Updates, Live

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Împărăţia cerurilor se va asemăna cu zece fecioare, care luând candelele lor, au ieşit în întâmpinarea mirelui. Cinci însă dintre ele erau fără minte, iar cinci înţelepte. Căci cele fără minte, luând candelele, n-au luat cu sine untdelemn. Iar cele înţelepte au luat untdelemn în vase, odată cu candelele lor. Dar mirele întârziind, au aţipit toate şi au adormit. ar la miezul nopţii s-a făcut strigare: Iată, mirele vine! Ieşiţi întru întâmpinarea lui! Atunci s-au deşteptat toate acele fecioare şi au împodobit candelele lor. Şi cele fără minte au zis către cele înţelepte: Daţi-ne din untdelemnul vostru, că se sting candelele noastre. Dar cele înţelepte le-au răspuns, zicând: Nu, ca nu cumva să nu ne ajungă nici nouă şi nici vouă. Mai bine mergeţi la cei ce vând şi cumpăraţi pentru voi. Deci plecând ele ca să cumpere, a venit mirele şi cele ce erau gata au intrat cu el la nuntă şi uşa s-a închis. Iar mai pe urmă, au sosit şi celelalte fecioare, zicând: Doamne, Doamne, deschide-ne nouă. Iar el, răspunzând, a zis: Adevărat zic vouă: Nu vă cunosc pe voi. Drept aceea, privegheaţi, că nu ştiţi ziua, nici ceasul când vine Fiul Omului.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140
I. Chorus: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme [0:00]
II. Recitative: Er kommt [7:09]
III. Aria (duet): Wann kommst du, mein Heil? [8:07]
IV. Chorale: Zion hört die Wächter singen) [14:39]
V. Recitative: So geh herein zu mir [18:38]
VI. Aria (duet): Mein Freund ist mein! [20:15]
VII. Chorale: Gloria sei dir gesungen [26:39]
(video by musicanth)

A church cantata composed in 1731, with the chorale based on the Lutheran hymn Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme by Philipp Nicolai. This cantata was first performed in Leipzig on November 25, 1731. Bach later transcribed the fourth movement chorale for organ (BWV 645) and published it along with the Schübler Chorales.

"Wachet auf," ruft uns die Stimme
Der Wächter sehr hoch auf der Zinne,
"Wach auf du Stadt Jerusalem!
Mitternacht heißt diese Stunde!"
Sie rufen uns mit hellem Munde:
"Wo seid ihr klugen Jungfrauen?
Wohlauf, der Bräutigam kommt,
Steht auf, die Lampen nehmt!
Macht euch bereit zur Hochzeitsfreud;
Ihr müsset ihm entgegengehen!"

Er kommt, er kommt,
der Bräut’gam kommt,
ihr Töchter Zions, kommt heraus,
Sein Ausgang eilet aus der Höhe
in euer Mutter Haus.
Der Bräut’gam kommt, der einen Rehe
und jungen Hirschen gleich
auf denen Hügeln springt
und euch das Mahl der Hochzeit bringt.
Wacht auf, ermuntert euch,
den Bräut’gam zu empfangen;

Wenn kömmst du, mein Heil?
  - Ich komme, dein Teil. -
Ich warte mit brennenden Öle.
Eröffne den Saal
  - Ich öffne den Saal -
zum himmlischen Mahl.
Komm, Jesu.
  - Ich komme, komm, liebliche Seele. -

Zion hört die Wächter singen,
Das Herz tut ihr vor Freuden springen,
Sie wachet und steht eilend auf.
Ihr Freund kommt vom Himmel prächtig,
Von Gnaden stark, von Wahrheit mächtig;
Ihr Licht wird hell, ihr Stern geht auf.
Nun komm, du werte Kron,
Herr Jesu, Gottes Sohn!
Wir folgen all zum Freudensaal
Und halten mit das Abendmahl.

So geh herein zu mir,
du mir erwählte Braut!
Ich habe mich mit dir
von Ewigkeit vertraut.
Dich will ich auf mein Herz,
auf meinen Arm gleich wie ein Sigel setzen,
und dein betrübtes Aug’ ergötzen.
Vergiß, o Seele, nun
die Angst, den Schmerz,
den du erdulden müssen;
auf meiner Linken sollst du ruhn,
und meine Rechte soll dich küssen.

