Sunday, 16 January 2011

Little Lights in the Darkness

   Long, windy nights with fever and flu on the loose are the best times for wrapping up in covers with tea.  I have been reading Leonora Carrington's The House of Fear but a few films and things have caught my eye:

  •    Toell the Great an animation from Estonia about a giant who lived on the island of Saareema.  Follow the link in the you tube comments section to read the story of the film first (it will make more sense this way), and maybe don't show the film to small children (nightmares!).  Recently Henk of  Outsider Environments Europe posted about two windmills on Saareema which were made into statues of Toell the giant and his wife, Piret.
  • Sib (Eng: The Apple), an Iranian film about two twelve-year-old girls who have been locked inside their house since birth.  It is apparently based on a true story, with many of the people involved in the story acting in the film.  It was directed by Samira Makhmalbaf (when she was only 18!).
  • Learn how to make your own paneer (a soft Indian cheese for cooking with).  So easy and so yummy in curry!
  • Listen to Hardanger fiddle music played by Haakon Solaas.  There have been a lot of recordings featuring Hardanger fiddles being played around my place in recent months, but not many of them are freely available online, so only the one link.  The first time I heard this instrument it was not being used to play Norwegian  music but something rather more experimental -- but I am a huge fan of Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh's brilliant music, both traditional Irish tunes, and tunes of his own making. 
  • And lastly, though problematic, the ethnofiction Nanook of the North is a film I had been meaning to watch for some time.  A much better film to do with Inuit culture would be the Inuit-made, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner.  It is a retelling of an Inuit legend and was filmed entirely in Inuktituk (there are English subtitles).  In writing this post I just discovered that all three films of the Atanarjuat trilogy are available to watch in HD online here! I've yet to see the final two films, but I was really impressed by Atanarjuat (the first film) when I saw it in theatres. Though the beginning of it is a little disorienting, it is absolutely brilliant, and really worth sticking with. 
Hopefully something in that list will capture your interest for a little while at least on one of these wintry evenings.  Though it must be admitted, the long nights are slipping away now;  today the sun didn't even set until 4pm! 

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