I saw two films back-to-back this evening. At 6:30 I was able to get a ticket for Palimpsest, a Polish film directed by Konrad Niewolski. This was another film where nothing turns out to be as it appears, and in fact would probably repay repeated viewings. It starts out as a murder mystery/police procedural, but the intensely atonal music and startling strobe-like flashes that appear to be dreams or premonitions kept me on edge throughout the film. The director answered questions (sample question: “What was the story line?”) after the showing.
At 9:30 I saw Jade Warrior, a Finnish-Estonian-Chinese co-production directed by Antti-Jussi Annila. This was a unique amalgamation of Finnish mythology (loosely inspired by the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic), romance, and Chinese wu xia, or historical martial arts film. It turns out that the Sampo predates the MST3K classic, The Day the Earth Froze. Great fun!
I’m having a wonderful time on my weekend movie retreat. It’s also bringing back memories of my time in Cleveland. Miserable as it was in many ways, one of my favorite things about my time there was our Monday night movie club. Every Monday, anything between two and a dozen of us would meet at the Stone Oven Bakery for dinner, then walk up Lee Road to the Cedar-Lee Cinema where we would watch the latest foreign or art film. After the movie we would all meet again at The Pub on Lee, where the management was generous enough to let us sit there for a couple of hours nursing a cup of coffee or a beer, while we talked about the movies we had just seen. I never seem to find the time to see movies like that in the theater any more, and when I do it’s usually by myself.