How much money is a man’s life worth? How much money does it take to compensate for lost happiness? These doubts obsess a young woman who saw her husband die in a car accident. She works as a maid and meditates on the “social revenge” she will get on the rich couple who killed her love. Based on a novel by Xu Yigua, an impressionistic film, delicate and ruthless, about the time of feelings and the stratifications of space and social values.
New York, 1958-1960. Old 16mm clips – shot at the time by Kirchheimer and Walter Hess – which have been found and re-edited. Silent, with Shostakovich and Debussy. A rhapsody, not in blue but in black and white. The symphony of a city which, construction site upon construction site, literally grows.
The cold rooms of an apartment witness the prosaic encounter between a chevalier servant and the noblewoman who inspires his gestures. A psychomotor transliteration of Don Quixote, suspended between the geometrical lyricism of the gestures and a compulsive relationship with the rooms. Ironical and obsessive, Luca Ferri unseats the knightly epic tale in an alienating and mechanized Kammerspiel.
Twelve years after La leyenda del tiempo, Lacuesta returns to the movie’s location and visits its protagonists, the brothers Isra and Cheito, who have aged; one has just gotten out of prison, the other disembarks from the Navy ship on which he works. The camera follows them, it might be inventing their lives, betraying fiction and documentary, as it recovers fragments of the old movie and encounters the substance of emotions in the fragility of these men.
Pages from the diary of a clairvoyant from Smyrna in the 1970s, who sparks the same fear in people as the Turkish demon Gulyabani, who was abused by her father, kidnapped by a bandit…Keltek makes her the ghost of an empathic relationship between history and man, sensitive world and spiritual reality, light and shadow, optical effects and archival images… After Meteorlar, half an hour of borderless cinema by one of the great directors of the coming years.
“I do not care if we go down in history as barbarians”: these words, pronounced in 1941 by the Romanian president Antonescu, marked the beginning of ethnic cleansing on the eastern front. This fact, which today has been forgotten (or better, hidden), is the subject of a public reenactment in Bucharest, and Jude follows the tormented preparations, the rehearsals, discussions, research, censorship, miscomprehension. An extraordinarily lucid Day for Night about the relationship between memory, identity, and representation.
De Bernardi on Euboea like Euripides’ Iphigenia on Boeotia: today’s Greece turns into the Greece of yesteryear. The pages in the hands of the inhabitants of Negroponte become the verses of the classical tragedy, as the ships which could not leave Aulis return as the lifeboats which appear in the Aegean, or at Ventimiglia… as always in the cinema of De Bernardi, life films itself, while it observes the truth of poetry.
An American adolescent, his strict father, friends, photographs, fights, alienation… A movie like so many others. Except that an act of rebellion breaks the deal with fiction, and the relationship of power between the movie camera and the scene. So, what’s to be done? Shut everything down or follow life as it flows? And at that point, who is the director, who are the actors, and what does cinema have to say? A perfectly imperfect movie.
Thoughts of love, the urgency of desires, the bewilderment of solitude, betrayed expectations: snapshots of life to recount the suspended existences of a handful of characters, captured in the corners of their daily lives. Philippe Ramos (Capitaine Achab, Jeanne captive) finds his new movie in the still frames (à la Jetée by Marker) and the small, immobile flights in the lives of characters who are absent from their own existence.
On the set of Barbara, Amalric directs Jeanne Balibar, works as a director and as an actor, remembers his previous films, and recalls another Barbara (Hannigan, the opera singer), the nth ghost in a multiform and restless opus, in which life and film flow freely and intermingle. An episode of the series Cinéma, de notre temps and the last film by its creator (with Janine Bazin), André S. Labarthe, who passed away in March 2018.