Mein Freund ist mein,
  -und ich bin sein,-
die Liebe soll nichts scheiden.
Ich will mit dir
  -du sollst mit mir-
im Himmels Rosen weiden,
da Freude die Fülle, da Wonne wird sein.

Gloria sei dir gesungen
Mit Menschen- und mit engelischen Zungen,
Mit Harfen und mit Zimbeln schon.
Von zwölf Perlen sind die Pforten
An deiner Stadt sind wir Konsorten
Der Engel hoch um deinen Thron.
Kein Aug hat je gespürt,
Kein Ohr hat mehr gehört
Solche Freude.
Des sind wir froh, i-o, i-o!
Ewig in dulci jubilo.

(The B A C H motif)

(William Blake)


Labels: ,

Friday, April 26, 2013

Takaragaike Park in Kyoto

Mount Hiei view from Takaragaike Park in Sakyō-ku, Kyoto
日本語: 宝が池公園から望む比叡山 。所在地は京都府京都市左京区。
source: 663highland
author: 663highland
no copyright infringement intended

A walk in Takaragaike, approaching Lake Biwa and Kamo River... a video of great beauty.

(The Thousand faces of HANAFUBUKI)


George Jones passed away

George Jones (1931 - 2013)
no copyright infringement intended

He was the king of country singers.

You know this old world is full of singers
But just a few are chosen
To tear your heart out when they sing

Imagine life without them
All your radio heroes
Like the Outlaw that walks through Jessi's dream.

No, there will never be another
Red-headed stranger
A Man in Black and Folsom Prison Blues
The Okie from Muskogee
Or Hello, Darling
Lord, I wonder who's gonna fill their shoes?

Who's gonna fill their shoes?
Who's gonna stand that tall?
Who's gonna play the Opry
And the Wabash Cannonball?
Who's gonna give their heart and soul
To get to me and you?
Lord, I wonder who's gonna fill their shoes?

God bless the boys from Memphis
Blue Suede Shoes and Elvis
Much too soon left this world in tears

They tore up the Fifties
Old Jerry Lee and Charlie
And "Go, Cat, Go!" still echoes through the years.

You know the heart of country music
Still beats in Luke the Drifter
You can tell it when he sang I Saw the Light
Old Marty, Hank, and Lefty
Why, I can feel them right here with me
On this Silver Eagle rolling through the night.

Who's gonna fill their shoes?
Who's gonna stand that tall?
Who's gonna play the Opry
And the Wabash Cannonbal?
Who's gonna give their heart and soul
To get to me and you?
Lord, I wonder who's gonna fill their shoes?

Yes, I wonder, who's gonna fill their shoes.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Bucharest: Easter is Coming

(Bucharest, Iris Shopping Center)

This year Easter is coming to Romania on May 5th and everybody is trying to get ready, especially bunnies and kids.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

IOR Park in Bucharest - End of April



Friday, April 19, 2013

André Sauvage: Études sur Paris (1928)

André Sauvage (1891–1975)
director of Études sur Paris
no copyright infringement intended

I found this movie on youTube unexpectedly, as I was looking for another one (Les années folles). Unique atmosphere of a Paris in 1928, with a few cars mixed with carts and street dogs.Where is all this world now?

A visual treat, this silent movie travels from the outskirts of Paris to the Seine in the centre of the city, going along the Canal de l'Ourcq, showing human activity as it was happening in 1928, in particular the industrious 19th district (jalb)

I would agree with jalb's opinion up to a point. I think this film suffers from a lack of unity. It travels on Canal de l'Ourcq toward Paris, preoccupied to catch simple gestures of people around, showing an empathy for those ordinary guys with ordinary lives whose work keep Paris going on. A city bathed by the river, bathed by the life and work of those simple people along the river. As the camera enters downtown Paris the interest moves to all those churches, and quays, and parks, and cafes, which makes another film. On the other hand, we all love these churches, and quays, and parks, and cafes, so much, that it comes to us as a blessing. Add to this (as I said above) the unique atmosphere of a Paris in 1928, with a few cars mixed with carts and street dogs. I don't know whether someone else captured this in a film.

(Filmele Avangardei)

(Cinéma Français)


Thursday, April 18, 2013

To Boston, with Love

Karl Zerbe, Park Street, Boston, 1942
encaustic on canvas
The Phillips Collection, Washington DC
no copyright infringement intended

Karl Zerbe, a member of the first generation of Boston expressionists, painted this powerful work shortly after moving to the United States from his native Berlin. Zerbe’s piece captures the timeless strength of the city.

