You may notice this caption on the sidebar:
I got it from Dymphna's Road. Thanks Dymphna's Road!
I recently watched the film The Tree of Wooden Clogs. It was made in the seventies, and I watched it in two parts on youtube. The film is around three hours - a decent length for a film. It could have been longer; I wouldn't have noticed.
I'm hesitant to say the film is "hypnotic" or "mesmerizing", for the superficial connotations of those words. But the film channels that aspect of cinema which is one of its most potent - that of rhythm.
It works on you like a solid wooden high-backed chair, putting your back straight; not luxuriously comfortable, but not discomforting either. The nimble quickness with which the labour of the land is carried out, the efforts that go into keeping a home sanitary (and warm), the proper way of slaughtering a pig, the poetics that go into growing early tomatoes: peasant life is by no means sentimentalized, not because the film has the ambition of realism, but because the film itself is speaking in the rhythms it chronicles.
And by the end, the film can also be said to be a protest. I don't know many films that can be called protests against injustice; I'm sure there are lots. But the "protest", the cry at the end of this film has absolutely no whiff of propaganda.
I really recommend watching it. (Again, it's in two parts.)
Update: third thing. I wrote a lame post several days back about using the word, "Catholicism". I didn't think of those who use the word as the very header of their blogs. My apologies to them. I wasn't thinking. I deleted the post, though I still think that when it's possible to use the words "Catholic Church", one shouldn't substitute "Catholicism" instead. And of course there are times when one can only use "Catholicism" and not anything else. I guess it doesn't matter.
Oh, and if anyone writes a blog and wants to delete a blog post, but doesn't like the fact that the post still remains on google reader after you delete it, the solution is simple: before deleting your post, go into your post to edit. Then delete all the words of the post in the box. Then publish your post again. It will now publish in google reader as a blank. Then you can delete it from your blog.