Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Robert Millis - "My Friend Rain" DVD

This brief documentary presents an almost-surreal travelogue of Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, and, in the true tradition of Sublime Frequencies, these are disembodied images of real life, as raw and rough as it must really be. Forsaking any sort of narration, there are only the native sounds to accompany the rich visuals. Bits of radio pop music filter into the stew, as the camera captures street musicians, celebrations, food preparation, labor, ecstatic dancing, marketplaces, and some oddly morbid artworks and murals. Interspersed with these scenes are wonderful images of monsoons blanketing the ancient cities and streets.

"My Friend Rain" makes no attempt to embellish or tie together the images and sounds. It's presented to you, the viewer, as a look into a window of cultures far off the beaten path. There's no touristy views here. It's an honest slice of these Asian countries' everyday life, an attempt to capture the raw realism of a culture far removed from Western eyes and ears. Succeed? You bet. (Sublime Frequencies)

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