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El Castillo De Franz Kafka: Colección B - Side [Spanien Import]
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A land surveyor is summoned to remote village by the local government, house in 'The Castle'. But when he arrives he is unable to persuade the locals of his legitimacy and himself in an absurd spiral of provincial bureaucracy that soon becomes a surreal, all encompassing nightmare. Ulrich Mühe (The Lives of Others) stars in Michael Haneke's masterful adaptation of Kafka's seminal novel.
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I truly enjoyed this film but I do have two criticisms: The first one involves a short segment with the movie maker’s girlfriend. First of all, if you know you are making a documentary and not a home movie, tell your girlfriend to put a shirt on in bed. Unless your point was to let the world know you have a not unattractive girlfriend who sleeps in the nude with you, then the entire girlfriend segment could have been left out. She contributed nothing to the documentary, either evidential or intellectual, by being there, except maybe to elevate the misguided film maker’s ego. Okay? Alrighty then.
Secondly, the subject of purgatory, mostly a Roman Catholic innovation, is not shared by everyone. Most people who have come in contact with the paranormal attempt to explain the existence of ghosts and quite naturally, fall back on their religious beliefs for an answer. In this film, what started out to be an explanation of why spirits still haunt the Castle turns into a lengthy history of purgatory and the film maker’s attempt to prove that the “Garden of the Gods” where the stone was quarried in order to build the Castle, is, in fact, depicted in ancient renderings and paintings of purgatory as an actual place, and he even superimposes paintings of the rock formations from medieval artwork to the rock formations of the Garden of the Gods, calling them exact representations. While interesting, it is also a bit weird and inaccurate. They were not exact. One could probably find any number of rock formations from anywhere in the world and superimpose them over the paintings and still find an uncanny resemblance. A more scientific and plausible explanation could be that sandstone, like limestone, shale and granite, has the ability to act as a memory conduit for spiritual manifestation. There are theories that water can also store spiritual energy, and all rocks contain water, sandstone being able to store even larger quantities of fluid. Rock formations that are primarily composed of sandstone usually allow percolation of water and other fluids and are porous enough to store large quantities of water. When the situation is right, the water that is evaporated and released from the sandstone could be the conduit used to emit spiritual manifestations or play back events that may be stored within the stone. It is a much adhered to paranormal theory that could be considered for the haunting, in contrast to considering the Garden of the Gods as purgatory on earth. But, to each his own. All in all, this was an interesting and refreshing film, unhampered by the usual ghost investigation teams asking for ‘signs of a presence’ and explaining what EVP means. This had heart to it and authenticity and creepiness. I liked it a lot and I recommend it.