Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Signpost Films: A Personal History



There are movies we encounter at certain points in our appreciation for the medium that become, almost by accident, little breakthroughs in our viewing life. They may not be great masterpieces—though they well might—but the important thing is that we have the fortune of meeting up with them at just the right juncture in our development. I think of them as “signpost films”: they take a territory that was previously foggy or unmapped to us and they suddenly make us see and learn something revelatory about this art-form that we love. These encounters make us exclaim, “So, that’s what this movie’s doing!” And it’s a lesson we take with us, carry over and apply, to hundreds of other films we will see in the future.

Before I ask you for yours, here are a few of my personal “signpost films,” ordered by viewing chronology:

  • Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay (1975) taught me that Bollywood cinema was equally composed of strong (1) verbal and (2) visual components. The verbal strengths were easy for me to see as a pre-teen—for months afterward, no day at the playground would pass without a torrent of mock-theatrical references to Amjad Khan’s aperçus. Years later, I would realize the film’s visual debt to westerns, particularly Leone via Kurosawa via Ford.

  • Jean-Pierre Melville’s The Red Circle (1970) was the first foreign-language film I saw as a kid. After the wonderful verbal and musical garrulity of several hundred Bollywood movies, I hardly need explain why this movie came as a shock. By taking away all but the most essential and laconic dialogue, the movie made me lean into it and watch it intently. Ironically, despite the visual innovation of all those Bollywood movies, it took me this (relatively) silent film to see that movies could be a visual medium. And at thirteen, my two strong and silent male adult role models became Amitabh Bachhan and Alain Delon!

  • Sorry, but this next one is not a movie at all but a book. When I was in chemical engineering school, on a typical evening, instead of studying for my thermodynamics or fluid mechanics test, I’d be holed up in a library carrel poring over James Monaco’s The New Wave (1976). By the time I graduated, I practically knew it by heart, but here’s the weird thing—I hadn’t seen a single New Wave film! (Indian import restrictions, long story.) I had built up this elaborate fantasy of the nouvelle vague which I was finally able to test only when I moved to the States. A few things I was drawn to before I saw any New Wave movies: (1) Its serious—not merely fannish—love of Hollywood cinema, and (2) Its reveling in intertextuality, which seemed like a way of extending its uncontainable love of art beyond the borders of simply a single work/film, bursting the borders of that work, through allusion. Also, to me, it was very similar to the way pianist Horace Silver or tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon quoted, embellished, and reconfigured well-known melodies from the jazz repertoire in their solos. It indicated both a playfulness and an omnivorous uncontainability of love for all melodies, not just the melody of the song they happened to be playing at the moment.

  • Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Daughter Of The Nile (1987), my introduction to his work. It taught me: (1) To notice ellipses, which are important because they can be used to (2) disengage cause from effect. After having spent much of my life watching mainstream movies, with their thick and inexorable cause-and-effect progressions and their unshakable belief in psychological realism, these lessons were revelations. I also admired the way Hou ennobled a “humble” genre (the teen movie), set long temps morts sequences at a burger joint (!), and didn’t take cheap shots at youth culture, fashion and music, the way so many high-modernist directors lazily do. I think of Daughter Of The Nile as among the most humanistic teen movies ever made.

  • Because movies mostly record actual people and actual places, we are led to believe that what we are seeing on the screen is something that actually happened to the characters in the story. Unless, of course, we are clearly cued by the movie that we are watching a “dream” (e.g. the soft-focus dissolves and hokey music from old films that would signal our proceeding into a dream-world). Within a narrative, it makes us feel comfortable to know where we are (reality? dream?). The amazing thing about Claire Denis’ films is that she films her actors and their faces and bodies with extraordinary vividness of attention—thus heightening the sense of reality—and then undermines that reality with scenes that are (possibly) subjective cinema, without cueing us. The great scene with Vincent Gallo and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi eyeballing each other to the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” in Nenette Et Boni had me wondering—is this reality or is it a sort of fantasy? Denis Lavant’s dance-floor scene in Beau Travail was clear to me—this scene was subjective cinema, for sure. The next step was to create an entire film—not just one scene—that was made up of an indeterminate blend of objective and subjective cinema. Which is what I believe she did with L’Intrus.

Now, your turn: some of your own “signpost films” that hit you at the right time and changed the way you think about movies? I’d love to know.


* * *

You could say that Brian De Palma’s films have little affinity with the world of nature, but there’s an utterly remarkable moment in Blow Out (1981) that would disprove you. In the opening minutes of the film, Travolta is collecting sounds in a park at night—he’s the sound effects man on a horror cheapie called Co-Ed Frenzy—and his directional mic roves about the park, picking up lovers (Girl: “Who is that guy—some kind of Peeping Tom or something?”), a frog, and then an owl. A couple of seconds later, a car comes crashing over the bridge and dives into the creek, but the owl is on to it in advance (can you see the alertness in its eye, above?), anticipating the event before Travolta has a clue it’s going to happen.

Also, this image with its sharp contrast—Travolta in the deep background, a small splotch on a dark shroud of negative space, the owl fully occupying its territory in the image foreground—communicates two paradoxical things: (1) It unites Travolta and the owl in space and time within the image, and (2) It separates them in space and time because (a) there are several hundred yards of distance between them, not entirely apparent in the image, and (b) the prescience of the owl means that it becomes aware of the accident ahead of time, before Travolta does. Come to think of it, De Palma's use of split screens in his films is often a sort of hybrid of (1) and (2) above: actions united in time (occurring concurrently), but riven in space (different camera position and angle).

[Thanks, Zach and Eric, for getting the De Palma ball rolling.]

Postscript: I linked to this in the tail-end of the comments thread to my previous post, but Zach has a fascinating entry on what moves us to write about some films more than others. I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts.

33 Comments:

Anonymous jmac said...

MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA by Dziga Vertov!

July 05, 2006 3:34 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Jen ~ As it happens, I saw that quite late (just three or four years ago). But was blown away! I've been meaning to get this book on the film and re-watch it.

I read J. Hoberman somewhere saying (and I paraphrase here) that when he's asked for his all-time favorite movie, he prepares himself for a look of blank incomprehension before he mentions this one. (Clearly, he's referring to a non-cinephile inquirer here...)

July 05, 2006 4:15 PM  
Anonymous jmac said...

G, if you are interested in Dziga Vertov, you must read these:

Constructivism in Film by Vlada Petric
Kino Eye (The Writings of Dziga Vertov)

July 05, 2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks for the recommendations, J. I'll look them up in the college library.
Coincidence: just received in the mail from Netflix today, the DVD of Kino-Eye/3 Songs For Lenin.

July 05, 2006 5:09 PM  
Blogger Maya said...

The entire Harryhausen ouevre, but especially "Jason and the Argonauts", taught me as a young boy that the best movies, even if they're b-movies, solicit an investment of imagination and a purposeful willingness to suspend disbelief. For me to have any fun at the movies, I have to want to believe in them. For me to enjoy the moviegoing experience, I have to hold onto that child who came out of the moviehouse ready to battle animated skeletons and multi-headed hydras.

Fellini's "La Strada" seared me with beauty and reminded me of cinema's consummate facility to communicate beauty, or (to be fair) what I consider beautiful.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Cure" shifted a police procedural into something supernatural and alerted me to the possibilities of morphing genre.

Gosh, I could go on and on. But that's some for now to get things going.

July 05, 2006 5:33 PM  
Blogger Peter Nellhaus said...

At 8 years old, my grandmother took me to see a compilation film of Chaplin shorts. My first semi-serious introduction to silent films.

Just before I turned 13 I saw Dr. Strangelove and A Hard Day's Night. Both were photographed by Gilbert Taylor.

I made my first movie with some other students at my Junior High under the overall guidance of a Northwestern University student in 1965. I find out that one can major in movies at college. I am introduced to Eisenstein. I also see a film called It's Not Just You, Murray by some NYU student named Martin Scorsese. My life is damned for eternity.

At 16 I saw my first foreign language films, a double feature of Red Desert and Juliet of the Spirits.

1975: P. Adams Sitney helps me understand the American avant-garde, particularly Stan Brakhage. Stan Brakhage also explains his films to me in personal discussion and brief correspondence.

July 05, 2006 5:46 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Maya, I don't believe I've seen a single Harryhausen film, but I do love Kiyoshi Kurosawa's CURE. (Saw it two or three times in the theaters.)

