With a Little Patience
An office clerk as seen during her daily routine - all the little vibrations of her face. And a man, impatiently waiting for her, beyond the windows.An office clerk as seen during her daily routine - all the little vibrations of her face. And a man, impatiently waiting for her, beyond the windows.An office clerk as seen during her daily routine - all the little vibrations of her face. And a man, impatiently waiting for her, beyond the windows.
The film offers an epigram from T.S. Eliot about neither seeing nor hearing, but the appropriate thematic guidelines for this film are Breughel's "Fall of Icarus" and W. H. Auden's discussion of the painting in "Musee des Beaux Arts." In short, those in the paintingthe plowman, the shepherd, and the people aboard the sailing ship--continue with their lives as the unfortunate youth's white legs disappear into the Aegean. So too, the buttoned clerk in "Patience" works through her routine, relieving her boredom with the broach she slips out of a breast pocket, and in a stunning finale, closes her window to a scene beyond her office that is horrific not for what it depicts but for what we know it tells us about historical events.
There is much to admire in the concept and technique of this award winning film that was also nominated for the Golden Lion at Cannes in 2008. The sound is wonderfully evocative, combining ambient office noise with an unidentifiable but elegiac aria and the incessant click-clack of the many typewriters that is like the initial appearance of a toothache; we are too aware of it though it has not yet become painful. The closed yet expressive face of the clerk is recaptured in the feminine figure contained within the military cut of her shirt, a subtle connection to the scene outside the busy office. And yet, the long set up of the drab office, the repetitive activities, and the too dark interior are perhaps too great a price to pay for the brilliant and stunning outdoor scene and the final shot of the closed windows that look like prison bars.
- Feb 23, 2009