Monday, November 06, 2006

Culture-oriented Sunday

Vow! I want more days like this! I had a most culture-oriented Sunday and I felt it was just what I needed. Not much of it was work-related, but maybe it was only for the good.

I saw two films: The Falcons (1970) by the Hungarian István Gaál and The Dark Mirror (1946) by Robert Siodmak. We also viewed the last week's episode of Six Feet Under that I had taped. On top of that, I was able to finish The Lincoln Lawyer. I also had time to start a new book, T. Jefferson's Parker California Girl.

The Falcons was a truly compelling film, something which the theaters don't show anymore. It's a film about training falcons and the best way to interpret the film is to see it as a political satire, with falcons representing the spies and snitches working inside the Communist system and praying on the ordinary citizens (which are symbolized by herons and magpies). The film trusted on the spectator to understand the symbolism and didn't give out any information on the characters and why they were doing what they were doing. There's only one scene in the film that says that falcon farm is owned by state. Other than that, it's just a falcon farm in the middle of Hungarian pusta plains. Strangely compelling and quietly rewarding.

The Dark Mirror, on the other hand, was a nice little film noir from the early-to-middle years in the noir cycle, about identical twins who are played by Olivia de Havilland. The tricks were very good, and so was de Havilland. The plot was a bit forced and the outcome was pretty obvious, even though I had some doubts in the middle as I was hoping for some twists. The ending was forcedly happy, but the photography was very good and there's always something very intriguing about the early noir's fascination with double identities and mirror personalities.

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly has been hailed as one of Connelly's best, but I wouldn't say so. It was pretty cool and detached for Connelly, whose series characters, Harry Bosch and Terry Caleb, are quite hotheaded and deeply involved in their cases. In this one, there's not the same dramatic drive. I was hoping that the plot would have more twists (there's a scene in which I thought it would get as complex as the best Bosch novels), but it's surprisingly straight-forward. Nevertheless, a very entertaining and suspenseful novel.

Okay, now I'll have to get back to work.

No comments: