Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Cruise and Gleaning

First off, 
A hearty thanks to Kim for getting this thing to work.

On to a couple of brief reviews.

The Cruise - This movie is fascinating.  Listening to Timothy "Speed" Levitch talk about the subjects he loves is somewhat akin to an intellectual hurricane:  dizzying, surreal, terrifying, yet beautiful unto itself.  I do not wish to give much away, as the whole movie is Speed's commentary, particularly regarding the Titular Cruise, which is best understood by watching the movie.  Speed takes a lot of viewpoints that will upset people.   Especially because of how valid they are.
A sidenote:  At the time of filming, Speed commented on how his family was disappointed in his perceived "failure."  Since this film was made, he's appeared in a number of works.  Goes to show you how unpredictable life can be, ay?
Check out Speed's blog at

The Gleaners and I - This was very interesting also.  This film almost seemed like a stream of consciousness work, as Varda leaps about from place to place both geographically and in her head.  What I found most fascinating is that there are actually laws and cultural expectations for gleaning in France.  It makes me wonder such legal terms and definitions exist here in the U.S., but I'll leave that to a later poster.  It is amusing to ponder the possibility of legal rules for how, when, and why you could dumpster dive.  

Rant over.  Jonathan out.


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  2. I watched The Cruise fairly recently thanks to Ellen's generosity with her library. It certainly is the most fascinating character study I've seen. You simply can't make up a character like Speed Levitch. He is a tour guide in New York City, but that only seems to be his secondary occupation. His mind is constanly perceiving the world around him in ways that challenge any point of view you're likely to encounter. This makes him a philosopher more than anything, and he expresses his philosophy through purely poetic means. I also don't want to give too much away, but I highly recommend this film to anybody wishing to find a little more meaning to life.

  3. Though i haven't seen The Cruise, I was delighted by The Gleaners and I. The woman who made it, in my opinion, is brilliant. Though it ran longer than it probably needed to, she does a thorough job of presenting several human possibilities of the word "gleaner"-those who pick up food off of the ground to those who pick off of the trees to treasure hunters who find their goods in trash piles. Not only did I learn what a gleaner was, I learned how it applies to modern lives.

    My favorite aspect of her film is how irreverently she treats structure. The part about the dancing lens cap propelled the story forward in no way but is stuck in my head. Her examination of her own age and how it affects her hands seems irrelevant to the story until you realize that she's talking about herself in the context of things that people don't want anymore. And the clock without hands was an interesting insight into her thoughts about her life. She uses the trucks not only as an effective break between her subjects but as another tool to let the viewer into her thought process.

    im more than fond of this one.