Boston is tough and sentimental, traditional and forward-looking, working-class and wealthy, parochial and global, warm and reserved, reform-minded and un-reformable, restrained and boisterous, superstitious and free-thinking, very new and very old .... This wondrous bundle of contradictions that happens to be a city is also the home of the marathon and the place where Patriots’ Day is sacred. And always will be.

Boston area was the first place I saw in America, and it was through the Bostonian universe that I started to understand the American way. Then I moved to NY and I tried to find a job there. That was tough. Then I found work in DC area, and I settled there. I moved after seven years back to Boston area, where my son and his family live. Some years ago my daughter-in-law ran at the marathon there. I am now far away, in Bucharest, while the streets of Boston remain very close to my heart, and I share his life and his ways.


(Phillips Collection)


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lake Anne again

Lake Anne at dusk
(published on Facebook by Café Montmartre)
no copyright infringement intended

Lake Anne at dawn
(published on Facebook by Café Montmartre)
no copyright infringement intended

Café Montmartre, on Lake Anne border
(published on Facebook by Café Montmartre)
no copyright infringement intended

(Washington, District of Columbia)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Warsau: Museum of the History of Polish Jews

My friend Jay noticed me this video: the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, built on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto honors thousand years of Jewish life and culture in Poland - this video documents the museum's development from its groundbreaking in 2007 and includes footage of volunteers building the replica of the 17th-century Gwoździec Synagogue.

(Yale Strom)

Labels: ,

Friday, April 12, 2013

Jon Krakauer

born in Brookline, MA, in 1954 - his family moved to Corvallis, OR when he was two - at eight his father took him to (unsuccessfully) climb Oregon's ten-thousand-foot South Sister - received a degree in environmental studies from Hampshire College - worked as a carpenter and a commercial fisherman to support his climbing - in 1983 quit his job as foreman of a house-building crew to concentrate on writing

(A Life in Books)


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Robert J. Flaherty: Twenty-Four-Dollar Island (1927)

Dutch traders bought the island of Manhattan from the Native Americans for some trinkets supposedly worth twenty four dollars. And the city grew to thirty dwellings, then to thousand residents, and this went on. By the time Flaherty shot his documentary there were eight million people.

The Manhattan of Flaherty is ugly, ghastly, inhuman, and fascinating. But that's the way Manhattan is. The first words I heard in this city were I hate New York, I love New York. You come to this twenty-four-dollar island full of dreams, attracted by its trinkets of all sizes and all shapes, and you become its slave. There is no escape.

This was the first documentary of Flaherty that I saw, part of a splendid collection of short movies about NY, Unseen Cinema - Picturing a Metropolis.


(New York, New York)


Years of Hope

no copyright infringement intended

The Eastern Church (that I belonged to) will celebrate Easter this year at the beginning of May. The Occident is already in Eastertide. Says my friend David, the minister of the Presbyterian Community in Clarendon, VA, ressurection is a churchy word, while the Greek original word from the New Testament simply means rise up.

And David continues, Jonathan Kozol wrote a beautiful book entitled Ordinary Resurrections with the subtitle Children in the Years of Hope. He writes in reverent tones about the simple act of getting up and going to school in some of the most impoverished urban neighborhoods in America. Though you might find that description depressing, I found the stories he tells of the children he meets along the way simply inspiring.

(Church in America)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

John Grierson: Granton Trawler (1934)

The second (and last) movie directed by John Grierson. Only 11 minutes long. The fascination Grierson looks with his camera at the seagulls calls in mind his Drifters.

Documentary about the fishing trawler, Isabella Grieg. We follow her from her base in Granton Harbour, in Edinburgh, right up the east coast of Edinburgh, up to the fishing grounds between Shetland and Norway.

Granton Trawler (1934) is an early British documentary that is entirely observational, with no narration and subtle location sound of seagulls and fishermen on a North Sea fishing vessel, the Isabella Greig. John Grierson's cinematography and Edgar Anstey's editing were originally done for a silent film; audio was added later. Well-composed shots of the fishing process, you-are-there ocean swells, and clouds of seagulls establish a mood that seems more like a contemporary documentary than one from the 1930s.