Peter, were you thinking of doing Brakhage for the avant-garde blog-a-thon Aug 2? I'll do a reminder post for it soon, maybe next week.

July 05, 2006 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

My "signpost" films are somewhat idiosyncratic, I'd imagine, given my somewhat haphazrad cinematic eductaion. In high school, Platoon was the first "good" film I saw, the first film that made me realize films could do more than entertain. In college, Shadows and Fog made me realize that films could have smart, literate and funny scripts.

Then, in grad school Kieslowski's Red simply blew me away, in part because of its almost religious meditation on time and fate. Sans Soleil, however, is probably the most important film for a number of reasons. It caught me just as I was begiing to understand critical theory and how those concepts translated into avant-garde film. More recently, Chain has been a significant milestone.

July 05, 2006 10:12 PM  
Blogger Mystery Man said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 05, 2006 10:53 PM  
Blogger Mystery Man said...

The World According to Garp. It was the first time I ever saw boobies.

My life was never the same.

July 05, 2006 11:07 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Chuck ~ I remember liking Red (my first Kieslowski) but it took me a few days to actually put all the pieces together, upon which I loved it.

Mystery Man ~ Boobies? Ahem, that would be an illicitly watched Emmanuelle, a transgression that did not go unpunished!

July 05, 2006 11:08 PM  
Blogger Noel Vera said...

My grandfather once upon a time had a pair of 35 mm projectors in his basement, and would show movies on Saturdays, even before they came out in the theaters (When he was alive, we were what you might call upper-class. When he was alive).

This way I was thrilled to see "Jaws" at the age of nine, was awed to witness a man discover a horse's head in his bed when I was six (I was sent upstairs for the naughty parts, though), and as a special request of mine, got to see "2001: A Space Odyssey" (bored me near to death).

One of the films I saw then was Lino Brocka's masterpiece, Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Neon, 1975), about a countryside innocent who comes to the big city to look for his lost love (and is, of course, destroyed). The final image, of a man's tear-strained face frozen in a soundless scream, burned its way deep into my ten-year-old mind. Never been the same since.

July 06, 2006 3:46 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Noel--I have to say, those are real beauts.

A few links:

--New post at Hell On Frisco Bay.

--Billy Wilder at MZS's.

--Jenna Ng on Roland Barthes.

--Round-Headed Boy on Michael Curtiz's THE SEA HAWK.

--Walter at Quiet Bubble on, among other things, Dr. Katz and Matthew Sweet.

July 06, 2006 8:00 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Just had a couple of thoughts on Zach's post that I linked to above.

I think that as cinephiles, we've got these multiple maps of the terrain of cinema in our heads. I suspect we try to place every new film that we see (X), however easily or uneasily, into these maps. The difficulties of fitting X into these maps generates a certain amount of friction, which then can spark/ignite thought about a film. If a film fits too well, too unproblematically, its shape and size dropping into the map causing little or no friction, I suspect it might be less stimulating to write about.

But a film that makes us work a little (or a lot) to fit it into our mental cine-maps is more likely to generate thought due to the "friction" it produces in us as we attempt to contextualize and place the film.

Of course, all this is made really interesting by the fact that (1) No two of us carry the exact same maps in our heads, and (2) With every new film we see, not to mention every new fact or insight we encounter(through reading, conversation, etc) the maps in our heads are shifting, being redrawn, in small or large ways.

July 06, 2006 8:38 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Also (and this is disconcerting):
the fact that a film really moves me, I've discovered, is no guarantee at all that I will have anything interesting to say about it.

In fact (oddly) the opposite can sometimes be true, in that being really emotionally affected by a film can sometimes make it a bit difficult to respond to it in a useful, analytical way that may be insightful to the reader.

Also: sometimes my enormous love of a filmmaker's films will far outstrip what I see as the weight of the reasons I can come up with in trying to marshall my case for the filmmaker. In the end, I know I love the work and I'm convinced that it's great, but the reasons I provide seem ordinary, "visible to all," (as Zach said), and not very exciting. e.g. in my case, with Lubitsch.

July 06, 2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Marina said...

