3 July 2004 | spewky
Amazing Magic Realism Film
A lot of people like to get into arguments and debates as to what the greatest film is...its hard to ever reach such a conclusion- if it is even possible- given that there are as many films as there are people, and it would be impossible to see them all. But then there are films that we watch and we know we have been changed forever. These are the films that we usually call our "top 10" or "top 100" and usually most of us will agree on specific titles, concluding that a particular film is truly a "GREAT" film.
Black Cat White Cat is what I can call the Greatest film I have ever watched. It is of course quite a strong title to give a film, knowing such classics as Citizen Kane, The Godfather Part 1 and 2, I Am Cuba, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Seven Samurai or even Birth of a Nation have all at one time or another been given such a title by not just an individual...but by a panel of judges and critics from around the world. But there is something that this film has...a beauty, something absolutely magical and romantic...a fantasy that you only find in children's books, and yet it exists in this loud and clattered noisy film. How Emir Kustarica has done this is beyond my understanding. I first discovered Kustarica's films while living in England when one night I turned to ITV on a Thursday night and began watching The Time Of The Gypsies. I remember my mom really complained because it was 2am when the film started and we were going to Kent early the next morning but I told her I would go to sleep soon. Needless to say, the film was almost 3 hours long.. but it did prove to be a favorite of mine for a very long time...until I watched 2001 A Space Odyssey. So I battled in my mind...why do I enjoy these films more than the films others enjoy such as the Godfather? Why is my taste so different? I guess, different people enjoy different things, but we can all conclude a good smell, and evil and wicked mind...a soft breeze. What we cannot seem to agree on, is when a good film touches our hearts. The events that place in Black Cat White Cat are ridiculous and sometimes unreal. There is a scene where a band are playing while suspended on a tree...there is a dwarf girl whose single wish is to meet a tall dark handsome man, there is an arranged marriage, a dead grandfather...but what does it all mean or lead to? There are situations that are unbelievable and dreamlike, yet they are told in a very honest and sincere way that you believe them...unlike the films of David Lynch where you see something and its so mesmorizing you wonder.. "is that even possible?". This film however dazzles you with the thought of "what you just saw is real..because you just saw it". Its difficult to explain, but what you see in this film is a haunting, true, ridiculous and romantic situation that is beyond logic and yet so true to human nature. So is this my favorite film? I don't know. This film feels like part of my body. How am I supposed to say what is my favorite body part? How am I to choose my limbs over my heart? What I got out of this film is something I cannot even understand. I feel in love with film all over again. Maybe that was Mr. Kustarica's goal...to show us a romantic episode and hope it helps us reflect our own cluttered life. Or maybe he simply wanted to show a lifestyle of gypsies in Yugoslavia. I really don't mind not understanding the reason for his making this film because I like my confusion. I don't really care to know or not know, because I have concluded, that this is the greatest motion picture of our time.