One of my favorite movies is this 70s French film, part of Criterion Collection an experimental movie by a 25 year old female writer/director. The movie is about 3 and half hours long and was filmed in 5 weeks, depicting the daily routine of the main character a middle-aged widow living with her teenage son in an apartment who earns her income by prostitution. This movie was filmed with all female cast and crew and is noted to be one of the masterpiece for feminist movies although the director has been reluctant to the feminist labels claims.
At the time I watched this movie I was at a somewhat judgmental mindset about people's choices in life and I credit my mental growth and metamorphism into liberation from those thought to this film. Watching the scenes I could relate with the character as she took care of her house and her child just as any respectable women would. At times the movie could feel boring as bulk of it is watching the main character performing mundane chores with details around the house day after day. Camera often times show her day dreaming without exploring what those dreams are where you are only left with the facts as they fold through the frame, she is a hardworking respectable women.
It is only towards the second half of the movie that I realized her means of income is through prostitution, meeting her client in the evenings in her bedroom (the duration of such events are never shows on the film). At that point the question is whether her being a sex worker had any change in how one would perceive her as a human being? even bigger question why would it? and that who are we to judge her and her decisions in earning an income. We know nothing of her history and past and all we are left with knowing she is caring for her son just as any other women on the planet and being a citizen respecting all the rules and regulations set by her society and not harming or stealing. This movie thought me to accept and respect people as they are and that we are equal in our process of developing to be the best version of ourselves, because we are all trying the best we can and not one of us is ahead of others in the journey of reaching enlightenment in this life.
I found this documentary [What Remains] about a contemporary Photogrpaher Sallly Mann absolutely fascinating. While her choice of camera is a large format and black and white film, she prefers to shoot where she lives in a ranch in Lexington, VA with her family. What I found interesting about her work is that unlike some photographers she chose not to travel to exotic places, but to capture life as it happens around her. It was in fact the portrait photography of her children while playing about that got her the public fame, I believe she made a book of that portrait series however because some of these photos involved child nudity she faced with heavy criticism for exposing her children and making financial gain from them. That controversy aside I find her portrait work absolutely stunning, and her work has definitely made an impact on me to see and capture the world around me with a different outlook and to connect with life and time as it passes from a different prospective.
I am not much for magazines, but somehow Bella Grace has harped melodies to my heart, it is a charming women magazine printed quarterly, which I find so inspiring with breath-taking photography and uplifting message of self-love and random act of kindness to yourself and others. Just by looking through its pages I can’t help but the desire to grab my camera and head out the door to capture the beauties this world has to offer. I bought the newest copy while I am planning my birthday weekend. This year for the first time in many years I am staying in town. I usually like to travel on my birthday and spend the day exploring new places, however this year is different, so I am using the magazine for ideas on spending my special day to the fullest here in town.
Over the weekend I watched "A City of Sadness" a Taiwanese film at Austin Film Society. It tells a story of a family struggling in silence for inclusion in the society and searching for their cultural identification while all the historical events unfolding in Taiwan in 1940s with the arrival of mainland China, right after the departure of Japanese colonial era.
Aside from the beauty of the landscape scenery alone, or the cinematography, usage of same landmarks throughout the movie to create a concept of passing time and absolutely satisfactory long shots - the movie answered a lot of questions for me such as to why Taiwanese nationals struggle with the sense of identity, the confusion over the many languages spoken there, and the crisis of flying the flag in international events or using their country name freely! The Q/A at the end was also very helpful to put the storyline in perspective, it was indeed a remarkable movie that I can speak very highly of.