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Archive for December 13th, 2010

by Sam Juliano

The collective consciousness these days seems acutely focused on that maddening but joyously frantic annual tradition known as “Christmas,” a time when nerves are frayed, wallets are emptied, and road traffic has achieved that wonderful state of suspended animation known as “gridlock.”  Yet aside from these relatively minor concerns, there’s some excitement in the air, some vacation time at hand, and the prevailing opinion that “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!”  When the pressure does get the best of you, just sit back, unwind, and head over to Laurie Buchanan’s Speaking From the Heart, a place that will allow and encourage you to apply some perspective and a calming influence to both cope with and be enriched by life’s experiences, even in the most trying circumstances.  As always the holiday season unfailingly inspires cultural awareness, which invariably translates into a busy schedule for indoor venues, especially with plummeting temperatures in the northeast and midwest regions, and for those with the movie bug, it’s a time to engage in that often exasperating yearly venture of putting together the “ten best list.”  Yeah, it’s arbitrary and subject to immediate alteration the very next day, but it allows some of us to stand up on our soap box and tell the world why they’re right (or wrong) and to categorize what we reckon were the most special indoor moments of the past ten months. (more…)

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(Czechoslovakia 1948 10 min)

Director Karel Zeman

by Stephen Russell-Gebbett

Inspirace is a gorgeous work of stop-motion art made entirely from glass.

In the beginning the artist (Zeman himself) peers into a tiny vulnerable world for inspiration (inspirace) and sees how, like the world’s glassy scenery, love has a soft, smooth side and a jagged, tearing edge.

A girl is formed from a pearl that leaves a scallop shell and bobs to the water’s surface where it bursts into flower. A man, dressed like an old Italian clown (one thinks of Murano figurines), is born from a dandelion seed. The petals form her dainty skirt, the seed-head his flamboyant collar. He falls in love with her as she skates with grace and poise. He admires her, worships her, desires her, falling to his knees. The world entire is more beautiful when she is around: waving reeds, galloping horses, coral, the shimmer of warped light.

And yet a sheet of ice forms between them, through which he can only long and yearn. She pays no heed to his declarations and continues to spin balletically, drawing sinuous and sensuous spirals with her sharp feet. His soul is aching. He grasps his head with his hands and his agony smashes the barrier between them, like screaming love could turn a roulette wheel in Run Lola Run.

(more…)

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