Tuesday, May 19, 2009

in the furthest country that you did not make up

I'm on a roll! Look at me recommending things 2 for 2! My allergies seem out to kill me, or at least make me extraordinarily lazy. So today's recommendation is not lowering your standards of personal hygiene or accountability and spending days in bed coughing and drinking sugar-free Kool Aid, as I have done.

But, metaphorically, drink my sugar-free Kool-Aid, as I recommend to you:

Beshkempir, the Adopted Son

There are many reasons why I am Recommending this film to you.

Pretension and Elistism. it was made in Kyrgyzstan, a country you would love to play in Scrabble (if you could play proper nouns), even if you probably can't find it on a map (did you ever buy that shower curtain I told you about?). It will make you seem so cultured at cocktail parties, to casually say: "I saw this great Kryzgz movie the other day..."

Sociopolitical and historical awareness. This is one of the first films made in Kyrgyzstan since the fall of the Soviet Union & released internationally. Film has actually been really important in that country / soviet state, as the USSR used film to indoctrinate citizens (as they did elsewhere). Probably, this will be the first Kyrzgz film you'll have seen.

Enjoyable Film in and of Itself. What? Pretense and cultural awareness are not enough reasons for you to watch a movie? Wimp. This highly visual film may lack the CGI 3D effects you have come to expect from the cinema, but the story it tells is timeless. It could take place in virtually any time, save for a few excursions to the movies in the film. The film would work just as well if it were silent. The simple narrative works. The characters aren't archetypes, but humans, but they're comprehensible enough to be relatable, even from what will most likely be a vast cultural, geographical, and linguistic divide.

Reasons other than the 3 or 4 the few critics who've noticed this film have given. Here is what you know about this film from a few Google searches. It's in black & white with "strategic," "sparse" color (and I don't mean gimmicky black & white, like Schindler's List or Guy Maddin - and I appreciate Schindler's List & Maddin's work, but you know what I mean). Some critics / summaries have tactlessly given away the entire plot, which should not be as big of a sin as we make it out to be, but it's a coming of age story (but what does that mean? Whose age? Coming from what to what?). It's a relatable story, so much so that it feels like a memory, a memory from a pleasant perspective that's disjointed temporally. Perhaps it's cultural tourism, perhaps the alien landscape exacerbates the familiar emotive aspects of this story. Perhaps I'm merely re-bloviating the same reasons that critics have given for seeing this movie in the past. Regardless, I highly recommend that you watch it.

The DVD has sadly been discontinued, but you can get it from Netflix, or order it used from Amazon.


Post a Comment

hi. please be nice, and please don't be a spamming bot or something. we really do read every comment!