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The House is Black


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I finally had the chance to watch The House is Black, however, this is the first chance I have had to comment on it since my wife and I sat down to watch it several weeks ago.

It wasn

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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I'd love to see this. Is it readily available on DVD?

I'm really interested in new takes on the documentary. I thought Meeting People is Easy was an interesting way to put a "documentary" film together. Sort of a blending of documentary and art film. You see this a lot with short films, but not so much with features.

I have a blog? here at A&F that I sometimes post in.

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I'd love to see this. Is it readily available on DVD?

I'm really interested in new takes on the documentary. I thought Meeting People is Easy was an interesting way to put a "documentary" film together. Sort of a blending of documentary and art film. You see this a lot with short films, but not so much with features.

You can order it through www.facets.org.

Here is another documentary thread you might find interesting.

I am going to look into Meeting People is Easy, thanks for the suggestion.

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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Ash, did you rent this? Buy it? I don't believe you're a Netflix subscriber...

-s.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Ash, did you rent this?  Buy it?  I don't believe you're a Netflix subscriber...

-s.

I did do the trial blockbuster thing for a bit and got in a ton of Bergman viewing.

In the case of The House is Black I purchased it through Facets. You can borrow it as soon as I get it back from another, if you would like.

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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  • 14 years later...

Another fascinating short film.  Two tragedies, one much bigger than the other:  one, that Farrokhzad died in a car wreck at age 32, such that this was her only film.  She sounds like she cut quite the figure, a feminist poet in an Islamic country, adopting two of the kids she met in making this film.  Second, that Doug Cummings essay on his website from 2005 is no longer accessible.

A question I have:  was Farrokhzad quoting the Bible and Koran in this film ironically or sincerely?  I could easily see it being either one.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/9/2020 at 8:31 AM, Andrew said:

A question I have:  was Farrokhzad quoting the Bible and Koran in this film ironically or sincerely?  I could easily see it being either one.

I think that it's absolutely and intentionally both. I think she's asking us to see the lepers in the light of the meaning of those texts--they're God's beloved creations, and capable of reaching for the divine, as much as anyone else. And yet she's also using the irony between the "ugliness" of what we see and the beauty of those scriptural passages to indict those who would use the latter to cover over their disdain for the lepers. I think the mosque scene shows that too. Lepers worship God like anyone else would, yet institutional religion has utterly failed them. And yet, the film would lose much of its power as a film and as a documentary if it only contained the detached/scientific narrator. 

I read somewhere that the film's "images of ugliness" were intended both to provoke compassion in the viewer but also to serve metaphorically for the ugliness of a society that segregates and marginalizes its weakest and most needy members. The pain we see is meant to be a mirror for the viewer to make them uncomfortable. One of the first shots of the film is the face of one of the lepers in a mirror--we're meant to see ourselves in her face but also what we've done to her or let be done to her.

 

Edited by Rob Z
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