Differently, Molussia (2012, Nicolas Rey)

Rey’s description: “Prisoners sitting in the pits of an imaginary fascist state, Molussia, transmit one another stories about the outside world like a series of political and philosophical fables.” This was based on fragments of a German novel from the 1930s, written while the author was married to Hannah Arendt. Nine chapters which you can watch in any order – I think my shuffle version worked out nicely.

6. Extremely grainy urban landscapes… modern cube-shaped buildings… the camera sits, then pans, then spins like crazy. Olo and Yegussa discuss circumstances and causes of actions over ocean footage, then we see the narrator at his mic.

5. The camera camps outside factories and industrial buildings. Story of the “displaced rurals” who became “typical city scum.” Some non-narrating people, a woman on her computer, the grain is now big jagged chunks like someone is mothlighting the film with confetti.

2. Ah a grainy shot of a factory, ok. The movie’s techniques seem pointedly primitive, like the silent soundtrack suddenly clicking into static background noise. Olo and friends discuss how peace and health are imperceptible, only war and sickness are noticed.

9. Opens with images of the narrator this time, then quick story of a futile vendetta, then a grainy beach scene. Lot of why-am-i-watching-this imagery in this movie, but also some grain so thick it’s transcendent, and another camera spin – the sky is the ground when you’re upside down.

8. A thunderstorm.

1. Early spinning, on a roadway. Burru wants to be “elected by the vanquished.” Election malfeasance, then all becomes grain.

4. What do they mean by “pariahs”? Story of a dangerous smart person who started proving untruths to impress people.

3. Burru leads his people into bloody war.

7. Good choice for a final chapter, story of a sailor who pre-wrote years of montly postcards to his mother as he lay dying, then she died too, and his friend kept sending the postcards “from the deceased to the deceased.”

Better Late Than Never:
Cinema Scope’s Top Movies of 2012

(their picks, my ranking)

Holy Motors
Moonrise Kingdom
Room 237
Django Unchained
Neighbouring Sounds
The Master
Last Time I Saw Macao
Differently, Molussia
In Another Country