Tuesday, November 17, 2015

From Ashes To Ashes And Flowers

Al Jolson's grave
The day started out taking my mom's ashes to the cemetery.  I did ask if I could have a few spoonfuls of ash to keep and they said, yes, of course.  Her ashes will soon be within 100 yards of Al Jolson's remains, so I'm sure she'll keep well entertained.   And if no one else has done it yet, she'll let him know that blackface doesn't cut it any more.  In December, on my brother's birthday, we'll do a small family ceremony.  I'm sure my mom and brother will be catching up on things. 

The day ended at a film showing sponsored by the LA Times of  Loreak (Flowers), the Spanish entry for an Academy Award for best foreign language film.  In one scene a key character's casket is put into the crematorium, burned up, and then the ashes are collected and put into a plastic bag, and slipped into an urn.  I don't think I've ever taken an urn full of ashes to a cemetery before (though I did go pick them up from the mortuary) and I've never seen such a detailed depiction of a cremation before in a movie.  Or maybe I have and I've forgotten, and this one caught my attention because of this morning's task.

Watching the film  I began to wonder why I couldn't catch a single word of the Spanish.  Nada.  Is Spanish Spanish that different from Mexican Spanish?  No, I've understood bits and pieces of other Spanish movies.  This sounded totally strange.  At the end, I thought it could be Catalan or Basque.  I thought Catalan was more related to Spanish and so picked Basque.

At the end of the film, an LA Times film writer Mark Olsen interviewed the two directors
Jon Garaño and José Mari Goenaga and more gentleman with the film whose name I didn't catch.  And the first question he asked was about having a Basque language film submitted for an Oscar.  (It's still got a long way to go since 81 countries have submitted films in this category.)

I enjoyed the movie.  It had a much slower pace than American films, but that was ok, and the filmmakers said afterward that was deliberate, because the film was about what was in the characters' heads and that takes time to understand.  The story line included a very clever intertwining of events.  It wasn't dense or obscure and if one takes a bit of time to think it through, one can get it, but it was nice to hear from the filmmakers themselves what they tried to do and why.   

This was a good warm up for the Anchorage International Film Festival.  By the way, my last posts never got Feedburned to other blogrolls.  I did a post on the documentaries in competition at AIFF this year.  If you missed that post, it's here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.