Thursday, March 15, 2007

Stumbled upon Fritz Lang's M!

Via Gracchi, I discovered Fritz Lang's 1931 film, M.

I can't decide if I'm excited. It's great that this film is available online (I also discovered Un Chien Andalou at the same place) but the purist in me dislikes watching such films on a screen that's about the same size as an iPod. On the other hand, I haven't watched these films for decades.

And given that I'm a member of two film clubs but the last screening I went to was some time in November last year; and given that I'm a member of a pretty good DVD library but the last film I borrowed was in the misty time befor six-months-ago; and given that I still have some DVDs I bought in Chennai from over a year ago that I still haven't watched (among them Hou Hsiao Hsien's wonderful Good Men, Good Women), my only hope is that I will chain myself to my computer and watch these films.

Oh, and on Google Videos, I discovered the 1968 Peter Davis documentary Hearts and Minds.

But what am I thinking: here is M.


Alok said...

Oh, there are more films on public domain. I had linked to some of them here

not really worth seeing for the first time but...

Space Bar said...

Alok, thanks! Yes, it is nice to revisit these films, but honestly, if it weren't for the fact that films like Un Chein are not available in libraries and all, I really wouldn't bother. Thanks for the link.

Gracchi said...

I have to say I agree with you- I wouldn't bother myself but my hope was that someone might stumble across my blog and watch it online whereas they might not bother to go and get the DVD. There must be a potential audience out there like that.

Space Bar said...

Gracchi: Having said that, I think of all the stuff I might find online that is so useful. Un Chien Andalou, like I said in my comment above, is not available anywhere in India. I'd like to have screened it at Film Appreciation workshops. Now I know I can. It's not great, the transfer, or the viewing at that size, but at least it's there.

Thanks, by the way. I've enjoyed reading your posts on cinema.

Ludwig said...

one of these days, someone will have to sit us down and explain Un Chien Andalou again. saw it at a Super 8 class aeons back, and not a whole lot chamkoed. later read up stuff, and some of it chamkoed (not until one encountered Lorca did one realize that he thought the title was a derog. reference to his Andalusian background), but it's still a riddle wrapped in a mystery cloaked in an enigma, and it might stay that way.

another (much longer) such enigma was Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublyov. one marathon movie, lots of mysteries, couple of "aha" moments.

dtduliun: High Eldar name for a kind of chewing gum. The gum is made from the sap of the bigfun bark. The bigfun tree itself is believed to grow in the lower reaches of the Anduin, below the falls of Thrass.

Space Bar said...

Ludwig: I watched the film this morning as well, and what stood out for me was how often we try to explain a purely visual experience through words and are discomfited when we are unable to do so.

I've read several 'explanations' for Un Chien as well, one of them a rather clever play on a French saying to explain the ants in the hand. But it is all rather unsatisfactory. The film is much more than a verbal correlation of shot to language.

Andrei Rublev was puzzling? Why? More than, for instance, Mirror?

And I like the thought of the elves chewing gum in the old forests of middle earth!

anita & amit said...

hey, hope you got the mails i sent to your yahoo address. if not, mike, the ed of 10th rasa, saw your msg on our blog and said this: If it's not in your local bookstore, demand it!!
Fight for your nonsense!
Your podsnapper,