Monday, April 05, 2004

At the Movies

My bobble offers me the opportunity for brisk walks, reading, mingling, people watching, and movies. You wouldn’t think it possible by the reportage on the social scene in Tehran, but as much as I roam around everyday, not once have I been offered drugs-- opium, heroin or grass; never have I been propositioned by harlots, though I know they are out there, and no one has ever asked me to buy an X rated movie, or a stiff drink; although these too are out there.

I have been stopped by the police, but they never asked for bribes, and I never offered. In other words, it is still possible to lead a relatively eventless life until you choose otherwise. And the interesting thing about it all is that we can always blame someone else for the choices we make here. Utterly liberating. You should try it sometimes in your country of choice.

No matter though, what is important is that I know where to get nice movies, uncensored and untouched. It is odd how silly censorship feels when you spend close to two hours watching murder and mayhem and suddenly a woman’s shoulder is pixeled out. You wonder what the authorities might be thinking…but such is life in this heartland of evil, I suppose.

So here is a list of some movies I have enjoyed watching in the past three months. At the very least, they are visual feasts, with lots of interesting conversations in most of them.

Dogville is an original, enchanting rendition of life in small town USA, with a strong cast and a marvelous narrator. Spun, can be visually entertaining, though not as complex as the Spanish Sex and Lucia. Erotic and cinematographically stunning, this movie stretches your ability to go back and forth in time. Once you get the hang of it though, you might enjoy the Divine Secrets of Ya Ya Sisterhood. I simply adore Southern accents and sensibilities, even the fake ones. I know it might not be for everyone, but if you like it, you might also enjoy watching Under the Tuscan Sun. The (Italian) scenery is just breathtaking.

Frida Kahlo, Queen Margo and Max, are a tad more challenging to watch, though provocative nonetheless. And just in case you have had it with civil wars there is a gem of an Argentine movie called Funny Little Dirty War, with generals, peasants and lots and lots of dirty tricks which twist—as is normally the case in these matters-- out of control. This movie is as poignant as it is hilarious.

Sort of makes you appreciate why Mr. Bush himself feels the need to laugh about the missing WMDs in Iraq.

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