Mr F and I highly recommend these two movies which we saw last weekend:
1. Breath Made Visible: Anna Halprin (A documentary by filmmaker Ruedi Gerber, which we saw at a movie theatre)
Movie Review By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic. May 7, 2010
“Breath Made Visible” is an admiring documentary portrait of Anna Halprin, a woman so remarkable it is hard to fit her into the confines of a film, let alone a sentence.
Born in 1920, Halprin is the doyenne of avant-garde, experimental dance in this country, but to say dancing is her life is to both understate her passion and neglect all the other things that concern her and make her as much a natural force as a performer.
During her more than 50-year career, Halprin, who still teaches twice a week on the Marin County redwood deck her landscape-architect husband, Lawrence Halprin, had built for her, has touched any number of bases.
She’s used dance as artistic expression, to explore ritual, psychology and societal issues, even to help cure herself when she was diagnosed with cancer. “Before my illness,” she says, “I lived my life for my art. Now I live my art for my life.”
At the core of Halprin are her linked beliefs that dance is the essence of life (“I’ve always said that dance is the breath made visible, and that covers about everything,” she says) and as such is accessible to everyone.
As detailed by Swiss director Ruedi Gerber, Halprin felt this joy in dance since she was a child. She remembers her Jewish grandfather, a Hasid, dancing in ecstatic prayer, and she says she’s spent her life “searching for a dance that would mean as much to me.”
L.A. Times for the rest of the review.
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2. Temple Grandin. Directed by Mick Jackson. On HBO.
A story of a young woman’s perseverance and determination while struggling with the isolating challenges of autism at a time when it was still unknown. The film chronicles her early diagnosis; her turbulent school years; the enduring support she received from her mother, aunt, and science teacher, and her emergence as an adult with an innate sensitivity and understanding of animal behavior.