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.

3 comments:

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.