January 23, 2011

A Bright Winter

There is a repeating theme to my blogs of film criticism, but luckily for me it seems that filmmakers have reached a level of creativity which is keeping up with my fantasies of cinematic possibilities. I have discussed my reaction to large budget 3D movies, and how they seem to be on a whole revolutionary in production, but boringly reactionary in dramatic vision. So, for the moment with the limited time I have to go to the cinema, I am focusing on personal, psychologically intriguing, lower budget films. If I were to look over the history of digitally made independent film, it wouldn't be until the last several years that I would have thought that we are living in a unique platinum age of D.I.Y. cinema. Now, the film that moved me most isn't exactly a garage film, as it had a budget of $2 million, it still managed to have the grandeur of a David Lean film, with the desolation of Grapes of Wrath. This movie is the much talked about Winter's Bone, which is not alone in this year's innovative recognized films, as Blue Valentine, and my favorite Black Swan certainly exceed expectations. Winter's Bone did something for me which leaves me with more clashing of emotions than most art does. I felt like I was simultaneously seeing the sparse modern depression of rural America (which I see near my Catskills home), a tragic mystery in Aristotelian classical form, and a MoMa photography show of Lee Friedlander, where the sharp angles and intersections of leafless trees embody the the intensity of a Pollack. Whether the film is perfect or not is not the important thing however for me. It is an important film, because like so many good films, it allows me to image of future filled with such possibilities.

This article was guest written by Matthew Putman, a physicist, composer, entrepreneur and occasional film and theater producer. More on Matthew can be found at www.matthewcputman.com.

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