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Posts tagged with ‘crime’

The Bloody Olive: A Short Film Noir

Veerle Van Overloop in the short film noir: The Bloody Olive

Shot in black and white, Werner and Mylene are both preparing for a cozy Christmas evening at home. All of a sudden, the festive mood is disturbed by the ringing of the doorbell. An unexpected guest has arrived. Or is he so unexpected?

The Bloody Olive takes the genre of the old film noirs to an absurd new level. In just ten short minutes, we are introduced to a love triangle, betrayal, double crosses, murder, and so many plot twists and turns, it’ll make your head spin. The result is hilarious as you struggle to figure out what could possibly happen next.

It’s a short that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s also not so much a parody in the classical sense, but more of a playful wink to the genre. A well shot film with some great camera angles, wonderful light & shadow play, the story pacing is right and the acting is subliminally brilliant.

My favorite moment: Warner’s expression when he first discovers his wife is still alive.

A Belgian production. Dutch spoken. English subtitles.

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire: Boy dressed as the Hindi god Rama

It was 1985. We were flying back from Belgium to Bangladesh and had to spend a night in Bombay in order to make our connecting flight the next day. We arrived after dark and were whisked off to a hotel that attempted to convey a sense of high establishment. But in fact, it was suffering from the high humidity in the air. Living in the tropics, carpeted floors were a luxury and it was here where I could see firsthand why. As we walked through the hallways towards our rooms, I witnessed how water dripped from the ceilings down on to the damp hallway carpets. And anything damp in this climate starts to rot. I’ve slept in far worse places since then, but at the time, I was glad we were only staying a single night.
We would return to the airport the very next morning. The sun was up and it was on our way there that I saw Bombay as it really was for the first time. Even though at that point, we had lived in Dhaka for two years, that short ride was sufficient to give me one of the worst culture shocks of my life. The amount of poverty I saw out on those streets was indescribable.

The God Shiva as Nataraja performing the dance of destruction and creation

Slumdog Millionaire takes place in this very same city. Nowadays, it is called Mumbai. The story itself is told in an unconventional yet refreshing way. At first, I thought there really wasn’t a story but simply an account of what it was like growing up in the slums of Bombay. Sort of like watching a travel documentary of a place that otherwise would remain completely alien to us. The cinematography is wonderfully beautiful even though the scenes it depicts aren’t. We are shown the poverty and pollution inside the amazing network of a large slum city. It’s the Bombay I remember driving though as a child.
The film shifts gear half way through, and slowly but surely, an innocent love story starts to emerge between two of the slum dwellers. As they struggle to stay together, it’s the harsh reality of their situation that keeps getting in their way.
While this film reminds me a lot of another excellent movie: Cidade de Deus (City of God), it’s comes over as a more optimistic film despite the environment in which it takes place. Well worth seeing.

The Places We Live

Sticking to the same subject. Here is an interesting site that documents 16 people around the world talking about their homes inside these slum cities and their lives. Also in sort of the same vein are the photographs of Michael Wolf. While technically they’re not slums, he went out to photograph 100 people in their apartments in Honk Kong. The apartments are all pretty much the same, just small boxes. But each one is personalized telling us something about the lives of its inhabitants.

T-shirts with the god Shiva print