Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunrise (movie review)

I had little concept of what I was getting into, when Nick told me about some live cello music at the Hollywood Theater.

This turned out to be part of the ongoing silent films thread, this time featuring Sunrise by F.W. Murnau.

Fine musicians, in this case including Nick's friend Lori Goldston on cello, provided more "emotional bandwidth" as Nick put it.

At first I surmised I was watching a recent release, made to look like a 1920s pre-talkie.  But later I realized we were watching the real deal.

The style of film making then is really quite different, creating a sense of surreality or other worldliness around the action portrayed.

Sunrise investigates a man planning to murder his wife in order to take off with a new interest, a woman from the city who smokes prodigiously and is of presumably dubious character.

The wife deserves better than this lout but there's no "good riddance" way out in this village.

After he bungles his murder attempt, the wife seeks to escape his clutches before he tries again, but is perversely seduced by his (sincere) sense of remorse.

They stumble in on a wedding-in-progress and he relives taking on a commitment to look after and protect his dyadic other, per the standard nuclear family contract.  There's no possibility of a molecular family in this culture, with two moms and or two dads (this isn't Bhutan, with its above average happiness quotient).

Their faith in one another is renewed (or hers in him mainly), but then on the way home in the same row boat he planned to drown her from, a storm kicks up and it looks like he's lost her overboard, this time very much not according to plan.  As omniscient viewers, we're positioned to judge him innocent (this time).

I found myself awed by the consistent look and feel of this film and thought just maybe I was seeing an all time great.  The cityscapes are meticulously detailed, the trolley scenes superb.

Upon doing more research, I see other film critics share this view.

Nick and I adjourned to Columbia River Brew Pub, formerly Laurelwood, across the street.  Then we bussed home so he could rest up before the journey back to Hillsboro.  Since Tara had a driving class in Beaverton the next day, it made sense to do it this way.

Thanks to legislation passed in the Nixon Era, kidney dialysis patients are eligible for three visits a week.  In Europe it's four, but with shorter hours.

Nick is aware of the research going on at ONAMI, as is his doc, but results from that effort aren't expected for some years.  Nephrology is still in its infancy.

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