Station to Station
Crosswalk Jeanne Liotta, USA, 2010, 19m.
“For the native New Yorkers” was the last words Jeanne Liotta tossed out to the audience before her film started. It took me a few minutes to settle down after that.
As a native New Yorker and a participant (that’s me on the right) in more than a few street processions I can say that Liotta’s Crosswalk was a reflection of the celebration and chaos that those events bring to the blacktop. There is still a magic in religion. Halting traffic in New York may not be the same as walking on water however it is miraculous in its own right.
Servants of Mercy Fern Silva, Portugal/USA, 2010, 14m.
I was still thinking about Crosswalk during “Servants of mercy” so I have only a vague recollection of it – a woman walking on her knees with a plastic grocery bag in her hand. Mr. Sliva had a second piece on Sunday which I liked very much and wish I had been more focused on this.
Rite of Spring (Acto de Primavera) Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal, 1963, 99m. A relic of pre Vatican II Catholicism this could have well be done in Latin. There was a certain uneasiness in audience when it was clear that this version of the traditional passion play came with no heath warnings that it was the Romans not the leaders of the Jewish temple who were the antagonists. Even the end of film applause seemed hesitant. The voices were beautifully recorded. I couldn’t help but think the soundtrack of Jesus Christ Superstar. For all of its local authenticity the end montage of B&W footage of atomic explosions and war seemed detract from the film strongest qualities however given it was the height of the cold war it is understandable.