Sunday, June 1, 2008

recommendation #2

first of all, i think i may have to eat my words about death cab for cutie. i bought their new album today at easy street because it was on sale. i'm listening to it right now and, although it's my first listen, i think i like it. a lot, even. in the future, perhaps i shouldn't be so quick to judge something based on its creepy song titles. the award for best lyric about my life is you can do better than me but i can't do better than you. that ben gibbard sure is good at writing depressing love songs.

but here's something i can judge. today, i went to a movie called strangers (it was at the uptown theatres, as part of the seattle international film festival). i first heard about this movie because, a couple of months ago, glen and marketa sang on its title song, which i now think is interesting because strangers and once do share some intriguing parallels. both movies are great at evoking the feeling of living in the moment, but knowing that the moment can't possibly last forever.

strangers is about eyal and rana, an israeli and palestinian, who meet each other during the 2006 world cup finals in berlin. the film actually has lots of funny moments, especially at the beginning, when eyal and rana meet by accident - their bags get mixed up on a subway train and there are a couple humorous scenes of them going through each other's things. during the next few days, they start falling in love (although their feelings are never given a name), but then rana has to return to paris (where she has lived for 5 years) and, despite her telling eyal not to follow her, he does. some other stuff happens - which i won't write about in case someone happens to get the opportunity to see this movie (which you should!) - and it's all set against the backdrop of news reports about bombings in lebanon. even though the film is about the relationship between two people, those two people cannot separate themselves entirely from their political realities. when she first realizes their bags have been mixed up, rana (who has figured out that eyal is from israel because she finds a hebrew book in his bag) hesitates calling eyal because of who he is. later, eyal and rana joke that the palestinians and israelis both have crappy soccer teams because the best palestinians become terrorists while the best israelis join the army. in paris, eyal argues with rana's friends about which side shoulders more responsibility for the war. however, rana tells eyal that, if they got married, she would live in israel (which kind of reminded me of the scene in once when the guy and girl are sitting by the piano talking - dreaming - about moving to london together). can they ever really be together? the ending is pretty ambiguous.

the acting in this movie was GREAT. especially the woman who played rana - i want to see everything else she has ever been in. i love seeing foreign films that i would never otherwise see (everyone reading this should support the seattle international film festival! they have films all year long, not just during the festival).

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