Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day

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strange and scary films : nanaimo comes back to me

Seen two films this week that pander to my fascination with remote environments and invented religion; The Village and Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter ... and Spring Again both of which took me on alarming trips back to my childhood.

I was thoroughly seduced by The Village, and not just through the sheer autumnal beauty of the place and the people. I think it was the subtle combination of trauma and loveliness, the tissue of obvious lies building up into a dreamily seductive whole, the horribly attractive, yet twisted and mutilating logic of what these people were doing. Certainly, the plot is kind of Angela Carter meets The Self Sufficiency Handbook, and sophisticated city folk may scoff at people believing in beasties and monsters and magic stones, but I grew up not far from there, in a village with a Giant's Chair and a Holly Gate and green men in the hedgerows, and it wasn't far off the mark in showing the games and dramas and superstition that spring up in bored small groups of people; or the mental gymnastics people will go to to deny the wrongdoings of one of them. The twist (which marched ahead of its revelation in the film, but not annoyingly so) is full of holes, but the film also hints that these holes have plugs; the excessive quantities of medical supplies in the rangers' huts, for example, suggest a quantity of subtle cheating is going on in the village. I may see it again, to fine-comb it for details; they were certainly there, because I at no point believed it was really set in the past. What made me wonder were the unnamed monsters; I know what monsters people are.

Initially Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter ... and Spring seemed like a far more soothing watch, full of contemplative moments and scenes, set in an outstandingly beautiful place, suffused with the sense of accepting, being and doing, from the cloud-draped mountains to the soft colours reflected in the lake. And yet, it was brutal; suicide, murder, hideous accidents, yet all shown with that arthouse eye for absolute beauty. In that way some scenes put me in mind of an early Peter Greenaway, back before he got too complicated. And it lingers, niggles, keeps returning to the mind. The central idea is of a teacher who allows you to correct your own mistakes rather than preventing your from committing them, but it's a savage doctrine. I admire the moral rigour, but regret the body count; at the same time wonder how real the "teacher" is; is he more like the conscience voice that sits within our heads? Certainly, the end of the film comprehensively swallows its own tail. It's more religious teaching story than film; on relating cruelty to animals to cruelty to humans; the crucial importance of taking positive decisions rather than submitting to ungovernable desires; and how a moment's inattention can have disastrous results.

------subject change------

I thought that the nanaimo spambot had abandoned me (sob!), but today I got a mail from Monumental A. Upholding, with the subject line, "newly single and full of fun glass". That's my bot! Unfortunately Gangplank Q Everglades (who looked very promising) turned out to be a bore with a penchant for quoting Tom Sawyer, but jinty found me the spam_poetry community which had a link to these spam cartoons so I'm happy. Especially as nanaimo later sent me "Single cute female seeks Unboring guys kayak" which I reproduce in full below.

Hey Cleanskies,
I work as a massage therapist. I just recently had my admittance into the bisexual world and I totally appreciate it. I still like a good mate too, but I am very eager to get to know other lesbian babes. I am very intimate, very petite and very loving. I love just about anything outdoors but can spend hours and hours in bed. I love being with gals and mates alike. I am looking for a very affectionate person. If this sounds good to you then maybe I am your chick.

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