains hyperlinks to other pages where you can find out more.


Christina said...

Interesting. I think humans are part of nature and the natural order/cycle. We just choose to think we are better.

Naquillity said...

so many wonderful film reviews. i think there's several i'd watch. the one of the zoo animals being in captivity... it's sad to see how much of their spirit is lost in their small space. sounds like most of these films evoke an emotion deep within. look forward to seeing more reviews. have a great weekend~

Carver said...

All of your posts on films are very interesting. This looks like one that I would enjoy (as do others in the other posts).