Snow is on my mind. Not that it’s snowing here on our little island in the Salish Sea. It snows here maybe once or twice a year. Sometimes never. Sometimes a lot and everything grinds to a halt. The power goes out when the weight of the wet snow breaks trees and they fall on power lines. Then we light the candles, camping lanterns, propane stove, wood stove and hunker down to enjoy the silence.
What brought these thoughts on when there’s no snow in sight?
First I watched Let the Right One In, the Swedish vampire flick (remember… I watched/reviewed Let Me In, the American version of the same story, in my last post).
The film opens and closes with a shot of blowing falling snow, partially revealed in the darkness by a light. The shot reminded me of David Lynch’s shots trees in the wind; very evocative and eerie. At first viewing I enjoyed Let the Right One In more than Let Me In. Now, having watched both films twice, I still prefer the Swedish version but find each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
I liked the overall feel of Let the Right One In slightly more. It’s subtler, has more nuance and the characters are not quite as stereotypical. I especially liked the protagonist, the young vampire Eli, more. Physically her large eyes, dark hair and ability to be appear both young and old at the same time suited her role. Although she didn’t have the benefit of the special effects used in the American version Eli was more bestial than Abby. I also thought the actor playing the boy, Oskar, with his blond hair and pale skin added to the perception of timidity – he almost faded away in the bleakness. I found the other characters interesting and less glamorous than their Hollywood counterparts, although the American version certainly wasn’t overly glamorous. The sexual ambiguity of some of the characters also added some mystery: what’s the relationship of Eli and her enabler? is Lacke and Gini’s relationship fueled by cocaine ? how does Oskar feel about his father being gay? A brief flash of Eli’s scarred pubic area supports her assertion she wasn’t a girl but is never explained (apparently it is in the book). There’s a grittiness in all that the Swedish snow that the American version lacked.
Let the Right One In presented the contrasting themes of young/old love, good/evil, light/dark, innocence/worldliness in a more evocative, subtle manner. But I’d still recommend watching both films as they each have an interesting, albeit similar, take on the story. Next I’d like to read the book and discover what was left out of the movies. Rating: 9/10
I also watched the Hurt Locker, a film I’ve passed by thinking it yet another Hollywood war film. I found it to be a powerful story with strong characters that prompted reflecting on what makes us tick. But it had no snow in it, so I’m not going to discuss it here. Rating: 9/10
Back to the snow…
I was asked by a paper to submit some photos for publication for their Christmas issue and so have spent some time going through my local snow photos (I’m not going to name the paper just in case they decide not to use one the photos ;o). It’s an interesting exercise, perusing images for a specific use. I’ve taken lots of photos of snow scenes but to choose one that’ll print in high contrast B/W and be appropriate for the season made the selection process both interesting and educational. I realized that if I want to have more ‘stock’ photos I’m going to need to set up shoots with specific themes in mind.
Here are the three I submitted (in order of my choice) in full colour:
Here’s a funny one that wasn’t in the running but is the follow-up to the top photo:
A couple of contenders that didn’t make the cut:
and then a few snowy photos that I just generally like:
Yep, that oak tree again. Everytime we go up Mount Norman I photograph it so of course there’s a few of it in the snow.
Somebody mentioned it might snow next week…. (nothing to do with my thoughts!)