like ‘the trial’, which a character is reading in the beginning of the film, ‘synecdoche new york’ is a vortex of reflections affecting each other in perpetually shifting scales. sometimes the city is found in another one or you see yourself in miniature. while blurring the line between dream and reality the identity of all the characters and all their relationships are themselves blown apart until almost nothing is real.
in ‘satah se uthata aadmi’ a similar story within a story revolves around the act of writing as a voiceover reads passages about characters and they in turn read out other stories that turn into images until all intertwine into a fever dream somewhere in small town india.
i liked ‘the bicycle thief’- not so much for the sweet downer of the story about losing a bicycle but more the rome of the working class neighborhoods with rationalist apartment blocks relentlessly plodding on the horizon or the other ancient city of market squares and labyrinthine roads where the hunt goes on.
in ‘a donkey in a brahmin’s village’ at the end when the fire in the skull of the donkey sets fire to the village the film suddenly expresses the anger that is until then suppressed under never completely lighthearted comic episodes. the pollution that the donkey represents is used by the hypocrisy of the villagers for their own means until even its death becomes something that can be used to wield power by making mystic its aura.
from a to z ‘26 bathrooms’ is peter greenaway’s checklist of ideas clustered around bathrooms including lost soaps, public washrooms, tiles and mirrors punctuated by a discourse on the history of british bathrooms held forth by an expert. another film for my architecture collection.