(John Grierson)


John Grierson: Drifters (1929)

still from Drifters (1929)
no copyright infringement intended

The days when herring fishing had been an idyll between brown sails and village harbors were long gone when John Grierson started working on his documentary - by then it was already an industry. And that's what Drifters is about: the whole life cycle of an industrial process. Fishermen leave their homes at dawn and go to work, the ship goes out past the headland, into open water, far to seaward, toward the places with herring shoals, the nets are unfolded and cast, left in the water for the night, next morning they are lifted full of fish, the ship goes then quickly to the quayside where the load is auctioned, the barrels with salted fish are loaded in the freight and sent away by railroad. The cinematic approach is Productionist:  art embedded in the work process, art aiming to become a tool of production, among the other tools - the belief that industry without art would be incomplete. Art giving to the industrial process its sense, telling the laborer he is a demiurge. For the Productionists of the 1920's and 1930's, industry was an epic of steam and steel, and the reason of art was to emphasize this epic dimension of production. No wonder that in almost all their movies the locomotive was present, symbol of the new universe. Drifters makes no exception, a movie about fishermen and their work on the sea that ends with the image of a powerful engine leading the freight.

And so the main character in this movie is just the industrial process: steam and steel facing the universe - a universe sometimes hostile, sometimes  indifferent, sometimes just ambiguous, sea waves and storms, clouds and winds, seagulls and sharks. Well, production is not just steam and steal, there are also the people who make it work. In some Productionist movies the approach is rather abstract, what matters is only the opposition between industrial process and surrounding universe, with people left as anonymous elements in the landscape. There are other Productionist works whose authors seem endowed with the superb gift of empathy, being able to see the people as more than simple props in the industrial equation. John Grierson belongs to this second category and his fishermen from Drifters come on the screen with possible stories of their own, their gestures suggest sometimes particular habits, two or three appear well individualized, all this going beyond the industrial process from the screen. I would say that actually Grierson shows in this movie a fascination for the natural (maybe opposed to the industrial process, or just facing it): for humans and seagulls, for the huge shoals of herrings, for the weather caprices, for their strange moods and untold stories.

Reviewers have analyzed the influence of the movies of Flaherty and Eisenstein on Grierson. He lived in the cinematic universe of these two titans, and I think I should come back to this after watching again some of their movies. Anyway, it happened that Drifters was premiered in UK together with Potemkin (this was in a private club, Potemkin was still too controversial for the big public), and it resisted very well the comparison.

Drifters was the first film of Grierson and practically the only one directed by him (there will be  a second one, Granton Trawler, of 11 minutes, in 1934). After Drifters, Grierson moved away from film directing and focused on production and administration within the British (then Canadian) documentary industry.

I found on a blog (http://grunes.wordpress.com/2007/09/11/drifters-john-grierson-1929/) an interesting comparison of Drifters with The Old Man and the Sea, here it goes: it reflects the humility that Santiago feels vis-à-vis Nature in Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Showing people just doing their job is a good way to express this humility and to keep it free from taint of rhetoric. Grierson doesn’t Sovietize his fishermen with grandiloquence. Serendipitously, the increasing storm that makes their labor heavier still provides a nifty metaphor for mortal aging.

(John Grierson)


Neruda and Eminescu

Neruda left thousands of poems, a handful of which are of such inspired beauty as to justify the very existence of the Spanish language (Ilan Stavans). The same could be said about Eminescu, and about the Romanian language.

no copyright infringement intended

(Pablo Neruda)


Labels: ,

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Naomi Klein

Canadian author and social activist known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization (wiki).

(A Life in Books)

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 04, 2013

La Plus que Lente (Debussy)

no copyright infringement intended

Debussy was supposedly inspired for La plus que lente by a small sculpture, La Valse, that he kept on his mantelpiece. The title may be translated as The even slower waltz or, word-for-word, The more than slow. Despite its translation, La plus que lente was not meant to be played slowly; lente, in this context, refers to the valse lente genre that Debussy attempted to emulate. Typical of Debussy's caustic approach to naming his compositions, it represented his reaction to the vast influence of the slow waltz in France's social atmospheres. However, as Frank Howes noted, La plus que lente is, in Debussy's wryly humorous way, the valse lente [slow waltz] to outdo all others.