"I think that as cinephiles, we've got these multiple maps of the terrain of cinema in our heads."

Girish, such a nice visual metaphor! And you managed to evolve it into a beautiful conception, theory I'd say. It fascinates me and since it also involves some physical[mathematical] laws, I'd like to dwell on that a bit from a slightly different view.

"The difficulties of fitting X into these maps generates a certain amount of friction, which then can spark/ignite thought about a film."

Generally put, friction is a phenomenon, bearing a relation to:
1) the act of deriving heat and thereafter - sparking or igniting;
This is the literal process of thought-occuring: a result of friction/tension.
2) the 'surface' of the material and the opposing force;
The 'rough surface' here are the difficulties, you were speaking about, in relation to the material's [film's] "shape and size". The rougher, or in our case - the more unfitting to our "cine-maps" (a wonderful word, btw), the more friction(=>thought) does it produce.
On the other hand, when we watch a film, we're like on automatic pilot, the first time at least: the force that we apply to the film is a compound of two other:
- our cinematic general knowledge that functions on our understanding/appreciation of the film; if the film doesn't relate and sometimes even contradicts to this cognition, it produces friction/tension;
- the act of observing; if a film deludes or influences in an abnormal way this sensory process, it again generates friction.
Then again, if friction is to occur, the film must interact back. Its 'answer' to our cinematical knowledge and observation, is the opposing force.
3) the delay of the action [observation/viewing]; Friction slows down the movement and in our case this phenomenon is called concentration. An ideal uniform motion in film-viewing is a dull process, accompanied by...well, nothing. It's films that don't cause friction that Kael walked out of. :) A film that fascinates/absorbs us is usually viewed in an uniformly accelerated motion and this rapidness of observation doesn't allow us to fully concentrate. Whereas, a film that chalanges us, producing friction, is viewed in an uniformly decelerated motion, which enables us to use the seemingly 'won' time for concentration.

July 06, 2006 11:03 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Nice points, Marina.

You speak of downtime being used for concentration. I remember seeing Johan van der Keuken present his great diary-documentary about his battle with cancer, THE LONG HOLIDAY, a few years ago (sadly, just a couple of months before he died). The film ended with these extended shots of ships in a harbor, criss-crossing, their foghorns blowing, morning sun reflecting off the water, etc, with nothing else happening.

In the post-film Q&A, he spoke of such scenes being intentionally devoid of "content" because he intended them to be pockets of time when the viewer could mentally leave the film, through associations provoked by one detail or another, then return to the film, then leave it again, etc. Thus, the scenes act as a sort of nexus of oscillations for concentration and thought.

July 06, 2006 11:29 AM  
Blogger Marina said...

Downtime can be used for concetration. But only when there's something to concentrate on.
Yet, since there're two basic extreme degrees of motion - downtime and uptime (this one being rapidly or normally exploited), it becomes a bit less generalized:
If you use downtime and thus want to direct the viewer's mind/thought towards something beyond the narrative, and beyond motion, you'll be successful only if there really is something beyond (if "the truth is out there"). If we take Haneke, 'Caché' being the latest example, or Kubrick (remember the space-long continuity of a shot in '2001'?), yes, it works, because they 'award' the viewer's attention. But what mental satisfaction does downtime in a horror give us? A sudden scare, at the most. I do understand this isn't the best example of a 'shallow downtime', but - can't think of a better one.

Anyway, this can be seen in the opposite case, too. If one directs and gains the viewer's attention by using a rapid uptime, he should be able to satisfy this attention. Otherwise, it becomes a 'shallow uptime'.

And friction can be a result of both up- and downtime. Although a motionless frame provides better conditions for concentration.

I haven't seen 'The Long Holiday', but the mere idea of "pockets of time" and "the scenes [...] as a sort of nexus of oscillations for concentration and thought"...lol! The film, or in fact, the viewing of a film, as a vibrating experince? It becomes even more obsessing when you think of the "packets of light" - the photons/quanta - and the interference that takes place:
On the one hand, there're the light quanta that project the images to us, and on the other - the 'narrative vibrations' that the film, literally, projects. These 'narrative vibrations' include the normal flow of the film and the occasional narrativeless/motionless lapses. Yes, this is a brilliant manipulating method if a director manages to pull it off. Not only because the "the viewer could mentally leave the film", but because by doing it, he can concentrate. It's like you're viewing a film and considering/writing about it simultaneously. These're the perfect [moments of] films that one can be a viewer and a crtic, at the same time.

