Friday, December 01, 2006

Everything Is Illuminated

"In some most animalistic highs sometimes I dive with my ribs open out from the stage onto the table full of glasses and bottles...I'm pretty sure that if I would do it in silence, I would perhaps go straight to the hospital...:"

Eugene Hutz on the Gogol Bordello Website. Co-Star of the 2005 film Everything Is Illuminated.

Watched it on DVD this week. Will pick up the book on the weekend if I can find it. Sheena has been subjected to the crazed and exhilarating cacophony that is Gogol Bordello since El Chaperone deemed Sheena in need of level-three musical re-education after perusing her Harlequin/Streetheart/Madonna-heavy CD collection during the early days of our acquaintance. Surprise surprise that Th'Legendary ShackShakers are Bordello fans.

Been a very long time since Sheena cried during movie. But this one did it. A story about family, and secrets, and mysterious artifacts. Of strange places and even stranger people that you meet unexpectedly. About things that were lost and then found again. And about the importance of living a life worthy of being remembered.

Maybe it was just the timing that caught Sheena in a tender moment. Hot off the heels of a Winnipeg weekend that was very much a parallel: family and secrets and mysterious documents. Strangers who have your DNA in their blood, and who lived in places that don't exist any more. Who speak languages you don't understand, with accents that sound like a stand-up routine, and there but for the grace of God go I. Fates of history determined who stayed and who was stolen. Who survived and who died and who simply disappeared.

And who had their names written on those precious bits of paper which entitled the bearer to pass GO and collect their $200. Who got on the boat, who got off the pier, and who found a bit of land to till. Even though those names are different today than they were then. And the imagination begins to wander. And you wonder how many people had to lie to live.

Looks like I've got some paperwork to get cracking on.


At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the difference between Russia & Vegas???

"Violent crime has increased. Crime against foreigners is a serious problem. Pickpocketing, assaults, and robberies occur frequently and are often committed by groups of children. Vulnerable areas include underground walkways, subways, tourist sites, restaurants, airports, train stations, and hotel rooms and residences, even when locked and occupied."

Less casino's is my guess.

At 6:56 PM, Blogger Sheena said...

"Fewer casinos". Not "Less casino's".


Why can't I get a better class of anonymous commenter.

Or at least less drunkerer commenters.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger Sheena said...

I bet Raymi the Minx doesn't have to deal with this shit.

At 3:51 AM, Anonymous michael murray said...

the movie everything is illuminated came very highly reccommended by a friend, and so i attentively watched it, and was disappointed. although beautifully rendered and composed, it struck me as being over-determined and self-conscious. i mean, never for one second did i forget that i was watching a work of fiction. it was lovely in its way, but it was young, the author forcing the story rather than letting it tell itslef.

i ain't telling, i'm just saying is all.

michael murray

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Sheena said...

The movie is actually very good if you pretend Elijah Wood isn't in it, Michael Murray. I was more interested in the Hutz character. The whole pale bespectacled American angle was an irritant that quite honestly didn't bother me at the time because that's when I tried to schedule my pee breaks. Watch it again without Wood, trust me.

At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually the movie loses something in the translation! (The English translation that is). You have to know your Russian and your Russian (actually Ukrainian) history and characteristics of the people to understand the finer points of the movie. It touched me greatly and while other watching with me laughed - I cried because I could relate.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger petite gourmand said...

I loooved this movie.
I have a bit of a crush on Leiv Schrieber oh and heck even Eijah is a bit of a heart throb in a hobbit kind of way.
Now if I could just get big daddy to stop saying "priemere people" and "Sammy Davis jr.jr."
in a Russian accent...."


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