Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

Film

Flashbacks

The French film Caché (“Hidden”) is a stylish thriller tiptoeing around a psychological drama that lurks inside a political allegory. This is typical of the work of Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke (Code Unknown), who enjoys presenting confrontational films in which seemingly normal folks leading normal lives turn out to be not very normal at all.
Caché, which won the Best Director Award at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, stars the enigmatic Daniel Auteuil and the luminescent Juliette Binoche as Georges and Anne Laurent. He hosts a television talk show about books; she is a writer who works in publishing—until an anonymous two-hour videotape interrupts their lives.
Film

Not a slam dunk

The myth that sports are racially redemptive makes for formulaic movies. Glory Road feels a lot like Remember the Titans. The films (both produced by Jerry Bruckheimer) show how a team’s drive to win a championship overcomes racial divisions and leads blacks and whites to bond like brothers.
Film

Masked man

Adopting the approach of most movies made about the life of the notorious pleasure seeker, Lasse Hallström’s Casanova isn’t a biography but a free-form embellishment. It treats Casanova as a legend, a symbol—like Zorro.
Film

Top films of '05

In Oscar nominee Crash, writer-director Paul Haggis examines the U.S. racial divide in a series of interconnected short dramas that reach a powerful conclusion. It is a painful film to watch because Haggis offers no comfortable side with which the viewer can identify—until, that is, a conclusion provides a note of grace-filled hope. The racial bias of both black and white characters is exposed, leaving everyone culpable. As in many Krzysztof Kieslowski films, there are moments that suggest a transcendent hand is at work.
Poetry

All Eve's Children

It was not meant as exclusionary,
the way the boy
laid his arm along the pew,
not touching her back
but cupping the bowl of his hand
over the girl’s shoulder,
exactly the way
his father encircled his mother
in decorous Sunday embrace.

Near in age and adoring,
his forsaken younger sister
saw the story of all Eve’s children,
an enacted parable of man leaving
father and mother to cling to wife,
heard Scylla and Charybdis’ seductive hymn,
felt the tension of two great loves,
perceived in a piercing moment
ties tighter than the bonds of blood.