Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Music Has Charms

Music has charms to sooth a savage breast.

William Congreve
(1670 - 1729)

Or beast...if the movie, "The Story of the Weeping Camel" is to be believed. And it is!!! Those of you who do not watch subtitled movies will have missed this one. A rare docu-drama in Mongolian with English subtitles which are hardly necessary. The dialogue is so spare and the acting so clear as to make the story self-evident in any language. I was deeply moved by this tale of a first time mother camel who rejects her colt after a protracted and painful delivery. I was astonished at the simple yet elegant lifestyle of the camel herders of the Gobi desert. I was appalled to see the encroachment of Western inelegance (in the form of televisions and motorcycles) on the rythmned, mythic lives of these hard working people. And I was delighted by the climax of this movie as ancient music is used to aid the new mother to surrender her love to her nursing colt. A must see.

Another 'foreign' film to plomb the redemptive, healing power of music is Les Choristes, this time a French film shot in (Yahwehsisters, yes) Bulgaria! A heartless, punitive school for so-called 'wayward' boys is blessed by the coming of a teacher with an open heart and a flair for music. The sound track alone is worth a listen in this new classic film.

See it. See them both. Hollywood is not the centre of the universe. Films of superb quality are being made the world over.

This is the first in a periodic series of film reviews by Sister Maryconstance, director of cultural pursuits, Dawsonwood Cottage.


anj said...

Sister Maryconstance, Thank you for these reviews. I am always in the lookout for movies that are not from Hollywood, and you have helped me greatly today. I did not realize that Dawsonwood was also a convent - what an amazing place!

steph said...

I too am glad of this review Sister Maryconstance! I shall be watching for further reviews that may enhance my own cultural knowledge!
Should Dawsonwood be a place of enforced silence I am afraid that Sister Maryconstance you may be in trouble because you have the most wonderful delightfully infectious laughter! It should never be quenched.

Bar Bar A said...


I am so sorry that the map on my blog had you confused! You are not alone on that, I really should change that date, but it's the only way I know to keep it on top!

These look like great movies! If you like short films? You should check out the Damah Film Festival, they've got some great ones.

I'll be back to read more of you!!!

georgia said...

Connie, so impressed. colour, italics, pictures, links...what's next! Movie Critic! How excellent, where do you actually see these gems? Surely there is nothing in Bracebridge....Huntsville only had one theatre!

Connie said...

Dearest Georgia,
Bracebridge has the Norwood Theatre, much threatened but still in operation with half price night on Tuesdays. However, neither of these films can be seen in regular theatres. We got them FOR FREE at the library!!!

So I Go said...

they sound great.. i'll check 'em out!

Barbara said...

Perhaps I'll give these a try!
Great job on posting the pics on your site!
P.S. Happy 38th Anniversary!

wcs53 said...


Another great one is Giuseppe Tornatore's 'Cinema Paradiso', with a great soundtrack by Ennio Morricone.