Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Hard Day's Night

Day Night Day Night(2006)
Directed By Julia Loktev
At first I thought this would be the bomb in the cafe scene from "The Battle Of Algiers" stretched out into whole movie. Even though it had some of the slowest pacing Ive ever seen, I managed to watch it all the way through. "Day Night Day Night" is a very subdued emotional portrait of a suicide bomber, from time Russian-American director Julia Loktev.
A young woman, of ambiguous race, religion, national origin, and mission statement is taken into a hotel room, she is washed in a bathroom ritualistically, then she is given a backpack with a bomb in it and instructed about how to detonate the device.
She walks through a field into the city and wanders the streets. Knowing nothing about her, we have to infer from her slightest facial gestures whether she is weighing options for potential targets, waiting for a specific sign or moment to detonate the device, inwardly praying or thinking, is regretting her decision and stalling, or savoring her last moment's of life on the earth.
The affect of such high tension ambivalence, forgive the obvious pun, is disarming. Reminiscent of the silent masterpiece, "The Passion Of Joan of Arc", but with less exposition and context. Minimalist and realist less is more, at least for me allot of times gets old quick, but here it generates a good deal of suspense and tension.Not for everyone, due to the glacial and methodical pacing, it's basically a waiting and guessing game of a viewing, but if you can adjust to it's tempo, the suspense is wrenching and highly effect.In fact I'd say this is one of the best thrillers of the decade, certainly the most beautiful and relevant.
But patient viewers, more interested in human pathos than political exposition, might appreciate it. Most insidiously of all though is that now I really want a candy apple and pretzel, which leads me to my theory that this film is a sub-conscious "Manchurian Candidate" via "Videodrome" brainwashing device, designed to turn the viewer into the ultimate death dealing pretzel vendor. Think I'm crazy, well the facts don't lie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush_pretzel_incident

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