The Wendy storyline/character felt a bit contrived, but other than that I had a great time with this. Needed a laugh after a day like today, and this had plenty. Good to see Philip Baker Hall working (and sharing scenes with Isiah Whitlock Jr!). The entire cast is fantastic and they each consistently make interesting choices with these lines.
“Definition of serious: blah, blah, blah, blah.”
“Cry, c'mon that’s life honey.”
The first 40-50 minutes of this reaaally tests (in fact, borderline abuses) the empathy machine in a way that that one long scene from Husbands does, but without the sadism that strung that scene together. Cassavetes’ characters inhabit a heightened and emotionally naked reality so well that it eventually begins to feel like reality itself, because you connect with their honesty. The first half of this rarely ever…
2nd Pelin Esmer film.
The first half of this film is incredibly immersive cinema.
The train crawls across dark suburbs, city nights, and vast country sides; mimicking the flow of time and using the most banal of incidents to inspire the imagination and draw us further in. It's much like Leyla's poetic mind, and like her the story is going nowhere fast as it gently rolls it's central conflict into the fray without so much as disturbing it's rhythm.…
You can watch Ashes and Embers for free on Sankofa TV, as well as other films from Haile Gerima and Shirikiana Aina such as Bush Mama and Footprints of Pan Africanism. All you need is a free account, which takes about 5 seconds to make.
To be brief with my thoughts, while I conceptually connect with Gerima’s approach of weaving lived dreams, memories and realities into one, I think that this films execution is threadbare at points and relies too heavily…
Leaving to hear my heart beat
Leaving to hear the voices lost to silence
Facing difference to discover
Other face colors
Of my face
Discovering other stories, other feelings
Leaving to see the birth
of another part of myself
Buried in pain,
These faces—bashful, dignified, strong
are what I have always known
With all that, I made my way
Why this choice?
Why did these people choose
Not to give me
this part of themselves?
Didn’t watch this today, but I watched it last year. I’m reading Cassavetes on Cassavetes right now, and there are so many interesting tidbits from the man himself in regards to this film’s legacy.
For one, he openly admits to severely overplaying the improvisational aspect for the sake of press. The story is actually very structured and scripted, and Cassavetes would demand Stanley Kubrick-amounts of takes if he didn’t like something (one unused love scene with Lelia Goldoni was shot…
Personally, I had a lot of fun. This is an exponential improvement over Fear & Desire, and though some people mark Paths of Glory or Dr. Strangelove as the first time "Kubrick becomes Kubrick", I think it’s actually here that Kubrick begins. Elements like the dollhouse confrontation, one-point perspective dream sequence, and the dancing ballerina (played by Kubrick’s second wife, Ruth Sobotka) bring a dash of the surreal to this otherwise novelistic genre-film. It provides a glimpse of the artist that will…