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Paris Cinéma 2005

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International Film Festival


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Feature Film

  • Caché / Hidden (2005/Haneke/FR) ++++
  • Solntze / The Sun (2005/Sokurov/RUSSIA) ++++
  • Un Silenzio Particulare (2005/Rulli/Italy) +++
  • This Charming Girl (2005/Lee/S. Kor) +++
  • Quando sei nato non puoi più nasconderti (2005/Giordana/Italy) ++

Short Films

  • Eros (2004/Antonioni/Soderbergh/Wong) +++
  • Le Canapé Rouge (2005/Rohmer/FR) ++
  • Obras (2004/Hendrick Dusollier/FR) ++





Caché / Hidden (2005/Michael Haneke) ++++



Solntze / The Sun (2005/Alexandr Sokurov/) ++++

Selected at the 2005 Berlinale.
Third installment of a trilogy on Power in the hands of a dictator when he is about to lose it. Moloch (1999) portrayed Adolf Hitler on a weekend of leasure in his bavarian villa, with Eva Braun, and his accomplice Goebbels towards the end of WW2. Taurus (2001) depicted the senile demise of Lenin in 1924 as his successor awaits to take over.

The Sun is the divine name of the last japanese emperor Hirohito. As the American forces burnt to the ground and occupied Tokyo, general Douglas MacArthur detains Hirohito under custody in his imperial palace, and suggests a diplomatic surrender. To save his nation, he must undertake an unprecedented decision: to give up his status of God. Between a meeting with his generals and a session of oceanographic study, the man agonizes over the arrogance of his military ambition that caused the defeat of his empire.
Surrounded by faithful servants and counsellors, Hirohito wakes up in his underground bunker and prepares to psychologically accept the end of World War II. The japanese people puts up a desperate fight to the last man to save their emperor from humiliation. They would rather die than to see him threated as a mortal human being by the americans.
Profoundly introverted by nature and by tradition, Hirohito contains his feelings, composing allegorical poetry to express alternatively resignation or enthousiasm.
Entirely shot in HD, with a remarkable image quality and a controled chromatic continuity throughout plans.


Un Silenzio Particulare / A Particular Silence (2004/Rulli/Italy) +++

A modest, respectful yet assertive self-documentary of the filmmaker, Stefano Rulli (Screenwriter of The Best of Youth; Keys of the House) and his son Matteo, 24, suffering from a mental disorder. Like a 6 yold kid he's capricious, dependent, lonely and silent. His father is the only person able to get in contact with him, and must stand in as a bodyguard, a go-between, to spare his mother, Clara, of a sudden rush of aggressivity. She had her hair trimmed short because he used to pull them when he was young. She is left out of this overwhelming father-son relationship and suffers silently. The only way to fondle his head is to give him a bath.
The "Cittá del Sol" (House of Sun) is a remote vacation farm to accomodate guests susceptible to the mockery of "normal" people. Named after Tomasso Campanello's story (1602) of this man who was so afraid of everything he built an isolated haven to live in security.
On inauguration day, Matteo doesn't feel at home, staying on his own all day in the family car which was the only familiar territory he could relate to. The others sing, read poetry, and make friendship together. He could enter the building at night when the indoor obscurity didn't matter as he was gone to sleep.
Beautiful moments arise from ordinary scenes. Matteo inspects with concerns the wrinkles and white hair of his father's face. Matteo wants desperately to saw a log with his father and gets infuriated because it takes longer than he could handle it. Matteo sings a song his mother wrote about his birth and later sing it to his newborn niece. Learning to look at him without prudish prejudices, we can see his profound humanity inhibited by the thin control he has over his liberty.
A crisis comes up abruptly when his imperious need for order, intimacy or desir resists to the inertia of a reality bigger than him. He can't stand the loud singing in the old 8mm home-movies of his 1st Birthday party. He wants to play his favorite pinball miles away right now. He wants the party to stop so everyone can go to sleep. He wants the wind to stop blowing at night so he can rest in this "particular silence". Like others in the film designated the heart as the place where humiliation hurts, he would describe regret for offending Clara by pointing to his head, heart, throat and stomach unexplainably distressed by a curious pain he wants to stop.

Stefano Rulli gives us a touching first-hand testimony of the burden for a family to live with a disabled child. The "ideal father" operates a self-criticism of his own biased misbehavior as he edits these 50h of footage into a narrative form by adding a voiceover commentary addressed to his son: "I'm sorry I didn't understand your emotional conflict back then when I forced my wish onto you inadequately".
The cinematographer, modest and patient, films simple unscripted slices of life, with uninterrupted plan-sequence, waiting for the moment when the inner silence cracks into action.
Presented at the Venice Mostra in 2004, with Matteo in attendance, who behaved to get the fabulous cappuccino he was promised. He enjoyed watching himself on screen, although he usually cannot sit still through an entire movie, and asked to rewatch the scene when Matteo cries. The distance of time, removed from the implication of an ongoing emotional conflict, he was able to communicate with his father about his mischievous attitude and his disease.


This Charming Girl (2005/Lee/S. Kor)


Quando sei nato non puoi più nasconderti (2005/Giordana/Italy)

Another perspective on illegal immigrants and the italian society, certainly original and thought provacting but on the verge of an artifical TV melodrama. The mise-en-scene saves much of the scenes from excessive sentimentalism.
Sandro, 14, is the only son of a wealthy entrepreneur who is lost at sea in the night during a sailing boat trip off the Greek islands and saved miraculously by a rickety ship full of illegal immigrants coming from all over eastern Europe. He builts an instinctive trust, free of prejudices, with 2 young orphans from Romania and will try to help them get integrated. The film stretches in three long parts dedicated to focus on one side of the empathy. First the wealthy family together and their minor daily concerns. Then Sandro on his own, coming-of-age, facing with a violent reality. Leading to the real substance of the film, unfortunately underdevelopped, although successfuly suggested by little meaningful undramatised events offering more reflexion than ready made answers. Two important cuts cleverly leave some characters out of the narration for a moment to emphasize the isolation of another. The grief of a family having lost their child is synthetized in one scene. Later the romanians disappear from the screen without following their whereabouts. Thus the story centers entirely on Sandro who is vested of humanitarian feelings sometimes oversized in scope and intensity for his age and vulnerability.
The film doesn't always go in the easy direction and propose a couple of good alternatives to questions the plot immediate assumptions. The young Matteo Gadola is remarkably consistent all around the film, supported by the two equally enjoyable romanian characters.
Far from the outstanding The Best of Youth epic, Giordana and his team of screenwriters sound a little too preachy, well-meaning however, orientating this film to a TV-like wider audience.



Eros (2004/Antonioni/Soderbergh/Wong)

Triptych of 3 short films about erotism and desir in a couple as seen by 3 world masters. Project initiated by Antonioni who filmed the first segment. Produced by Jacques Bar, Raphael Berdugo, Stéphane Tchalgadjieff (multinational production : USA / Italy / Hong Kong / China / France / Luxembourg / UK) asked 2 disciples of Antonioni to make a similar work on the same theme without watching the other segments. Linked together with ink paintings interludes.

Il filo pericoloso delle cose / (Michelangelo Antonioni) lensed by Marco Pontecorvo
a menage-a-trois between a couple and a young woman on the coast of Tuscany

Equilibrium (Steven Soderbergh) lensed by himself
an advertising executive under enormous pressure at work, who, during visits to his psychiatrist, is pulled to delve into the possible reasons why his stress seems to manifest itself in a recurring erotic dream;

The Hand (Wong Kar-wai) lensed by Christopher Doyle
Gong Li and Chang Chen
a story of unrequited love about a beautiful, 1960s high-end call girl in an impossible affair with her young tailor.



Le Canapé Rouge (2005/Eric Rohmer/France)





Obras (2004/Hendrick Dusollier/FR)