Saturday, May 19, 2007

Artist Date Report

HI, all.

Sorry for the silence. The new puppy, a truckload of exam marking and an upcoming Board meeting totally sideswiped me this week--BUT I did find time for an Artist Date!

Al, my husband, was away on a trip this week, so one night I came home and the puppy and I collapsed in front of the tube to watch L'Albero degli zoccoli (The Tree of Wooden Clogs), a 1978 Italian epic film (three hours) about 19th-century peasant life in Lombardy.

It was an artistic experience for me on several levels:

  • while the background sounds (footsteps, birds, church bells, babies crying, etc.) were all audible, the Italian dialogue was completely mute--so that I had the English subtitles tell me the dialogue, but I didn't hear anyone speak. It was like watching a universe of telepathic people and gave a very calming (and eerie) aspect to the film.

  • the faces of the actors--who were local "peasants" according to what I've read--were amazingly expressive.

  • the depiction of the rural , peasant life made me feel the chill, the damp--and I liked it. It felt gritty and healthy and real.

  • the depiction of community made me very emotional; the community of tenant farmers spent the cold winter evenings in the stable, together with the livestock, telling stories, knitting, singing, saying the rosary. They sung together as they worked; they doctored each other as needed. It was so HUMAN.

  • the KNITTING in the movie was breathtaking. The shawls were the likes of which I have never seen: beautiful but very sturdy and wearable. I have been thinking about them for three days, and I think I need to design one based on one that a little girl was wearing which was a round shawl that somehow didn't fall off her shoulders as she milked cows or ran across fields. I am thinking of a version of Zimmermann's Pi Are Squared shawl--or a variation on an Irish pattern that I have. And I am going to use rugged, chunky Icelandic wool.

So I take away from the Date creative inspiration for a knitting project and memories of some haunting faces, scenes and scenery.


Ms. Theologian said...

Dude, that's an awesome artist's date. I'm going to have to see that film!

Kel said...

sounds like a great movie

you'll have to post a picture of that shawl you create

Linera Lucas said...

The shawl sounds great. Let us know how it progresses.