(Claude Debussy)


The Doomed Golden Couple: Zelda and Scott

(Southern Literary Trail)
no copyright infringement intended

Says Nick Wallace-Smith, who didn't read Scott Fitzgerald's A Diamond as Big as the Ritz or The Great Gatsby at university; and not for any Eng. Lit. course but for the sheer Jazz Age excess expressed in the stories; and of course for the delicious writing - like crème brûlée; curiously though, and when I think back, I had no strong mental image of either the writer or his wife; so I started to look at what photographs there were around and was stunned to find so much film footage of them existed; so I've gathered up what I could find:
[1] Zelda as a young woman and walking about rather saucily and hip-swinging in a garden.
[2] Zelda a little older and playing gaily about in a street.
[3] the couple with daughter Frances and in a garden.
[4] on the Riviera in 1924.
[5] And in a cafe.
[6] Finally, F Scott Fitzgerald working on The Great Gatsby.

rare footage of the Fitzgeralds from the 1920s
(video by Nick Wallace-Smith)

(The Fitzgeralds)


The Fitzgeralds

Scott was inspired and prodded along in his dissipation by the notoriously eccentric Zelda. As Ring Lardner once put it, Mr. Fitzgerald is a novelist and Mrs. Fitzgerald is a novelty .

(A Life in Books)


Monday, April 01, 2013

Un documentar din anul 1925: Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life

(click here for the English version)

Vreau sa va vorbesc despre unul din primele documentare etnografice din istoria cinematografului: Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life, produs in 1925. Este un film extraordinar, iar povestea filmarii lui este si ea uluitoare.

Totul a inceput cu doi prieteni care aveau ambitia sa produca un film cu care sa egaleze succesul pe care il avusese Nanook of the North al lui Flaherty. Unul din cei doi era Merian Caldwell Cooper: promotor pasionat in industria aviatiei si in industria cinematografica, pilot pe bombardiere in primul razboi mondial, ranit in lupta de doua ori. Al doilea era Ernest Beaumont_Schoedsack: cameraman pe front in primul razboi mondial, inregistrand in bataia focului actiunile de infanterie. Cei doi se intalnisera prima oara in Polonia in timpul razboiului cu Rusia Sovietica: Merian Cooper era in Escadronul Kościuszko, iar Ernest Schoedsack facea parte dintr-un detasament fotografic al Crucii Rosii - Red Cross Photographic Development. e vor reintalni la inceputul anilor 20 si vor incepe sa colaboreze. Intre timp Merian Cooper cazuse prizonier la bolsevici si reusise sa evadeze.

Bun. S-au hotarat deci sa faca si ei un film cu succesul lui Nanook. Flaherty e dusese sa filmeze la eschimosi, ei aveau sa mearga in Kurdistan.Expeditia a inceput in octombrie 1923, la Angora (Ankara de azi). Impreuna cu ei era si o femeie: ziarista (indeplinind uneori si misiuni in care sdiplomatia se impletea cu culegerea de informatii) Marguerite Elton Harrison, avand si ea gustul primejdiei inscris in ADN. Fusese in misiuni de mare risc in timpul razboiului, in Germania, Rusia, Japonia si China, si fusese detinuta o vreme intr-o inchisoare sovietica.

In timpul expeditiei, cei trei s-au decis sa mearga si mai departe, pana la un trib nomad, al bahtiarilor, undeva prin centrul Persiei si sa ii urmareasca in migratia lor bianuala dela est la vest, in cautare de pasuni pentru cirezile lor.

De doua ori pe an bahtiarii trebuie sa migreze cu cirezile lor in cautarea hranei, odata catre est, a doua oara inapoi catre vest, intre tabara lor de vara (in Chahārmahāl-o-Bakhtiyārī) si cea de iarna (in Khūzestān). Asta inseamna traversarea raului Kārun (identificat de catre unii cu Pishonul, unul din cele patru rauri care uda Edenul, mentionat in Cartea Genezei) si escaladarea varfului Zard-Kuh, cel mai inalt din lantul muntilor Zagros.

Pe atunci nu exista inca nici un pod construit peste raul Kārun, iar bahtiarii umblau desculti. Si asa desculti trebuiau sa escaladeze muntii plini de zapada. Animalele erau puse sa inoate in rau, fireste foarte multe mureau inecate.

Era vorba de 50.000 de oameni si de o jumatate de milion de animale. Conducatorul convoiului, Haidar Han, era un om de mare autoritate printre ai sai, altfel deplasarea s-ar fi terminat printr-un dezastru. .

Decizia celor trei americani de a se alatura bahtiarilor s-a dovedit extrem de inspirata: filmand calatoria lor au creat o capodopera.

