Impressions of rainfall in the city. Dutch. Original title: Regen

Poetic, plotless reflections on rain. I like rain so I like this film. I especially like its strange evocation of urban loneliness and sadness (due to popular association of rain and gloom, probably, because there’s nothing sad or happy about the film itself) and the effortless, effective editing. But I have a complaint: the film’s not thorough enough in its reflections. So many rains are left out! Where’s the rain bouncing off tree leaves, or the rain gliding down hair, or the coolness and relief of rain? Where’s rain as a necessity for life? I also think the film treads too thinly into rain’s cinematic qualities. It’s a reflection that needs more reflections, more textures. One thing that is well captured, however, is the motion of rain: from water drops dropping, to sliding, to puddles being cut by bicycles wheels, to water flowing down buildings and into canals and rivers. There’s also a great, brief moment near the beginning; in two consecutive shots, Ivens illustrates a fascinating phenomenon of all rainy days: while the windows snap closed, the umbrellas pop open.

Rain, rain, stay a while.

Joris Ivens, 1929


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