A rare cinematic treat…

There are some things the French do better than rest of us. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is as perfect an evocation of the first lines of Dante as I have seen anywhere:

In the midway of this our mortal life,
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray
Gone from the path direct: and e’en to tell
It were no easy task, how savage wild
That forest, how robust and rough its growth,
Which to remember only, my dismay
Renews, in bitterness not far from death.
Yet to discourse of what there good befell,
All else will I relate discover’d there.

If you can get along to the QFT this week, just do it!

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  • perci

    spot on Mick, the French do this better; they have a great existentialist tradition.

    Broadly speaking other western cultures have sold out to materialism, and dumbed down.

    ” Let your imagination set you free” is a motif of this film, which I’ve not yet seen.

    However relating to norn iron I do hold to the notion that if you can imagine a united ireland, see how it can become, see how it can work , there’s a great chance of making that dream happen.

    An old teacher said to me once
    “If you can remember paradise you’ve a chance to enter it” children know this.

  • Mick Fealty

    For the sake of balance, I should have added that there are many things they do worse… 😉

  • perci

    true indeed they hate happy endings to movies 😉

  • Comrade Stalin

    Mick, can you do us a favour and leave the anti-bot “type in the word you see” thing turned off, until someone has tested it and confirmed that it works ? I can’t explain how frustrating it is to type in a 4000-character rant and then be denied from posting it. Although maybe that was the point .. 🙂

  • Perci, how can you flit from an imagined United Ireland to Paradise so easily? Have you been accumulating Ryanair air miles? 😉

  • “I found me in a gloomy wood”

    Not the sentiments of a true culcie like myself!!

  • susan

    “For the sake of balance, I should have added that there are many things they do worse… ;-)”
    Posted by Mick Fealty

    Yes, Mick, rest assured we in the weary world of Slugger know les Français will never match the Irish genius for haute couture, fine cuisine, and erotic nuance.

    But quite right, they do make gorgeous films. :o)

  • If you’re looking for a happy ending to a movie with a similar theme, you could do worse than check out an Irish language programme broadcast on TG4 recently – Slán Mar A Bhéas Mé, a film about the cataclysmic stroke that befell Gearóid Ó Cairealláin, Lá founder and Irish language activist on July 31 2006. On the same day, in 2007, he married his partner and stood up from his wheelchair to do so. For a while after his initial stroke, he was in intensive care and funeral arrangements were being made. He is continuing on the road to recovery.

  • Comrade Stalin

    If you’re looking for a happy ending to a movie with a similar theme, you could do worse than check out an Irish language programme broadcast on TG4 recently

    Are there subtitles ? Most people won’t be able to understand a word of it.

  • Schnabel does some great work. I started keeping track of him when I saw “Basquiat” a while back.

    “Diving Bell” is based on the true life story of Jean-Dominique Bauby. He suffered a stroke when still quite young … I believe in his late 30’s or early 40’s. It would be easy to tag the film with the usual cliches about victory-over-adversary etc – it’s anything but a Hollywood-type ‘personal triumph’ story.

    Janusz Kaminski is brilliant. He’s a very skilled cinematographer who brings real mastery to the handling of light.

    Another film by Schnabel worth seeing is “before Night Falls”. It explores the world of gay Cuban poet, Reinaldo Arenas.