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Incendies (movie of the year twenty-eleven)

Incendies is a term unlike anything you will ever hear again in the English language. Perhaps it is because I don't own an unabridged dictionary, but when you pay the admission charge at a theatre to watch the foreign film by that name, you will remember, if not even anticipate the outcome before the climax of the story, that movies measure their success not by monetary value but by their impact to society. Here I was, sitting behind this computer, writing about an unyet release of another foreign film called Mellancholia; anxiously blabbering about how nothing I've chosen to watch lately has amply satisfied my need for cerebrum stimulation. This one was the film of the year thus far. Insidious was childish, Mellancholia will be science-fictiony, and all the mainstream movies out there currently, like Lincoln Lawyer, are too commercial, in that it's plain to see, story structure revolved around mercantilism.

Incendies, for the most part, is centered around middle eastern life, as that is where the poignant Nawal Marwan is born and raised. I always knew that the next heart wrenching movie would stem out of an Arabic country. With all the loss of lives that that part of the world has suffered from the recent wars, there is no doubt that somebody there would be translating it all into Farsi. And yet, I cannot get over the innuendo to the antichrist which this film suggests in opening scenes. Surprised that I had not seen a trailer/teaser yet — the trailers are out there, as well as the complete movie, in interrupted segments on youtube — the scene with the background music by Radiohead which shows the heel of a little boy who is having his head shaved by militants is burned in my mind.

As far as a dedicated website like incendiesthemovie dot com. No. There is none.

You see, on the heel of a little boy is the most unusual birth mark I have ever seen. Moles, or beauty marks rather, aligned next to each other in the form of three dots. This, together with the collage sequence of young boys waiting in line to have their heads shaved by soldiers got me wondering about the antichrist's mark of the beast 666. For a moment, in this scene, I wasn't thinking about the little boys who were being recruited as soldiers. I was thinking about the soldiers and the odds that they might not be recruiting premature soldiers, but instead searching for equally unusual birthmarks as that on the heel of the kern, except on heads.

The subtitles in this film are easy to read. It helps when the movie is centered around the lives of the poverty stricken, I guess. Whereas, I can see myself struggling to catch up on the reading by pausing and replaying scenes on a DVD if I were, for instance, watching a movie about scholarly professionals. Then there are the close-up shots which in no way are missed by the subtitles that one must focus on if French isn't a fluent language. This movie has shocking moments. Moments that merit close-ups of the leading role. Close-ups that can span ten minutes without a flitter from the audience as to why they would be subjected to staring at only the expression a character makes in scenes with little action. Moments only a fly on the wall can be permitted to watch. This movie had to have sound effects of flies whizzing by in a buzz solo of disgust as if it were taunting it's victim by chanting "I am the fly who was born off the flesh of the corpse of your dead loved one". Incendies is a movie with everything I expect a tragic love story to be.
Tags: films, love, movie

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