July 06, 2006 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Peet said...

Quite a coincedence: I'm happy enough to call BLOW OUT one of my signpost films! It wasn't a single thing that stood out for me. It was the growing awareness that every shot, every line and every cut had taken me closer to that unforgettable ending... profoundly cynical yet hauntingly lyrical. After all these years, De Palma's movie is still very close to my heart. I guess I'm a romantic nihilist.

Girish, I hope it's OK if I announce here that I've started a blog of my own last week, closely linked to 24LiesASecond. (If not, please just delete this comment.)

July 06, 2006 4:16 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks, Marina and Peet.

Peet--I'm glad you posted the link. I just read your entry on the Miike film, which looks very interesting. I've subscribed to your blog's RSS feed and look forward to your future posts.

July 06, 2006 4:49 PM  
Blogger Zach Campbell said...

Signpost films:

Braveheart (don't laugh!!!) ignited a pretty conventional movie buffdom that lasted from '95 to roughly '99. I don't think I could bear to try to look at Gibson's film today.

Taste of Cherry, The Thin Red Line, Eyes Wide Shut, Playtime, Week End, Sympathy for the Devil, Andrei Rublev, Mirror ... hard to really single out one, there was a large handful of cinema that I saw in (roughly) the year 1999, especially late '99 into the year 2000, that revolutionized my cinephilia. Actually, I can probably take one that is emblematic above the others: Taste of Cherry. Essentially what this signalled for me was that films could be profound in ways that I can't necessarily expect or prepare myself for. Before, as a young person and a "conventional" buff, I thought I had a pretty good idea already of what profundity was "supposed" to look like (and it resembled award-winning cinema of years past!) ... so wrong, so foolish!

Spring of 2002--in the space of a month I saw Arnaud Desplechin's Esther Kahn (possibly the best film of this decade) and my all-time favorite film, Joris Ivens' A Tale of the Wind. A personal revelation, one that took place gradually, which I like to crystallize in this short period with these two films: films aren't only objects to be beheld, but organic experiences to be interacted with, to get to know slowly, to react to with unpredictability. The specter of the real creeps into my experience of film!

There are more, surely, these are just a few stops in the road.

July 07, 2006 9:53 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Thought-provoking list, Zach.

You've really got me eager (anxious, even) to see Esther Kahn. I've seen all of Desplechin's other features, and really admire them.

Your citing of dates leads me to think you keep a film log (come to think of it, we might've chatted about this when we went out). I need to start doing this religiously. I've done it in the past but only in fits and starts.

When you say "get to know slowly," did you mean (1) through repeat viewings, or (2) the "experience" of a film unfolding over time as you think/dialogue/read about it? Or both perhaps...

And what did you mean by the "specter of the real creeping into your experience of film?" It's a great figure of (cinephilic) speech, and I'd love to hear you elaborate on it, if you felt like it.

And finally, if you have a VHS dub of the Joris Ivens film, perhaps we can work out a trade...

July 07, 2006 10:54 AM  
Blogger Zach Campbell said...

Girish, I do keep a film log--I have since the end of 2000 (but not before).

When you say "get to know slowly," did you mean (1) through repeat viewings, or (2) the "experience" of a film unfolding over time as you think/dialogue/read about it?

Both/either.

And what did you mean by the "specter of the real creeping into your experience of film?"

Well it's above all a belletristic flourish of enthusiasm, but what I was trying to say was that the thing that normal film viewing tries to bar off, ignore, or repress--that which isn't the film (or artwork), which is not even non- or extra-diegetic, the temporarily disavowed presence of the world outside the screening room and beyond the screen, comes to interact with the screen itself in my mind's eye. According to my bowdlerized understanding of Lacan/Zizek, the Real is a name for something unspeakable, traumatic, whose truth comes in the form of negation. So my experience of films, in theaters or at home, eventually became an experience of not-films at the same time. Does that make sense?

As for the Ivens film, I only wish I had a VHS dub. Back in '02 there was talk of it "coming soon" on DVD, but I don't think that's happened yet ...

