Sunday, January 04, 2009

Rewind #28

Calexico: Carried To Dust (2008)

Calexico has been a favorite for some time now. Through all of their extensive work, since near the turn of the century to their collaborations with Iron & Wine and Neko Case to their beautiful work on the soundtrack to I'm Not There, I've been a devoted fan. Carried To Dust conjures forth all the appreciation I initially felt when I heard Calexico for the first time. They combine a soft country sound with mariachi horns to create a pleasant sound that traverses the length of the border. It embodies the beauty of a heated desert night as the illusion of the stars feather down upon your loving soul, crisply clear and full of epic stories told to a rhythmic drum. It blasts across the open highway, a tale of the road and finding redemption wherever it may lie, sometimes even in death. It's a down-home sound played on the back porch with learned hands and merry hearts. It's a the type of music that I've always held close, within a precious place that helps me perceive and love the world with a little bit more imagination, a little bit more strength.

Goodbye Lenin: Wolfgang Becker (2003)

When his mother falls into a coma during the time when the wall is coming down in Berlin, Alex must pretend that communism still reigns supreme in order to protect her fragile heart. Another movie that perfectly explores the nature of humanity during the later days of the communist era in East Germany, Goodbye Berlin looks into the hearts of human beings and shows the way that the politics of division affect each of us. Alex is a young man who truly wants change to occur in Germany but has to hold onto the old ways in order to help his ailing mother. Yet, in the end he comes to find that his mother wasn't so trapped by an aged agenda as much as held captive with fear and only wanting to protect her family as well. They aren't very different though he always imagined another history as he grew up. Everything in life changes and those who openly grasp that hand as it flees forward in time seem to cherish their lives a little bit more. That's the message that I saw in this charming film and I wholeheartedly agree with it.

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