Thursday, July 02, 2009


It was busy at the hospital today because yesterday was a holiday and so it took longer than usual to get my Pamidronate. That's ok; it's not like I was going to work afterwards or anything, unlike a woman I spoke with. She's on treatment "forever" and is now receiving it weekly instead of bi-weekly and is finding that her work isn't happily accommodating her anymore. She said she didn't qualify for short-term disability but I talked to her about long-term disability and I think she might try and get that instead. I'm glad that I don't have problems at work. :)

This evening I watched Vinyan. It's the story of a couple who's son was taken by a tusnami; the mother believes that she saw her son alive on a video and so the couple pay a guy - a human trafficker or pirate - to take them up the Burma coast to find him. What follows is a journey up the river into a world where there are only boys or the elderly; where nothing is quite real or imaginary, and where the couple are reduced, finally, to who they really are. In this way, it's much like Heart of Darkness (which I've still never read) or Apocalypse Now. Intertwined with the journey is a lot of sexuality and cruelty that feel sort of offhand or incidental, as though they're just part of life. Maybe they are.

The move is billed as a horror movie but it isn't one; I'm not sure it is so easily classified. It's a psychological thriller, sort of, except that it's fairly slow-moving and gorgeous, like any journey up a river, and not like a horror film. The movie's pace is balanced by the awesome cinematography (done by Benoit Debie, the same fellow who did the cinematography for Irreversible, another favourite of mine - and a movie that is most definitely not for everyone); I particularly loved the floating lights and the jungle.

There's a lot to this film: the relationship between people, the role of the mother, children, the true self, the difference between Western and Eastern coping methods, grief, ritual, and the cost of the search. I very much enjoyed Vinyan even though (or because?) it's not the right movie for everyone.

Vinyan and other movies I've watched and really enjoyed were shown at some point at the Toronto International Film Festival. I think one of these years I'd like to actually go to the festival and see these fantastic movies there.

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