July 07, 2006 11:12 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Thanks, Zach.
I may have a question; let me mull over what you wrote and try to formulate it...

July 07, 2006 12:02 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Okay, I lied. I have more than one question.

(1) "the temporarily disavowed presence of the world outside the screening room and beyond the screen..."

Not sure if I'm on the right track here at all, but...

Is this disavowal attempted by the artwork by means of illusionism, sucking the audience into the work so that they are in some sense bound (unreflectively) inside the work?

And don't Brechtian devices of distanciation yank us out of the artwork and force us to reflect on the relationship of the events we see on-screen to the state of the world at large? (in effect, directing us to thinking about problems, societal/economic/political, in the world outside, beyond the screen)?

(2) "So my experience of films, in theaters or at home, eventually became an experience of not-films at the same time."

Okay, this is a bit abstract me for me to latch on to.
How exactly is the experience that of "not-film"?
Is it because our experience involves more than just the artwork in front of us, an engagement with the world outside triggered by associations through the film we are watching?

Is there an example from a film/film viewing experience that might help us see this?

Don't mean to take up your time here; answer as little or as much as you like!

July 07, 2006 4:19 PM  
Blogger girish said...

And as you can clearly tell, I haven't read a lick of Lacan or Zizek!

July 07, 2006 4:27 PM  
Blogger Zach Campbell said...

Is this disavowal attempted by the artwork by means of illusionism, sucking the audience into the work so that they are in some sense bound (unreflectively) inside the work?

Yes, basically. Getting someone to pay attention to the artwork as a complete entity, a whole "world" to step into. (Keep in mind of course that all of this is a General Theory of Myself, not a theory for film-watching or film spectators in general!) At a certain point I stopped thinking about films as no more than discrete monadic units, and started paying attention also to their connections to each other, their relations to reality.

And don't Brechtian devices of distanciation yank us out of the artwork and force us to reflect on the relationship of the events we see on-screen to the state of the world at large?

They're supposed to!

How exactly is the experience that of "not-film"?
Is it because our experience involves more than just the artwork in front of us, an engagement with the world outside triggered by associations through the film we are watching?


Bingo! At a certain point I could describe the way I was watching cinema as not only immersing myself in the film, but pulling the film out with me into everything around it. (As for how successfully I've ever done all this, well...)

And as you can clearly tell, I haven't read a lick of Lacan or Zizek!

Not necessarily a bad thing ... I really only alluded to them for this concept of "the Real" (which I'm probably getting wrong anyway), not for whatever else I wrote.

July 08, 2006 8:23 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Thank you, Zach!

July 08, 2006 10:14 AM  
Blogger Jon Hastings said...

Nice reading of the Owl in Blow Out. I'd also add that it's an homage to the river sequence in The Night of the Hunter, an inspiration for Blow Out and many other menacing, slightly surreal thrillers.

August 09, 2006 5:32 PM  
Blogger girish said...

That's an excellent point, Jon. Never even entered my head, but you're right.

August 09, 2006 9:48 PM  
Blogger Some Guy In Brooklyn said...

Girish, what do you think of Bollywood cinema today? the production values have gotten much better....Parineeta and Swades, in my opinion have surpassed Hollywood in many ways...

August 10, 2006 10:40 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

Hmmm...great question. I saw your link over at 2blowhards but thought I'd comment at the source as well.

Adam's Rib. I was home sick from elementary school and just started watching this on tv. It was the first Katharine Hepburn movie I ever saw, and I subsequently became a huge fan of hers. It also lead me to love films fueled by excellent dialogue.

Prospero's Books. I loved Greenaway's use of multiple visual layers; it felt like film doing what it's really capable of.

Aguirre, Wrath of God. That opening sequence descending through the clouds on the mountain is one of my favorite movie images ever.

And finally, I would be remiss if I did not also include Star Wars (the 1st one before those lame series-gutting prequels) and Raiders of the Lost Ark. They both wowed me as a kid.

August 10, 2006 3:28 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Claire & Dreadnought ~ Thank you.

I grew up steeped in Bollywood films but haven't kept up with contemporary ones for a while. I need to get back in touch!

August 11, 2006 8:08 AM  

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