Wednesday, August 4, 2010

we had our first little fire last night,
after getting home from seeing
this movie.

:: on
the woman with 5 elephants ::

it was the best movie, beautiful.
i was in heaven.
the movie is about translator Svetlana Geier.

She translates Dostoyevsky from Russian to German:

"My teacher always said:
‘Nose up in the air when you translate.’
That is to say, one doesn’t translate from left to right,
following the text,
but only after one has made the sentence one’s own.
It first has to be internalised, taken to heart.
I read a book so often that my eyes ’gouge holes’ in pages. I basically know it by heart.
Then the day comes when I suddenly hear the melody of the text."

it was entrancing to hear her thoughts on words and the world.

what a treat to listen to someone with such insight
and eloquence,
who views language, words, and the beauty and sorrow of life

with reverence and wonder.
a deeply human film.

sometimes, the depth of the ideas or the slow-paced musings
required a little break for the viewer, i think.
this is where the house comes in.
the interior of her house was beautifully shot.
a crammed kitchen full of food, family and life;
embroidered linens lovingly folded;
endless cups of teas being poured into blue and white china;
pencils being sharpened and typewriter clacking
in the morning light.
the pacing of the filming of her working day was superb.

for the love of words,
see this film if you can.

:: now, back to our first fire ::

it was very nice:)
and required a breaking out of wine.
we sanded and varnished those floorboards ourselves.
all 100+ sq metres of them.

the last picture is of stash (light grey and white)
and kitly (tall and with bung eye, he got hit by a car)
in the kitchen.
there is one more cat, linen press.
he was watching them close by.
it's an uneasy truce,
but sometimes they play together.

still a lot of work to do in the kitchen
to make it nice and cosy.
stay tuned?

we were burning the scraps of floorboards that had to be replaced. next time non-varnished wood is best perhaps:)

above two are stills from the woman with 5 elephants


  1. What a beautiful post! This movie sounds really interesting! I must find out what it's called in Japanese! Often they translate into something totally different.
    I like your little fireplace too, and envy the cold air you must be having outside in Melbourne!! Tokyo is on fire.

  2. lovely post..likey like

  3. such a great post here love those photos as well..:)

  4. your life is a film; I'm in love with the fireplace photos :)

  5. Swetlana Geier, the old lady in the photos actually lives in my city - what a coincidence.
    Great movie as well and I'm glad it obviously made it all the way up to Japan. :)

  6. Another glimpse into your new space! I'm curious, too, and hoping the work there is going well. And I definitely must go to the cinema more often again.

  7. i must see that film. thanks so much for mentioning it. translation is indeed a very intimate experience, and i'm curious to hear what someone like her has to say about it.

    and poor little cat! hope he gets better soon!

  8. oh you almost make me miss the winter!

  9. i like the cat+plant picture a lot :-p

  10. hi!
    hiki: i know, that sometimes makes it difficult - the different japanese and english film names - i remember wandering the aisles of film libraries in japan for hours, trying to find films that had a different name in nihongho:)i hope you find it - it's beautiful. stay cool:)
    prince and buzzmeout: thanks! and thanks for stopping by:)
    andrea: oh, my life is so far from film like you wound't believe it. although i often think a film just on the eveyday mundanity (cups of teas, pottering about) would be kind of good:) thanks so much for your lovely comment.
    nora: wow! i would love to pass by her in the supermarket:)
    nezumiiro: thank you for the encouragement, and yes, i hadn't been to the films for ages, so glad we made the effort!
    kristina: yes, i am reall curious to hear more about your translation experiences. the little bits i have done have been really interesting. it is like alchemy. kitley is ok - he was hit by car before i met him, he is a tough one:) like a wounded king.
    paz: he he - one thing you know, it will come round again:)
    make it easy: he he - you and your cats and your plants - you have such great taste:)

  11. Beautiful, congratulations! I have been burning my off-cuts and demolition wood for about 5 years; it's satisfying, isn't it. It feels faintly wartime. Enjoy it!

  12. Hi. I am a new follower, and I love Japan too. Lisa

  13. love the fireplace photos, they look a bit seventies :), i'm curious about that movie.

  14. hi ouno! ha! totally wartime. very fitting, as am reading the pursuit of love by nancy mitford and it all big old houses and wartime britain (and crazy uncles with blood spattered war implements above fireplace). though the war is a mere side show to the drama of life and society. :) can't believe yours has lasted 5 years - well done!

    hi lisa! thanks so much for following, pleased to meet you:) there is lots to love about japan:)

    and hi renilde! i hope one day you get to see this movie, i have a feeling you would really, really love it.

  15. ah i'm cursing myself for not seeing that at miff!! will it get a general release? i hope so:)

    your home is looking superb (and your cats have brilliant names).

    oh and confetti system. can't wait:)