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