La La Land shows you the window from ‘Casablanca’ where Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman shot…
United 93 1
Every time I watch a 9/11 movie, the first thing I do is dig about the film’s authenticity. How much of it was true to the original happenings and how much of it was fictionalised to create drama and if I am comfortable with the added drama. The thing with 9/11 is that it leaves a lot of room for dramatisation and unnecessary heroism and when handled by a not so mature filmmaker, it easily ends up becoming a propaganda film, an ‘american’ film. Fortunately, nothing like that happens in Paul Greengrass’ United 93.
Heaven knows what is the film adaptation of the unpublished memoir “Mad Love in New York City” written by the film’s female lead Arielle Holmes. Before I even begin writing about the film, I have to mention the fascinating story about how the whole idea of making Heaven Knows What happened. Arielle Holmes was a homeless girl, who begged, stole, shoplifted for a living when she was spotted by the director duo Ben and Joshua Safdie and thus they found out about her life and her mad love story consisting of two heroin junkies. The Safdie Brothers asked her to write her story and offered her to pay for every page she would write and that’s how ‘Heaven Knows What’ finally happened.
“When spite comes along, Art dons a veil” This quote by Hossein Sabzian, the protagonist of the film, perfectly defines the subject the film deals with, about an art lover hiding under a veil because he fears he may offend its audience, and how it also defines the everyday suppression of creative freedom in Iranian Cinema. Cinema doesn’t guarantee comforting lies all the time, in fact most great films are about harsh truths but to pass it off under the most critical of eyes, it needs to wear the veil of deception. In Abbas Kiarostami’s own words, he explains that cinema is a series of lies, said to put in front of us the greater truth.
“Once the soul was perfect and had wings, it could sour into haven that only creatures with wings can be. But the soul lost its wings and fell to earth where it took a earthly body, now, while it lives in this body no outward sign of wings can be seen yet the roots of its wings are still there… and we see a beautiful woman or a man, the soul remembers the beauty it used to know in haven, and begins to spout and that makes the soul want to fly but it cannot yet it is still too weak so that man keeps staring up to the sky at a young bird, he lost all interest in the world around…”