Filmul are doua parti distincte. In prima parte este redata calatoria dela Angora spre Kurdistan, cu o descriere pitoreasca a unui popas intr-un caravanserai, si cu o serie de momente amuzante, ca de pilda intalnirea neasteptata cu un detasament de politie a desertului, prilej de a filma un dans absolut suprarealist executat cu gratie de politistii calari!

Insa in a doua parte filmul devine o capodopera: pur si simplu filmarea oamenilor desculti care traverseaza cu animalele raul si apoi muntii, contine un fior epopeic. Este acolo intreaga drama a acestei populatii in lupta continua pentru viata,iar aceasta drama este redata cu simplitate si maretie.

Calatoria s-a incheiat in primavara lui 1924 (o diploma emisa la Teheran si datata 24 iunie 1924, semnata de Haidar Han si de catre Printul Amir Jang, certifica faptul ca acei trei americani erau primii straini care insotisera tribul in cele 48 de zile ale migratiei).

Criticii de film aveau sa compare Grass cu Nanook, si filmul lui Flaherty avea sa primeasca totusi nota mai mare. De altfel avea si meritul de a fi primul dintre cele doua. Am gasit insa o remarca interesanta intr-un eseu scris de Richard Griffith (curator al filmotecii de la MoMA intre 1951 - 1965): Flaherty filmase o populatie pe care o cunostea, pe cand Cooper si Shoedsack se aventurasera in plin necunoscut.

Imaginile din Nanook sunt mult mai maiestrit realizate, pe cand in Grass avem the real thing, lucrul real: ceea ce se petrece pe ecran este live.

Am vazut mai intai filmul Grass pe Netflix si este intr-adevar fascinant.

Filmului i s-a adaugat un fond sonor, cu cateva piese evocative de muzica persana, compuse si interpretate de Gholam Hosain Janati-Ataie (santur si daf), Kavous Shirzadian (tar, tombak si oud) si Amir Ali Vahabzadegan (tambur turcesc, setar, dohol, daf si voce): un tribut acordat acestei comunitati care lupta atat de greu pentru asigurarea vietii.

Cooper si Schoedsack aveau sa isi continue colaborarea. A urmat Chang in 1927,cu scene filmate in jungla tailandeza: tigri, elefanti si leoparzi surprinsi in miscari violente, redate pe ecran cu un sens formidabil al imediatului.
A venit apoi King Kong (1933), cu un succes extraordinar de public: uriasa gorila avea sa fie reluata apoi in alte ecranizari, dar Cooper si Shoedsack au fost cei ce au creat-o.

A venit apoi cel de-al doilea razboi mondial, si Cooper s-a inrolat din nou. Cat despre Shoedsack, nu imi este clar daca a mai participat sau nu, ceva a fost totusi, pentru ca vederea i-a fost grav afectata in razboi, insa a mai lucrat cativa ani dupa aceea.

Personalitatea lui Cooper i-a atras atentia lui Kevin Brownlow, marele istoric al epocii cinematogarfului mut, care a facut in 2005 un film despre acest pionier al documentarului (I'm King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper). Si de fapt informatia despre filmul lui Brownlow m-a facut sa caut filmul Grass. Iar informatia despre Brownlow am primit-o intr-o conversatie telefonica pe care am avut-o cu Jack Goelmann, un  prieten din NY, acum in varsta de 90 de ani care si-a dedicat viata cautarii si popularizarii filmelor de mare calitate.


Cat despre bahtiari, ei isi continua migratiile bianuale cu cirezile lor. Acum le transporta in camioane si nu mai sunt desculti, dar tot foarte greu este.

Haidar Han, conducatorul lor, s-a imbolnavit de febra galbena si a murit in anul urmator producerii filmului. Lufta, baiatul sau, care avea noua ani cand s-a facut filmul (apare si el pe ecran), avea sa fie intervievat in 1990 pentru o carte dedicata filmului (Grass: Untold Stories).

Autorul cartii este un savant iranian, Bahman Maghsoudlou. Am gasit un video cu scene din film comentate de acest autor. Din pacate nu este subtitrat, si nu stiu cati dintre noi stie limba farsi. Si din pacate intre timp acest video nici nu mai este disponibil :) Se mai intampla.


Ei bine, si dupa asta, am reusit sa gasesc pe youTube filmul integral. Vi-l ofer aici: