sabato 10 ottobre 2009

What Amelie stands for

Two films by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the creator of the well-known Amelie Poulenc, has existed even before the film popped out, and namely produced two main works, of which I will talk tonight: La Cité des enfants perdus (The city of lost children), 1995, and Delicatessen, 1991.
Albeit la Cité is more recent than Delicatessen, Delicatessen is so very much better, since it reaches an equilibrium that is later only aggravated, broken, stigmatized.
The two films mirror each other, albeit Cité is about children and dreams, and Delicatessen about selfish adultness. But, apart from this, everything returns: the grotesque, the little flourishing in a disintegrated, post-apocalyptic world of innocence and freshness, unconsciousness, and a final destruction triggered by the divine, unconcious operating of the sinergy of two innocent human beings.
Recurrent themes in the two films are the circus, the underground living, the isolation of the setting, some sense of totalitarian order, the presence of infimous, sometimed disgusting animals, the sight limitation, the interconnectedness of events which lets an individual save himself unconsciusly thanks to a material unwanted effect of its desperation which triggers a series of mechanical events, and finally the solution to its pain. It always begins with some established order of things which is bluntly unharmonious and distorted, and then the upsurge of something that switches on the reactions, wakes up the dead and kills the unconscious. A sight on sacrality of life as such and of the benignity of nature is always there, as well as of the strong power of arts such as music or dance. Nobody who is not a machine really dies. Who dies is a machine, or someone who wants to die. From this point of view, we can say that Jeunet's films have a happy end.
What marks them is however this idea of grotesque, disgust and violence which is probably given by his co-author Marc Caro, which is always ther in films.
I reviewed the City of Lost children and I found it a nightmare tonight. There is all the psychotic deformation, all the very evil masquerade dressed up in fairy tale, all the eluded sex and love, and moreover, it is so psychotic which is concentrated on dreams - which is so frightening to sleep after having seen it.
This sense of alarm does not arise in a little Jeunet's jewel: Foutaises.
This is Paris - this is what I like most, with its very sensual charme - "J'aime le Bois de Boulogne les jours feriés" - the actors are always the same: Dominique Pinon, a fascist, a woman - and always, a very appropriate use of music and colours.

domenica 4 ottobre 2009

Metablog - open letter

Dear all, since layout is hardly achievable from these column, this blog may possibly emigrate to another provider, like, after all, his owner - which has migrated to food providers across Europe since 2007. This unless some conservative thoughts knock to my head, some heart-affairs with Google does break into, or any of my readers suggests me how to achieve an acceoptable layout (i.e. ...having the paragraph actually being there, how they are in the draft!). Walls do not make good to anybody - walls of words, neither. And I am all for the good, so... Margui

sabato 3 ottobre 2009

Review: Horvath, Figaro divorces

I am again about the idea of death. this is just phantasizing for the moment, but the dark thought that there is no real place for me in this realm is coming to knock to my brain again. And I am finding it somehow seductive. And it was in an attempt to divert my attention from this circle that I invited myself to the Comedie Française tonight, havung a nice ticket for 5.50 Eur. A real deal. Someone told they are good at traditional French theatre, such as Molière, and very bad at the rest. This is a lie. I saw tonight "Figaro divorces" by Odon von Horvath, a Hungarian Jew dead at 37 in Paris in 1938. It is a pièce about a couple of aristocrats forced to fleed when French revolution irrupts in their town. Their respective personal servants, Figaro and Susanna, drive them out of trouble and lead their journey. The story is delicate and sharp enough to give you the sense of a disapted life, the one of the fleed noble, who lets his wife die because he is not capable to adapt to a "bourgeoise"; who, being abroad and drunkard, when coming back to his country, loses the hope in a new life, after having lost every goods and tries to die on his land, on his bare dark land, under a nightly forest rain. It also gives you the sense of what it means to be a foreigner, an immigrant, in a place where you are (almost) the only one - what I am also somewhat experiencing here. The best role is played by the male aristocrat, not by the opportunistic Figaro - and the interpretation of the actor at the Comedie Française was very good - it transmitted the paradigmatic idea of an obsolete beauty, and let the public smell the honour of a remote ethic and world. The staging is excellent, with a rotating machine acting as scene-setter, as the only machine of the theatre and as the fulcrum of scenic effects - a very effective device, used since Greek tragedy times. The end is spectacular, with actors receiving the plause of the public while standing on the borders of the rotating base of the machine - like a chinese plate in the middle of the table.