Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Storytelling Experiment

The Ugly One (2013) - Baudelaire
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In this experiment, Baudelaire visualizes a story told, narrated by Masao Adachi, Japanese filmmaker/National Red Army terrorist. The Ugly One tells a Marienbad-esque tale of Michel and Lili, Lebanese guerrilla fighters and their chance meeting where they remember meeting each other but can't recall their memories. Something happened to their daughter. Was it a botched kidnapping and a car bomb plot? Adachi's personal experience and memories bleeds into the filmmaking. Against modern day Lebanon backdrop (and many bombed out locations), actors who play the roles acknowledge that they are improvising with given materials on camera at times. There are heated arguments amongst characters about the region's complicated political landscape. The current politics are reflected in the conversations as well. But like in Grandrieux's Masao Adachi elegy, It Maybe That Beauty Has Strengthened Our Resolve, Adachi, after all these years, remains a romantic at heart. Memories, regrets play a big part in The Ugly One. Here, Baudelaire makes an interesting and beautiful film from someone's old memories, but also succeeds in making the film being completely relevant in the world of today.

*I have only a couple of films left from Art of the Real series. As I said before, this series has been a treasure trove for me.

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